Veldeman used to have two servers, both of which needed replacing at some point. "The maintenance contract was due to expire and could not be renewed," says Andy
Pieces, Network & System Engineer ICT at Veldeman. "So we decided to replace and modernise everything. In our search for a suitable IT partner, VanRoey| EuroSys, with whom we had worked on smaller projects before, made the best proposal. In doing so, they immediately came to us with technical people who could explain exactly what the possibilities were.
In the past too, VanRoey| EuroSys has always guided us very well and we have found their staff to be very capable experts. We have three programmers and two network and hardware administrators ourselves but we did not have the knowledge for our server virtualisation ourselves, which is why we engaged VanRoey| EuroSys."
A consolidated infrastructure with virtual servers
In the old server setup, there were 'dedicated' systems for certain software applications. Whenever one of the servers failed, the software running on it also came to a complete standstill. Veldeman therefore switched to a server environment virtualised with VMWare, with five virtual servers running on two physical systems. All resources such as computer power, memory and storage space are consolidated so that they can be easily distributed among the various virtual servers. This works much better than before, when Veldeman had to expand separately each time.
Thanks to the consolidated, virtual server infrastructure, Veldeman can use the available resources much better, manage them more efficiently and allocate them flexibly to evolving or new applications. The distribution can be easily and quickly adjusted without investing in extra hardware. Moreover, the central storage deals intelligently with the stored data, allowing performance and disk usage to be optimally regulated by the system itself. As a result, fewer disks are needed and performance is higher.
Responding faster to business demands
The high flexibility also enables the sales team to sell more. Andy Stukken: "Sales people sometimes come up with new commercial ideas that lead to major changes in IT. So now that it is easier to add a new virtual server or add extra resources to an existing environment, we can be commercially responsive and business and IT work together even better."
Always productive thanks to fail-over and backup
VanRoey| EuroSys also worked out a fail-over setup for Veldeman: "If one component falters, we can immediately switch to a second one and continue working as usual," says Andy Stukken. "That way we can be sure of continuity. Redundancy is built in at the level of servers, storage and the main switches. Backup is also arranged by VanRoey| EuroSys: we have a NAS - an external hard drive with network functionality - which is continuously synchronised with the servers.
We used to work with disks that we had to manually disconnect and store in a safe every day. The backup itself was done at night, so in the worst case scenario we could lose a day's work. Now, with Veeam's backup software, everything happens automatically and, thanks to constant synchronisation, we never lose data."
Easy management and higher performance
The implementation of the project went extremely smoothly. "We are very satisfied with the cooperation with VanRoey| EuroSys," says Andy Stukken. "We were always in contact with the same people, both for technical expertise and commercial support. The migration itself was round in one week, with no unforeseen interruptions."
After the migration, Veldeman's internal IT staff took charge of server management themselves. "We carried out the implementation of the new infrastructure together with VanRoey| EuroSys, receiving 'training on the job' from them," explains Andy Stukken. "As a result, we can now manage everything ourselves. Only when we really can't solve a problem ourselves do we contact VanRoey| EuroSys. Management is also easier now than before. For example, we can even monitor resources, servers, storage and backup remotely using clear dashboards that give an overview of the entire infrastructure, whereas we used to have to manage each server separately.
For each application, we can now create a separate virtual environment, making it more manageable and performant. Moreover, there are fewer conflicts between the different applications. All this allows the end users - 120 employees in six locations - to work faster and more efficiently."
For Veldeman, a well-functioning IT infrastructure extremely important. "We are a manufacturing company so if the IT goes down it is a big problem," explains Andy Stukken. "This is because all the branches run on central hardware. Also the network depends on the servers so then production is also compromised." Hence Veldeman continues to invest in a high-performance and reliable IT infrastructure. For example, a recent project to upgrade the ERP package replace and partially house it on virtual servers. "For this, we may need an additional server, for which we will certainly call on VanRoey| EuroSys again," concludes Andy Stukken.
Veldeman is a Belgian family company that produces mattresses, box springs, slatted bases and bed bases. Headquartered in Oudsbergen, it produces in its own workshops in Belgium and France and in a joint venture in Poland. Veldeman Group has around 400 employees in the various branches combined.