Case study

Irish construction company reduces SQL Server storage with AvePoint

Brian McKenna

Walls Construction, an Irish construction services company, has saved upwards of €31,000 by moving stale content from a SQL Server to less expensive storage, using software from AvePoint – a SharePoint governance and infrastructure management provider.

Robbie Armstrong, IT Manager at the Walls Construction, founded in 1949 by PJ Walls, describes the business problem he and his small IT team of three people set out to solve three years ago, first with Microsoft SharePoint, then with AvePoint’s management software. 

“The quantity and diversity of data on our servers was the issue. We had so much data, and people were storing project information on their own user folders," he said. "There was too much data in too many locations, and massive duplication. We needed to get the material into a central location and make it accessible to everyone."

Walls's content files are often large in size, since they feature photographs, blueprints, and other related data. There are 125 staff and 50 heavy users of the SharePoint environment.

“As a construction and development company, we deal with everything from tenders to final construction. There is a mass of data associated with that," said Robbie Armstrong.

“In the construction stage, we deal with a range of subcontractors – so there is a massive amount of email correspondence. 

"There was a litigation with a sub-contractor, in which we had agreed on a certain figure that was subsequently revised. We were able to prove our case, thanks to SharePoint. 

"It saved Walls a considerable amount of money," said Armstrong.

“But the big factor was to make ourselves more efficient with regards to project work. And drawings are a big demand on our storage”.

Walls has been using AvePoint for “close on two years. We had half a terabyte of storage in our head office and that was growing rapidly. Sharepoint SQL Server couldn’t handle such a big database so we had to get data out of the live database in such a way as to be completely transparent to the end-users”, he said.

The construction services company is using DocAve Archiver to reduce the size of its SQL Server content database, DocAve Backup and Restore, and DocAve Content Manager, which enables it to copy, move, and reorganise SharePoint content from a browser while maintaining all the content, configuration, security settings, and metadata.

The company is also subject to a 12-year Irish construction industry data-retention policy. All documents related to each build have to be retained and DocAve Archiver helps with storage.

“We were blown away by the product suite’s ease of use, and by the rapidity and simplicity of support”, said Armstrong.


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