Bracknell Forest saves time by standardising servers

Bracknell Forest council has installed software to standardise its server farm and simplify IT maintenance, saving staff time and improving service to users.

Bracknell Forest council has installed software to standardise its server farm and simplify IT maintenance, saving staff time and improving service to users.

The council consolidated its Microsoft and Novell server environment using RES Wisdom software, in an attempt to get a uniform build across the organisation.

Staff were spending too much time on routine maintenance, said IT services manager Richard Dawson, and tackling problems was taking too much time.

"The Citrix estate we had was quite disparate. We had different pockets of technology that were all spread about. Nothing was standard. It was a real headache trying to trouble-shoot and maintain a decent service," he said.

Each of the council's 30 servers was in a different configuration, meaning every installation was different when an upgrade was carried out.

If a problem arose, Dawson said, IT staff had to test all the servers and the software to work out the source of the problem.

After deciding to upgrade the server farm, Dawson embarked on standardising the servers in June last year. He wanted to make sure staff were spending less time on assessing and tackling problems, and make the upgrading project run more smoothly.

"We ended up saving two weeks off the upgrade project time, and it is also saving staff time in their day-to-day maintenance work. We no longer have to spend our time cobbling together inadequate in-house software programs to cope with an irregular server set up.

"Now that all the servers are identical, it is a lot easier to see quickly if the fault is in the software or the server. Because of this standard set up, we are seeing a lot fewer calls coming through to the helpdesk."




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