E-commerce IT infrastructure on 10 virtual servers

In this case we will share how SIM-Networks specialists solved the issue of deploying the IT infrastructure of a medium-sized e-commerce company and created a single workspace for remote workers using a dedicated server with a standard configuration.

What tasks did the client want to solve?

The client is a distributor company that offers equipment for building, welding and woodworking. The company sells products by local and foreign manufacturers. The assortment is large and new items are regularly added to the list. The company has two branches in different cities and a training center in the central office. The company had approximately 50 employees at the beginning of its cooperation with SIM-Networks.

The client’s main goals were to deploy an ERP system, a website with a full catalogue of items, CRM systems, photo and video libraries for the training center, an email server and a terminal server for employees from different branches, the warehouse and the head office.

The client often experiences dynamic workloads: the assortment of products is regularly updated, new media is added for training, marketing instruments are often used for stimulating sales (discounts, sales, quests on the company’s website, challenges etc.).

The client had been using a VDS from a local provider before the start of their cooperation with SIM-Networks. The server hosted the company’s online store, accounting system and CRM. The email server was deployed on-premises in the company’s central office. The company’s site used to experience frequent downtime due to peak loads in the 1C system, leading to data loss. Eventually, the company has decided to search for a provider with reliable equipment and 24/7 tech support.

It was important to the client to receive consultations from the provider while choosing the equipment, setting up backups and running day-to-day operations. The company also wished to delegate infrastructure management, as well as transform all IT costs from CapEx to OpEx. Risks, such as illegal data seizures or theft, unstable power supplies, floods, fires etc. had to be mitigated.

While looking for a provider of reliable IT infrastructure services, the client stopped at SIM-Networks. Here are some of the advantages of SIM-Networks mentioned by the client: deployment in a secure data center in Germany, professional equipment, high uptime due to dedicated connection to the main European network providers, transparent pricing, multilingual round-the-clock support.

Client’s requirements:

  • ensure 24/7 availability for the company’s website;
  • place the accounting system, the CRM, the email service, the data base, the training center and the file storage on a single set of resources
  • prevent data loss for vital services;
  • set up a reserve copying system with remote storage;
  • organize a common workspace for remote workers;
  • organize fault-tolerant network connections;
  • enable scaling for the disk system.

What kind of solution did SIM-Networks experts propose?

Our consultants audited the client’s systems, as well as the perspectives of strategic growth. We offered to use an Enterprise-class dedicated server and deploy 10 Hyper-V virtual machines for each system. The systems will be isolated from each other and each one of them will use the resources of its virtual server. The configuration of the physical server is powerful enough to have leftover resources.

The client has lost data on their local server before due to a power outage, which is why it was vital to ensure additional fault tolerance for the power supply system and set up reserve copying into remote storage.

Hardware infrastructure configuration:

  • CPU: Intel Xeon Scalable 2 generation;
  • Cores: 20x 2.2 GHz;
  • Number of CPUs: 2;
  • RAM: 256 Gb;
  • Hard drives: SSD 2х 240 Gb (with space for the hypervisor);
  • Traffic: unlimited;
  • Dedicated IPv4 and IPv6 addresses;
  • Dual Fiber Channel Host Bus Adapter;
  • Additional power supply unit;
  • Hyper-V hypervisor.

The client’s server uses 2 network connections to the provider’s 2 independent switches. This ensures fault tolerance for the client’s virtual router if one of the connections happens to fail. The server uses the SAN network to connect to the provider’s storage with 3 disk system types (SSD, SAS, SATA). The disk arrays can be scaled on-demand.

SIM-Networks infrastructure solution Infrastructure solution proposed by SIM-Networks engineers

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What kind of infrastructure did the client’s company get?

SIM-Networks engineers have deployed 10 virtual machines on a dedicated server. Each of them is used for a different system or app: the CRM system, the corporate email server, the file storage, the company’s online store, the ERP system, the training center with media storage and videoconferencing software, the control server, the data base server etc.

One of the VDS is used for a terminal server, which employees use for data storage and remote work. 47 thin clients are connected through the RDP protocol. The company’s staff did not need any additional training; their workspace uses the same systems as before. We helped the client set up the optimal reserve copying scheme to prevent critical data loss using Veeam software. The archived backup copies are transferred to the 10 TB remote storage using a secure connection.

The migration was carried out with minimal effect on the client’s business processes and took approximately 16 hours. The IT infrastructure solution was created in 7 days, from the initial audit to the deployment of the client’s systems in the server. The client is considering migration into the public SIM-Cloud or creating a hybrid infrastructure as the business grows and its resource usage increases.

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