IT services provider and Optus subsidiary, Alphawest, has helped corporate and leisure accommodation provider, Mantra Group, implement a multi-vendor IT solution involving networking, computing, storage and server virtualisation.
Mantra Group operates 110 hotels, resorts and retreats across Australia and New Zealand. It owns brands including Mantra, Peppers and BreakFree. Mantra Group is an existing customer of Optus and the telco has been servicing its telecommunication needs for around three years, according to an Optus spokesperson.
Having rapidly grown its business in the last 12 months through several acquisitions, the group inherited many different legacy IT systems. Staff numbers also grew and 35 IT personnel were left to deal with the IT needs of 3500 workers. The IT infrastructure was struggling to cope.
“You’ve got server sprawl, start to get constrained with your storage, backup needs increase - it’s typical problems IT departments face all the time but it just all got compounded with the speed at which the business was growing,” Mantra IT general manager, Garry Rich, said.
With more physical hardware to deal with, it was not only a matter of trying to bring down the cost of housing equipment but also reducing the running cost.
“We couldn’t increase the size of our server room space and we simply couldn’t throw enough electricity at it to keep it running to keep equipment cool,” Rich said.
Virtualisation was the preferred way of dealing with Mantra’s IT woes and the group opted to adopt the Cisco and NetApp Flexipod for VMware. FlexPod is a virtualised datacentre platform using Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), Cisco Nexus and NetApp storage components teamed with VMware vSphere and vCentre.
The FlexPod would transform Mantra’s complex IT systems into a consolidated on-premise private cloud solution that was, most importantly, scalable.
Together, Mantra and Alphawest managed to implement the FlexPod solution in ten days.
This resulted in reducing the number of physical servers to 24. The number of storage devices and legacy systems were also brought down through virtualisation with VMware vSphere.
“As Alphawest maintains expertise across all three vendors involved, we were able to offer Mantra Group a single point of contact to build a solution that includes future scalability and redundancy on a single unified platform,” Alphawest CEO, Ian Smith, said in a statement.
Mantra Group expects to reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent thanks to the IT transformation.
The group has also taken advantage of the reduced IT workload, up-scaling it’s online booking system to meet customer demands.
Mantra Group’s IT infrastructure is currently around 80 per cent virtualised. Rich indicated the Group is looking to virtualise more of its infrastructure.