Newcastle City Council

With a partnership spanning over a decade, Newcastle City Council trusted IT managed services provider, Esteem, to design, install and support an Oracle infrastructure refresh, which provided the council with real cost savings, as well as increasing their platforms capability and performance.

Esteem installed an estate of Oracle T5-2 and T4-1 servers. Esteem utilised the council’s existing racks to minimise costs, reducing their rack space by 58%.

This in turn reduced the council’s datacentre power and cooling costs, providing a cost saving for the council of over £68,000 over a five year support contract.

Paul Doney, ICT Operations Manager for Newcastle City Council said: “We were impressed with how smoothly the refresh went, it was one of the most successful infrastructure projects we’ve ever done.”

Esteem had implemented the council’s previous infrastructure, and so fully understood their business and IT requirements. This knowledge enabled them to successfully complete one of the largest virtualisation projects within a tight four month timescale.

The Council was running their core critical applications on Oracle M-series infrastructure which was aging and going end-of-life. The infrastructure refresh was part of the council’s five year refresh programme, which they perform as standard to ensure that they take advantage of advances in technology to maintain an efficient, robust, resilient and secure ICT environment, including Public Services Network (PSN) compliance.

Paul said: “The risk of only having extended support to run our core critical applications was not one we were willing to take. By upgrading, we could provide a more robust and secure platform to run our applications, as well as taking advantage of the cost savings the T-series servers provide.”

The council’s critical applications include: council tax, which drives revenue for the council; social care applications, which provide a service to their most vulnerable customers and their payroll application, which ensures that all council employees are paid on time.

Moving to Solaris 11 as part of the infrastructure refresh also provided the councils IT department with a protected system which is much easier to manage. By using Solaris 11, any application updates will now not affect any other part of the IT environment.

Esteem are one of five partners in the UK who can provide support on behalf of Oracle. Newcastle took advantage of this and contracted for Esteem to also provide 5 years Oracle Premier Support.

Joe Connolly, CEO of IT managed services provider Esteem said: “The solution we designed for Newcastle will provide a more powerful computing platform, whilst enabling the council to make real cost savings in terms of energy and cooling costs. We work with many councils across the UK, and understand that in these times of budget cuts, councils need to take advantage of any cost savings they can, which includes utilising the latest technology available.”

Paul said: “We’ve worked with Esteem for over 10 years because they repeatedly provide an impressive service. They are a professional and supportive partner who are a real pleasure to work with.”

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“We were impressed with how smoothly the refresh went, it was one of the most successful infrastructure projects we've ever done.” Paul Doney, ICT Operations Manager, Newcastle City Council

Key benefits reported by Newcastle City Council

  • Cost saving over 5 years
  • More robust and secure IT platform
  • Reduced rack space by 58%

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