Berghoff Worldwide had concrete plans to renew its server infrastructure and central storage in early 2019. The storage had five years on the clock at the end of February 2019 and was therefore at risk of running out of hardware warranty. The possibility of being out for several days in the event of a critical hardware failure therefore became real. The storage no longer met the need. More storage space and performance was needed. "After a search for the suitable partner for this project, EuroSys came out as the best match," clarifies IT manager Lambert Bollen. "I actually knew EuroSys from when they were still working in retail. But in the meantime they have grown into an IT services centre for companies, governments and schools. So it was a pleasant surprise for me to find that they offer their services at a high professional level."
Service from presales to finishing
Together with EuroSys, the different stages of the project were gone through; from presales to a tailor-made offer. "By going through this exercise together with EuroSys, several options emerged," says Lambert Bollen. "The success of a project largely depends on the people handling the implementation. EuroSys' system engineers have the necessary expertise to complete this in a professional manner. They know their trade. Thus, at the end of the project we still had enough time and budget to critically examine and optimise the existing firewalls as well. The fact that this opportunity was available is of course very nice and interesting for us. We therefore gratefully made use of their knowledge. The same goes for presales and aftersales."
Berghoff Worldwide employs 40 people and has two large warehouses, one large office building with two adjacent offices. The company therefore opted for a thorough renovation. "The computer room was completely redesigned together with our IT Support engineer, Joris Vandael," says Bollen. "We provided a new backup server to make the backup run as efficiently as possible. All the servers were already running on a VMware hypervisor, so it was possible to migrate the servers integrally to the new environment."
EuroSys also provided support for the migration of the VMs to the new central storage. "Specifically, for us this meant providing three new poweredge R640 servers with failover," says Bollen. "A redundant central storage with fast SSD disks for maximum performance of the systems and a tier of capacity disks to store our large volume of data this also monitored the available budget. The renewal of our six switches and two back-up power supplies was also necessary, as the previous back-up power supplies were already ten years old. Suppose the power went out, we had exactly ten minutes to get everything back up-and-running. That was obviously not ideal. So we had to intervene."
Different location for backup
When the infrastructure was upgraded, the network between our various buildings was also completely renewed first. This ensures that the connections between the different buildings are now optimised, a test report was provided for each connection so we can be sure of perfect cabling. "This has allowed us to put the backup in a different location, so that in case of a possible failure of our primary system, our backup is always safe," says Lambert Bollen. "Now we can do the backup of our data in a different location from where all the infrastructure is located. By implementing fibre, connectivity between buildings is also much faster."
Improved performance of graphics files
Berghoff Worldwide is to this day the market leader in the better kitchen equipment segment. The Limburg-based company works with renowned designers to make design items accessible to the general public. Numerous designs have been awarded international prizes. "Design is done in our own graphics and design department," explains Lambert Bollen. "Our graphic designers work with large files and need access to heavy software packages. The speed at which they can now work has clearly improved. But it is also pleasant for our non-graphics staff to work."
Last but not least, all the project's network documentation was written down to perfection. "This makes it much easier to look up problems now," says Lambert Bollen. "Also, the rooms where the hardware is located are now completely tidy. The servers and network equipment are now easier to access. In the past, if we wanted to implement new functionalities, such as accessing another system or adding extra storage, we had to find a solution among a tangle of cables between which we had to intervene to solve the problem. That is now a thing of the past."
Berghoff Worldwide will continue to work with EuroSys in the future. "We have opted for maintenance on demand," Lambert Bollen clarifies. "This is a kind of support pack that allows us to call in a EuroSys technician x-number of times a year for four hours. The whole system is redundant. This means that certain components are duplicated, or even more so, so that the whole system continues to function properly should a component fail. But still, we want to be able to permanently call on the expertise EuroSys, should the need arise."
Berghoff Worldwide is a Belgian company and is currently in 65 countries, with 3,000 outlets and as many as 60 department stores. The manufacturer and retailer of cooking, dining and tableware is headquartered in Heusden-Zolder and operates on all continents. At the core of the company is offering affordable quality products with a high design content. "What is beautiful, good and affordable is coveted. All over the world, including in places where our products are not yet on the market, we are known as a supplier of high-end products," it officially sounds.