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Integer: Minimizing the Downtime in System Support

Melon has been providing second and third level support for approximately 10 years, when we became Integer’s main IT support provider.

project type

Web

client

Integer Research

engagement model

Support

technology

Citrix, Office 365, SharePoint, Lumension, Backup Assist

 

The Client

Integer Research is an independent provider of specialist market research and analysis, conferences and events and tailored consultancy services across three core industries: environment & emissions, fertilizers & chemicals, and wire & cable. They are based in London and have offices around the world. 

Approach

The client’s system is based in their office in London with several virtual hosts. The client uses mainly Citrix to access multiple offices, devices and resources. 

They have a few critical servers – CRM, the accounting and file server. The latter contains a huge amount of data that covers their whole business, thus data integrity, security, and reliability is of utmost importance. Since Melon started servicing Integer’s infrastructure we have been constantly optimizing and improving redundancy and backups. There are replication and disaster recovery systems based in different data centers so that if a server is trashed, or even a force-majeure event such as an earthquake, the systems can be rebuilt with minimum downtime – less than a day.

We have implemented a redundant gateway system to avoid single point failure of the main gate, which happens quite often in many similar configurations. Now the two gates replicate and monitor each other all of the time and if one of them is down, the second will be automatically up in less than a second.

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Also, Melon is optimizing and improving Integer’s email facilities. The client uses SharePoint for Office 365 and has outsourced the support entirely to us. We have employed Cisco proxy software to limit users’ access, which proves to be quite effective. 

Additionally, we are employing monitoring systems so that we know if something is wrong immediately. Recently we implemented a second internet connection as a backup to the main one. Even though the primary connection is optical and already has a redundant DSL backup line, sometimes the Internet Service Provider router cannot switch between the two of them properly so having a backup internet connection allows people to work trouble-free.  

We use the client’s own ticketing system to monitor and track all issues and resources. 

 

Challenges

One of the most challenging thing was turning on and configuring the gates. Since they are physically located in London, we had an engineer visit the London office for three days and another working remotely from Sofia to go through the entire process. 

Another serious challenge was organizing and configuring efficient and reliable remote control, including on every computer on BIOS level.  

Results

Melon have gained a lot of experience in remote sysyetm support services and Integer have received great service they are very happy with. We have managed to squeeze the downtimes to a minimum and we keep improving the systems every day. Our system administrators have mastered new technologies and extended their expertise portfolio.

Client Testimonial

“Integer have been using Melon for ad-hoc development and support for approximately 10 years and we had no hesitation in asking them to take over as our main IT support provider just over a year ago. Since moving our main IT support across to Melon we’ve implemented a variety of new processes and setup new systems which have helped improve the efficiency and stability of our IT systems. We have a complex IT infrastructure and Melon’s engineers managed to learn to administer and support our systems very quickly and they are always very willing to pick up new skills to improve their support. It’s been a pleasure to deal with all of the staff at Melon and we’ve always found their engineers to be helpful, efficient and willing to go the extra mile to help us out. We would have no hesitation in recommending Melon to any company looking for professional, expert service for development and/or IT support.”

Clement Aardweg

Project Manager, Online Services