Aster

Aster

Aster chooses an Azure Stack HCI solution from Microsoft and DataON: ‘Reliability greatly improved’

Aster ‘Optimise your enterprise’

‘Optimise your enterprise’ is the motto of IT specialist Aster from Alphen aan den Rijn (The Netherlands). With solutions in the field of system management, infrastructure, cloud and security, Aster challenges organizations to constantly strive for improvement.

Optimization for a better customer experience

The old servers were depreciated, making backups was slow and the maximum capacity was reached. Reasons enough for Aster to opt for a new, future-proof infrastructure.

The fact that backing up lasted the whole day was not the biggest problem. It became problematic when customers started to notice the inconvenience. “Customers who worked at night noticed that the servers were busy. The speed of the systems went down”, says Mark Ackema, ICT trainer and product developer at Aster.

This came as no surprise to Aster. The company was already looking for new hardware for the data centers. But the complaints once again made it clear why change was necessary: the more than five year old servers were no longer adequate, they had been depreciated and the maximum capacity had been reached.

Azure Stack HCI solution from Microsoft and DataON

For modernisation, Aster preferred Azure Stack HCI, Microsoft’s state-of-the-art data centre solution. Aster worked with its predecessor and Azure Stack HCI had impressive test results. Despite the good reports, diligence was very important. Ackema: “The processes of all our customers depend on the servers on which we host them. We have to make sure that their continuity is not compromised and that the performance is improved. So the risks are enormous, a lot depends on it.”

For the delivery of the DataON servers, on which Azure Stack HCI can run, Aster consulted with XCES. “XCES delivers a complete Microsoft-validated DataON solution”, Stefan de Vries, CTO of Aster, substantiates the choice to work with XCES. “With other parties, you get a bag of Lego and you can figure it out yourself: you get more than 200 boxes, which you can install and configure yourself.”

De Vries was convinced after talking to representatives of XCES at the Aster office.

“These conversations were good. I feel like XCES understands us and is taking it very seriously. For example, it’s not a problem to have spare hardware stored in our office while it’ s not ours. This allows us to respond quickly in the event of an emergency”.

“Thanks to XCES and DataON, we can assure customers of maximum uptime and continuity – a crucial component in achieving our strategy: optimizing their business operations.”

Crucial conditions, continuous availability

Aster chose eight physical servers, 200 virtual servers and 120 disks with a total of 240 terabytes of raw storage and 4 terabytes of RAM. Everything was taken care of in less than two months.

“When the hardware arrived, it was up and running within two weeks, with minimal effort on our part; everything was taken care of by XCES,” says Ackema. “Because the XCES engineers worked on-site, the collaboration was productive. There was a lot of exchange of information. The tests prior to the migration also gave us confidence. In an emergency test, we literally pulled the plug and the systems kept running. This ensured the continuous availability of the solution.” 

De Vries: “Thanks to DataON’s Azure Stack HCI solution, we can offer our customers greater stability and better performance. We hear fewer complaints and the uptime has increased. Moreover, customers no longer notice the backups. This used to take hours and it occasionally went wrong. Now it’s done in ten minutes and the reliability has improved significantly. Customers no longer experience any inconvenience from our backups.”

“Thanks to XCES and DataON, we can assure customers of maximum uptime and continuity – a crucial component in achieving our strategy: optimizing their business operations.”