Change language:

Ferranti hosts UiT database containing 130,000 activities: predictable costs and more peace of mind for CultuurNet Vlaanderen

A concert, show, exhibition or movie? A sports event, a hike, an evening of cards or a fun fair? The UiT database, managed by CultuurNet, is the beating heart of an extensive network of leisure organisers and publication channels. Around 23,000 organisers enter over 130,000 activities every year into the database, without charge and online.

“When I call Ferranti, the person on the phone knows our history and our situation  exactly. This actually saves a lot of time… and gives me greater peace of mind.” Wouter Simons, IT Administrator CultuurNet

 

Running against system limits

In the past, the mission critical CultuurNet database depended on on-premise Blade servers. Wouter Simons, ICT administrator at CultuurNet: “Given the growing size of the database, the servers regularly ran up against performance limits. The total input/output performance depends on the number of physical hard disks available. All too often, we were forced to add new hard disks, which would solve the problem… until the next performance peak would occur.”
 

Wouter Simons knew Ferranti since several years and asked them to make a proposal for a new solution that would solve these performance and IT management issues. “Our start point was simple: managing and upgrading the IT infrastructure should be someone else’s problem… not ours”, added Wouter Simons.

The objective was to migrate to a cloud-based IT infrastructure that would allow the performance issues to be tackled without the hassle of keeping a reliable system up and running day by day.

Ferranti took care of the migration of the database servers to a hosted environment in its own datacenter. Looking back, Wouter Simons sees nothing but benefits: “Today, our  chance of running up against performance or storage limits is almost zero, as the potential storage volume is spread over hundreds of hard disks. All we need to do is make a phone call to activate more disk space, instead of buying a new disk every time!”

 

On-premise vs. cloud: Capex vs. Opex

Wouter Simons sheds light on the hidden costs of on-premise servers: “If you are using a 200 GB hard disk and you need 10 GB extra, what do you do? You add an extra 200 GB hard disk. This  means that 10 GB extra will cost you as much as the first 200 GB !”

Depreciation is a second concern for Wouter Simons. If the server has a life of three years and some components have been added afterwards, you are forced to write off the newer components at the same time, although they are not yet end-of-life.

“I can only conclude that a cloud-based infrastructure, based on fixed monthly costs, makes more sense from a financial perspective”, says Wouter Simons.

 

Getting support from Ferranti: human to human

In the past, IT management used to be a time consuming job for Wouter Simons. He could spend two hours configuring a Windows server. Today, the same job is done within ten minutes, after a call to Ferranti.
 

Support by the IT partner remains crucial, and Wouter Simons appreciates the human scale of Ferranti: “Imagine, every time you call a large IT company for support, you have to explain your configuration to an anonymous call center employee. When I call Ferranti, the person on the phone knows exactly our history and our situation. This actually saves a lot of time… and gives me peace of mind. Isn‘t that what every IT Administrator is aiming for?”, Wouter Simons concluded.

 

“The potential storage volume is spread over hundreds of hard disks. All we need to do is make a phone call to activate more disk space, instead of buying a new disk every time!” Wouter Simons, IT Administrator CultuurNet