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Case Study

Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service

Requirement: Business Continuity

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service identified a need to improve the protection of their critical data against failure as part of their ongoing Business Continuity Management programme, in line with BS 25999. They chose Blue Chip to help them do this.

The Client

HFRS operates 51 fire stations throughout Hampshire, employing nearly 2000 staff and running 275 vehicles. As well as attending fires, Hampshire's fire-fighters attend road traffic accidents, hazardous material incidents, the results of adverse weather and many other types of incident, including rescue.

The Business Continuity Management (BCM) programme identified parts of the organisation that HFRS couldn't afford to lose. A key component was information, therefore it was crucial to ensure that data was available to all staff when it was required, even in the event of a major disruption. HFRS's existing infrastructure did not provide an acceptable level of accessible information, in line with the BCM programme.

Solution

To overcome this problem, HFRS and Blue Chip designed a virtualised server infrastructure that would allow servers and data to be managed, moved and stored easily. This meant that second copies of critical information could be moved to other parts of the organisation and updated frequently.

The new design included consolidating HFRS' existing servers using VMware vSphere, reducing the server count from 8 to 2, with all data and virtual server images stored on EMC SANs. The virtual servers are replicated daily between the Eastleigh head office and the Disaster Recovery site in Portsmouth. In the event of a disruption at the head office, users will be able to access services via the DR site in Portsmouth.

Success and Company Benefits

With this solution in place, HFRS are now able to ensure information availability to all staff even if services are disrupted at their head office. There have also been other major benefits generated from this project:

1. Reduced power consumption of the server estate
2. Reduced server management time
3. Reduced ongoing server management costs

Neil Moore, Head of ICT, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, commented: "I am delighted that we've been able to take a significant step towards meeting two of our corporate aims (reducing our carbon footprint and reducing our energy consumption) in partnership with Blue Chip. In addition to a competitive tender, Blue Chip demonstrated a clear understanding of our business requirements from an early stage and their open approach meant that we were able to work together to refine the virtualisation solution to maximum effect".

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