The Keystone Group increases productivity and saves budget with Peer Software’s PeerGFS

The Keystone Group increases productivity and saves budget with Peer Software’s PeerGFS

The Keystone Group, the UK’s largest steel lintel manufacturer and Europe’s fastest growing roof window manufacturer, has reduced costs, increased efficiency and secured its data with Peer Software’s distributed file system solution, PeerGFS.

Since implementation in 2018, the Keystone Group has benefited from:

  • Increased productivity: opening up colleague collaboration with real-time file synchronisation across remote sites
  • Flexibility: to easily decommission legacy infrastructure without losing data
  • Continuous availability: protecting users against downtime and ensuring users remain connected to documents, data files and business applications

With headquarters in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, The Keystone Group has over 1,000 employees operating across four locations. The manufacturing company heavily relies on its wide area network to enable seamless access to critical services for its distributed workforce. The decision to adopt PeerGFS was driven by the need to upgrade the outdated virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for the engineers.

Ryan Hawkes, IT Infrastructure Manager at The Keystone Group, explains: “We wanted to put effective workstations in front of every engineer and allow them to work with better responsiveness and performance. The challenge was to access user files that were stored in Cookstown, which hampered our productivity.”

To address this challenge, The Keystone Group decided to implement PeerGFS to provide local file access of global data to engineers in remote sites such as Swadlincote and Cwmbran. The ability to efficiently replicate data and prevent version conflicts through integrated file locking across mirrored sites became a key selling point for PeerGFS, as it ensured seamless collaboration among users working on the same projects, simultaneously.

The deployment of PeerGFS not only improved productivity but also delivered substantial cost savings for The Keystone Group. The company was able to retire its Citrix desktop infrastructure, saving budget on licensing and infrastructure support. Additionally, PeerGFS facilitated high availability and disaster recovery, minimising downtime and reducing the risk of data loss for the entire workforce.

Hawkes added: “It has enabled us to have a business that can work from a very remote site in the Philippines. We were able to deploy our remote file server there and use Peer Software to synchronise the data, allowing our team to work effectively anywhere.”

The Keystone Group now benefits from improved collaboration across teams, smoother operations and enhanced data synchronisation.

By implementing PeerGFS, The Keystone Group has not only saved valuable time but also optimised budget allocation. The company’s IT infrastructure has been streamlined and users now enjoy faster access to critical files and documents.

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