A highly reliable IT infrastructure is a must for LAG, as all crucial business processes rely on it. Data must not be lost at all, either. Hence, after six years, the company started looking for new technology.
Slower work due to outdated infrastructure
"After five years of use, we had opted for an extra year of support because our old infrastructure was still serving perfectly at the time, but then the renewal of that service became very expensive," says Ronny Kelchtermans, system administrator at LAG. "Moreover, after a performance measurement by VanRoey | EuroSys, it turned out that there was a slight delay - latency - on the PCs due to network overload. We therefore compared the offers of six different partners side by side, after which the choice fell on VanRoey | EuroSys. The combination of the proposed technology, the budget and their expertise was the deciding factor."
New partner and new technology
VanRoey | EuroSys had proposed two possible solutions for the network renewal. Ronny Kelchtermans: "The Dell setup was much better performing and at the same time significantly cheaper. So it was very logical that we decided to switch to Dell. Of course, we also knew that Dell was very good technically and that the switch would not cause any problems. The people from Dell came around the table themselves and also helped with the migration. It was very helpful that the drivers were already pre-installed. As for VanRoey | EuroSys, we had worked with them before, then we were with another partner but with this big project VanRoey | EuroSys was able to convince us again. So they are now our regular hardware supplier again for at least five years."
VanRoey | EuroSys is one of the few Dell-suppliers and LAG also already knew it could count on the extensive expertise of VanRoey | EuroSys. "About the support they would give us, we had no doubts at all," says Ronny Kelchtermans, "and for me that is even more important than the price tag."
The implementation of the project went very smoothly indeed: the migration was completed in barely a week and a half. The various hardware components were ordered and, while waiting for delivery, VanRoey | EuroSys and Dell together with LAG created a schedule with a clear roadmap and division of tasks. "We are very satisfied with the work VanRoey | EuroSys did for us," explains Ronny Kelchtermans. "They assigned us a permanent technician - Hafid, a fantastic guy - who followed up the whole project and still supports us for backup today. It's very nice that we can always communicate with the same contact person."
The setup of the infrastructure has remained largely the same but something has changed in terms of the backup software: there used to be two software products - one for the virtual machines and one for individual components such as the mailboxes and the SQL database - but VanRoey | EuroSys has replaced these with a single product from Veeam software. This works much more easily and efficiently. The number of physical servers has also decreased, from four to three.
"This is because the new servers are much more powerful," explains Ronny Kelchtermans. "As a result, three Dell systems now suffice on which our - with VMWare virtualised systems are running. One of the three servers is there purely as a fallback in case of problems with the other two. Because we went from four servers to three, we now pay a lot less for software licences and backup. On that front, the total cost of ownership - the TCO - has clearly come down."
At least as important as the cost savings is the increased speed of the new server environment. "We notice a clear performance gain," says Ronny Kelchtermans. "The computer users - some 125 employees - therefore react very positively because they themselves notice that they can work faster and are therefore more productive." The renewed infrastructure can certainly last another five years, even if the company were to grow. All that time, VanRoey | EuroSys will remain LAG's regular IT partner. "We do the daily maintenance ourselves, but for highly technical questions, problems or projects we contact them," Ronny Kelchtermans clarifies. "After all, VanRoey | EuroSys has all the necessary expertise in-house. The IT possibilities evolve so quickly that it's impossible for us to follow it all internally. Our experience with VanRoey | EuroSys is already very positive: communication is very smooth, they are punctual, accurate and professional, and we can always count on them."
LAG Trailers is a leading manufacturer of trailers, mainly fuel trucks, tank trailers and intermodal products. The company, headquartered in Bree, employs 430 people. LAG is part of China's CIMC group, a global player in the container, semi-trailer and tanker industry. The group employs 60,000 people in China, Australia, the US and Europe.