Requirement: Core Infrastructure Reformation
A number of areas within The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s core IT infrastructure needed refreshing and configuring to reach a “best practice” standard, plus a support provider for the escalation of incidents by the IT team was required.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy (The NMRN) was created in early 2009 to act as a single non-departmental public body for the four service museums of the Royal Navy. The organisation has multiple sites around the UK including Portsmouth and Belfast, with famous attractions including HMS Victory, HMS Trincomalee and WW2 submarine HMS Alliance.
The NMRN required an external partner for an initial project to centralise some of the core infrastructure onto a single platform in Portsmouth to ensure key business-critical services were housed on a “best practice” infrastructure, as well as to provide ongoing escalation support to their IT team and circa 300 IT users. The organisation had specific requirements to ensure that their needs were correctly understood and addressed, of which Blue Chip were able to fulfil; the NMRN wanted a partner with experience within the entertainment and attraction sector and who could use this experience with similar clients to assist with the overall NMRN IT strategy in the coming years. As a partner of with Merlin Entertainments for over a decade, Blue Chip were well-placed to meet this requirement. Having previously attended a training course at Blue Chip’s Head Office, NMRM’s IT Manager was familiar with Blue Chip’s work and offered an invitation to tender for the initial project and ongoing support.
A number of factors led to the selection of Blue Chip as NMRN’s IT partner, including true 24/7 support and honest advice on the best solutions for the organisation. With capabilities far exceeding those of their current supplier, as well as the added bonus of Blue Chip’s Head Office being ideally located between their two core sites, it was clear that Blue Chip would be able to meet and exceed all original prerequisites.
Having been awarded the opportunity to become the NMRN’s IT partner, Blue Chip took the time to carefully consult with the organisation to assess their exacting needs and design solutions that would allow for future scalability and growth across the business. Blue Chip utilised the existing HP servers already in place and rebuilt them into a 3 host VMware cluster. An EMC SAN with 14TB of useable storage was then installed with HA fibre switching to provide a resilient storage target for all business-critical data. This in turn allowed NMRN to centralise their entire IT infrastructure at the Portsmouth location. Finally, reusing another existing server and NAS, Veeam Standard Edition was introduced to provide both disk-to-disk backup and replication for the new environment.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy also now have 24/7 access to Blue Chip’s Service Desk on a Flexible Managed Services contract, utilising a customised version of the award winning ServiceNow platform which allows their in-house IT team to escalate issues to Blue Chip which they cannot readily resolve. Additionally, a 3 year hardware Break-Fix support contract is now in place to ensure peace of mind for the NMRN.
Success and Company Benefits
The results of the improvements made by Blue Chip included a new fast and reliable core IT infrastructure for business applications to run on, as well as an increase in The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s available storage on tier 1 business grade hardware. The solutions provided not only reduce risk to the organisation through enhanced IT continuity and resilience but, due to the scalable nature of their storage, growth across the business can be easily accommodated.
Phil George, IT Manager at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “We chose Blue Chip to deploy a variety of intricate IT solutions due to their many years of experience in successfully completing large-scale infrastructure projects. As a non-profit organisation we cannot afford to have projects overrun, and I am delighted that Blue Chip completed this complex assignment on-budget and within the timeframe required.”