Imagem Music Group makes huge cost savings with Microsoft Virtualisation

Imagem Music Group manages musical works and songs for thousands of classical, rock, jazz, and pop writers and composers. The firm’s mission is to be a global force in independent music publishing and it relies on IT to support its growth orientated model. In order to speed up their systems and to save time, space, and money, they have invested in Microsoft virtualisation products. IT specialists Frontier Technology was on hand to advice-on and deploy the Microsoft virtualisation solutions.

The situation: small team- big plans

With an IT team of just two supporting over 200 staff globally, Imagem was finding it difficult to provide the flexible, reliable, and timely services that the business required. The overstretched team’s workload was increased further as managing the health of their servers was a cumbersome, manual process. They had to examine the logs for each server separately which resulted in important trends and pain points going unnoticed until they caused problems. At times the service would go down which affected business productivity and of course capital.

“Managing the servers was an onerous process when a server went down, it often took around 4 hours to get things working again; Productivity was interrupted” Paul Vernon, Head of IT, Imagem Group.

Deploying new servers further drained IT resources. It took about two weeks to procure each computer—which costs about £6,000 and takes a full day to configure and install it. Imagem had been adding about two servers every year to its data centre. With the company expanding at a steady pace, and IT staff needing to support that growth with additional equipment; the company was in danger of running out of data centre space

Virtualisation – saving time, space and money

Frontier Technology was enlisted to find and deliver a fast and flexible Microsoft virtualisation solution to manage Imagem’s server infrastructure, reduce the risk of downtime, and support its organisational growth. Frontier has worked with Vernon before and based on the excellent, stress-free service that was provided they were called upon again. From examining Imagem’s infrastructure and growth plans, Frontier’s consultants recommended and installed System Centre and Hyper-V.

“Imagem needed a good way to manage its server infrastructure. The fact that System Center includes a set of integrated, robust products for managing virtual machines, monitoring infrastructure health, and backing up data— at an attractive price point— was compelling,” says Edwin Wong, Managing Director, Frontier Technology. “As Imagem grows its business, it will rely on Hyper-V as the foundation of a fully virtualised and dynamic IT infrastructure managed with System Center products.”

Frontier was also contracted to host the Boosey & Hawkes website www.boosey.com, which runs on Hyper-V virtual machines running Windows Server 2003. Boosey and Hawkes are one of the firms that Imagem acquired in 2008 and is one of the world’s largest music publishers.

“The Boosey website is a critical corporate presence and is highly valued within the classical music industry. We needed to ensure that it would run reliably and with great performance, and putting it on Hyper-V made this possible” says Vernon.

By using Microsoft virtualisation and management technologies, Imagem U.K. Group Services was able to substantially reduce its physical servers, saving space and money. The switch to virtualisation also helped to simplify and speed the way IT staff provision servers and configure disk space.

Imagem estimates that it saves about £12,000 annually in computer spending by not having to purchase two new physical servers each year. The company has also realised savings on electricity costs because it does not need to power so many computers and can reduce the level of air conditioning required to cool the room. “Although we don’t have specific savings figures, it’s very clear that we’re consuming less power and, therefore, spending less money,” Vernon adds.

“I am really pleased with how the solution has worked. Frontier’s professionalism and willingness to go the extra mile in order to bring a project to completion was very impressive. I would definitely recommend them to anyone seeking strong skills in the Microsoft infrastructure, network, and server space.” Vernon Concluded.

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