NIL’s data center, LAN, WAN, compute, storage, and virtualization audit helps medical research corporation eliminate IT errors that were harming productivity.
Some research has found that it takes almost half an hour to completely recover focus for the task at hand after an interruption. In times of infinite social media and news feeds, your smartphone always at reach, and countless emails, distraction seems a constant. The impact of these small attention grabbers on work productivity is of course debatable, but one thing is for sure, you don’t want interrupting elements in your work process that significantly hurt efficiency and productive efforts.
Our client, an international medical research company with offices in Germany and United States, had exactly that kind of an issue. Their staff – mainly scientists and researchers – was pilling up IT support tickets with user-experience issues that were interrupting their work on a daily basis. The problems eventually escalated to the level when it started to have a detrimental effect on their core business, not to mention the costs related to the loss of (expensive) time of the research.
The root of the problem was obviously in the information infrastructure. However, our client’s IT team is limited in staff and resources, so they couldn’t identify the errors by themselves. In order to fix the issues as soon as possible and restore productivity, they turned to NIL to perform a detailed IT infrastructure audit, spot the bottlenecks and provide instructions and guidance for improvements.
Spot the intruder
NIL’s expertise in various IT infrastructure technologies, vendor-independency, and consulting experience in similar projects, where complex IT infrastructures are plagued with interdependent issues, proved a right combination for answering the following questions that were bothering our client:
- Why are our critical users complaining about performance-related user experience issues?
- What are the dependencies between applications and infrastructure that cause these bottlenecks?
- What changes in our infrastructure and applications would resolve these user experience issues?
Answering these questions required a thorough analysis IT infrastructure and application-infrastructure dependencies. NIL found them through a two-phased IT audit:
- Firstly, by a detailed analysis of all of the IT infrastructure layers (LAN, WAN, Data Center, compute, storage, virtualization), we identified bottlenecks in specific infrastructure areas as well as the available headroom in currently non-critical layers.
- And, secondly, by the analysis of applications’ usage of the infrastructure we pinpointed exact performance issues for specific applications. This was crucial, as it allowed for the easy resolution of resource contention.
The IT audit determined that the network, compute, and virtualization layers were performing optimally for the current workloads. However, the centralized file and block storage subsystems were under-dimensioned for the need of core applications. We also identified that the client was using a suboptimal set of storage protocols causing additional performance issues.
We finished the audit with a detailed analysis and recommendation report with a clear, prioritized list of proposed changes and investments that will resolve all the current workload performance problems, and provide a smooth user experience and enable full productivity for application users. In addition, our IT consulting experts also transferred the necessary knowledge to the client’s IT team, enabling them for the management and administration of their future infrastructure.