The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has seen a more than 400% performance improvement within its SAP environment, as well as a marked boost in agility, following the deployment of new data centre infrastructure by Datacentrix, a provider of high performing and secure ICT solutions.
Established in 1940, the IDC is a national development finance institution, owned by the South African government under the supervision of the Economic Development Department, set up to promote economic growth and industrial development. The organisation provides finance for industrial development projects, plays a catalytic role in promoting partnerships across industries within and outside South Africa’s borders, and promotes regional economic growth.
According to Gert Prinsloo, Infrastructure Manager at the IDC, the company had ‘sweated’ its data centre infrastructure assets for around a year longer than originally planned, so the outdated equipment was ready for replacement. “In addition to this, the IDC had a pressing business requirement for better performance and agility.
“From a BYOD perspective, staff needed access to our data from anywhere, at any time, and via multiple devices per user, a task that the older equipment was simply not up to. Essentially we needed to invest in future-ready infrastructure,” he explains.
Prinsloo maintains that the solution put forward by Datacentrix in response to the IDC’s tender was a ‘hand-in-glove fit’ for the organisation. “And while Datacentrix may have had the advantage of understanding the IDC’s environment due to a long-standing relationship, it was the value-added services that they included that were most appealing to us.
“The Datacentrix proposal entailed so much more than just putting down servers and storage – it was a full blown solution,” Prinsloo continues. “It incorporated the assurance that other peripherals would be integrated with the new infrastructure, looked at whether our networking setup would cope moving forward, addressed the speed of connectivity, and delved into how this would all benefit the end user.
“This kind of partnership approach and strong working relationship is so much more than checking off points covered in a tender document,” he adds.
The new equipment was deployed several months ago, to high praise from the IDC’s end users. “As a fairly conservative company, the IDC is not easily pleased,” Prinsloo states. “However, feedback from our end users since the project was completed in March this year has been phenomenal. The SAP team in particular has been very complimentary, saying that the speed of the SAP database is the fastest it has ever been.
“We have seen between a 400 and 500% increase in performance within the SAP environment specifically – a job very well done. When your end users see such a notable performance increase, it is a huge achievement.”
The IDC has also seen a significant improvement in agility, as the company is now able to deploy workloads to three or four different places almost instantaneously, something that it could not do previously. It is also able to failover almost instantly to its DR site and is looking at pushing production, backup and DR to the cloud, an inconceivable step prior to the implementation of the new data centre infrastructure.
“This was one of the most successful technology projects ever undertaken by the IDC. There was no downtime and our end users were not affected at all; everything just ran as it should. Given the nature and size of this deployment, it was a real coup that it ran so painlessly.”
In addition to refreshing equipment, Datacentrix is also assisting the IDC to repurpose its older hardware – which the ICT company explained might be ageing but is not obsolete as yet. “We felt that the idea of repurposing the older equipment to be used for backup and DR purposes was a very clever proposition from Datacentrix,” Prinsloo says.
“It is Datacentrix’ mandate to deliver tangible business value to our clients,” explains Stefan Venter, Pre-Sales Specialist at Datacentrix. “As a long-standing service provider to the IDC, it was critical that we provided a data centre infrastructure solution that would help the organisation future-proof its infrastructure, and we are pleased to see that it is delivering real business benefits.”