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Biffa ups virtualisation in infrastructure refresh

Karl Flinders

Biffa Waste Services is reducing the number of physical servers it uses from over 150 to about 25 as it accelerates its existing datacentre virtualisation strategy.

The company which collects, recycles and disposes of commercial and household waste has two datacentres that support over 200 locations across the UK.

As its current server and storage infrastructure approached the end of its lifecycle Biffa contracted IT service company CSA Waverley to move its existing physical and virtualised systems into a Windows-based environment using HP Blade Systems and HP Storage Works P4500 SANs.

Biffa is improving disaster recover (DR) capabilities using VMware Site Recovery Manager to automate fail-over to its secondary DR site.

The company also has a Solaris environment that uses an IBM database, which it is leaving be for now. “We could move this to Windows but we are leaving it because it runs on an old database and is doing its job effectively. We will build around it,” said Peter Housley, head of IT services at Biffa.

CSA Waverley is also providing a remote, managed service. Housley say the company, which has 40 in-house IT staff, targets a balance of outsourcing and insourcing. “We want to keep core skills but do not want to be experts in everything and outsource to experts with specialist skills.”

For example the company, which relies heavily on its communications infrastructure to collect information and keep track of a large mobile workforce, has a managed voice and data service from Azzurri Communications.


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