Published on 23-Aug-2011
Validated on 02 Dec 2013
"The BladeCenter S was everything we needed. It was a perfect fit." - Joe Harp, IT Manager, TEAM Truck Centres
TEAM Truck Centres
Database Management, IT/infrastructure, Asset Management, Business-to-Business, Business Intelligence, Business Resiliency, Business Service Management , Connectivity - High availability, Energy Efficiency, Enterprise Modernization
IBM Business Partner:
Next Dimension Inc.
Based in Ontario, Canada, TEAM Truck Centres is a regional full-service dealer of new and used trucks of all shapes and sizes which also provides services and parts to customers at four locations across southwestern Ontario.
Faced with an end-of-life IT infrastructure, the company needed a cost-effective solution that could deliver full redundancy, performance and scalability.
TEAM Truck worked closely with IBM Business Partner Next Dimension to deploy an IBM® BladeCenter® S solution featuring energy-efficient Intel® Xeon® processors. The fully redundant solution integrates servers, SAN storage, networking, I/O and applications into a single chassis. The implementation also included VMware, enabling TEAM Truck to exploit powerful virtualization capabilities.
The IBM solution achieves near continuous uptime, increases flexibility through virtualization and reduces power consumption.
Headquartered in London, Ontario, TEAM Truck Centres has been a regional full-service dealer of new and used heavy and medium duty trucks of all shapes and sizes for the past 35 years. The company provides services and parts from four locations in southwestern Ontario, Canada, to customers who operate truck fleets 24 hours a day, seven days a week across North America. As a result, TEAM Truck needs to be able to provide parts, maintenance and other support services in a timely basis. Additionally, TEAM Truck manages fleets for trucking companies to ensure their trucks are properly serviced on schedule.
“Time is money,” explains Mark Robinson, executive vice president and chief financial officer at TEAM Truck. “We have to have 24-hour uptime and response. Data and our ability to locate those types of parts are critical for our customers.”
Legacy infrastructure leads to system breakdowns
But amid this data-driven business, TEAM Truck’s aging IT infrastructure was having difficulty keeping up with demand. The existing IT environment was out of warranty, suffered from sluggish performance and did not offer redundancy in the event of a system failure. This meant that when failures did occur, the impact was felt across all of TEAM Truck’s locations. Additionally, the existing data center suffered from extensive server sprawl.
“If a server went down, employees couldn’t do anything,” says Joe Harp, TEAM Truck’s IT manager. “They couldn’t produce invoices. And when we can't produce invoices, we are not making any money.”
Seeking solutions for the long haul
From an operations and IT perspective, it had become painfully clear to both Harp and Robinson that a complete data center overhaul was needed to rectify these issues. TEAM Truck needed a new solution that could deliver better hardware scalability, application performance, business resilience and overall value for at least the next decade. Harp also wanted to be able to exploit virtualization technology to give TEAM Truck more availability and flexibility with its IT infrastructure.
Finally, the new solution had to support TEAM Truck’s business software environment, which includes Citrix products, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, customer relationship management (CRM) software and the Microsoft Office suite.
BladeCenter S delivers complete IT solution
After an extensive review and some comprehensive help from IBM Business Partner Next Dimension, a leading regional technology services provider founded in 1997, Harp knew exactly what TEAM Truck needed: an IBM BladeCenter S with HS22 servers featuring the latest Intel Xeon processors.
An all-in-one, fully redundant solution, BladeCenter S integrates servers, SAN storage, networking, I/O and applications into a single chassis. The result is a simple yet powerful solution that saves energy and uses less physical space. An integrated management console helps reduce IT management and labor requirements.
“Next Dimension understood the product and they pointed out all of the highlights,” says Harp. “I knew the dollar value right away. The BladeCenter S was everything we needed. It was a perfect fit.”
TEAM Truck’s BladeCenter S solution includes BladeCenter HS22 servers with intelligent Intel Xeon processors to deliver the high-performance application and data capabilities TEAM Truck requires. “Our software only runs on Intel, and the Intel platform has been very good for us,” adds Harp.
The BladeCenter S solution was implemented at a data center near TEAM Truck’s offices and includes VMware technology to facilitate the creation of virtual machines, saving storage space, as well as sparing TEAM Truck the time and effort required to set up new physical servers.
Robinson says he was extremely impressed with the work of Next Dimension, which was able to flawlessly implement the new solution during a single weekend. “I had some pretty hard deadlines on when I wanted it completed, and Next Dimension met all those deadlines,” says Robinson. “What they said they were going to do is exactly what they did. From my point of view, it exceeded my expectations.”
Harp agrees, adding: “I have been involved in many, many upgrades, and this is the smoothest one I have ever had in my life. It went seamlessly.”
Benefits fuel business growth
The resulting benefits of the BladeCenter S have helped fuel TEAM Truck’s rapidly growing business while being 35 percent less expensive than simply replacing existing servers with new ones. The solution has achieved 99.9 percent uptime—a level of availability that was never attainable with the legacy solution—while boosting overall application performance.
With virtualization, Harp can now deploy test servers outside of the production environment to try new software or test updates without adding unnecessary risks. Harp estimates that virtualization also has cut down on maintenance costs by about half.
Power consumption has fallen considerably in the form of lower monthly power and cooling bills. The BladeCenter S also gives TEAM Truck future scalability because more virtualized servers can be added as needs arise.
Harp says he really appreciates the ability to set up email alerts with the solution’s remote console because it simplifies server management. “We can get on top of any issues right away, before users start to notice what’s going on,” he explains. “It’s very efficient. In fact, I haven't had to visit the data center in quite some time. I was there the day they moved it in, and I haven't been back there since.”
For Robinson, the biggest benefit has been peace of mind. “I can sleep at night,” he explains, “because I know the systems are going to be up and running seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”
For more information
Contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner or visit us at: ibm.com/systems/bladecenter
For more information about TEAM Truck Centres, visit: teamtruck.com
For more information about IBM Business Partner Next Dimension, visit: www.nextdimensioninc.com
Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America August 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and BladeCenter are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Intel, the Intel logo, and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. IBM and Next Dimension are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Next Dimension makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice. All client examples cited represent how some clients have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. The information in this document is provided “as-is” without any warranty, either expressed or implied.