Esteem Points Council Towards £500k In Savings

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Virtualisation will help Knowsley Council to save on IT infrastructure costs over the next five years

Managed services company (MSP) Esteem has helped Knowsley Council to target savings of half a million over the next five years by virtualising the council’s infrastructure. The MSP will also manage the infrastructure as part of the deal.

The metropolitan borough council had to find the savings in light of government cut backs. Savings had to be made while keeping up the levels of service council tax payers had become accustomed to within the area.

Oracle legacy

Following a tendering process, Knowsley selected Esteem to transform the council’s existing infrastructure using Oracle’s Solaris Zones and a managed service for daily management of the Oracle-based infrastructure.

Esteem designed, built and implemented the new infrastructure, optimised by engineering built on the complete Oracle Red Stack, which includes servers, databases, middleware and storage. The infrastructure was built to host and manage Knowsley’s business critical applications including council tax, housing benefits, social services, payroll and HR, and the financial management and procurement education management system.

The council will also have its disaster recovery infrastructure upgraded as part of the deal, re-using Oracle infrastructure previously used in the council’s main site as part of a sustainability effort.

Self assessed

Esteem was able to calculate the potential cost savings by using its own IntelligentAudit monitoring software to analyse and demonstrate the costs savings from the reduced power usage of the new infrastructure. This reduction, mainly the electrical running costs of the data centre, highlighted an extra £20,000 saving per year on top of the £100,000 annual savings in hardware and software maintenance. This allowed the council to report back to central government, not only on its spending cuts but also on reduced carbon emissions.

Sam Maiden, technical solutions manager at Knowsley, said that reducing the council’s carbon footprint was one of its key targets and the tool helped the council to gather the stats needed to evaluate and report on the transformation. An extensive project plan was put in place to migrate business users onto the new platform, along with the migration of Knowsley’s business critical and confidential data.

The majority of the work was completed out of hours so that there was no business downtime or unplanned impact to the council’s IT environment. Maiden described the migration process as a painless experience.

“When you don’t get a pat on the back for a migration because no-one knows it has happened, that’s the best result you could ask for,” he said.


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