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Liberty Wines

Giving Liberty Wines the freedom to grow

When you're in a fast-moving business, you need IT systems that give you the freedom and flexibility to grow. That's why Liberty Wines, an importer of quality wines for retailers and top London restaurants, chose Managed Networks to help with its server virtualisation.

Liberty Wines needs quick, easy access to information on customers, orders and stock, so an efficient IT infrastructure is vital. The company had been relying on 10 physical servers, but with the growth of the business, servers had been unable to cope with increased data volumes, putting pressure on the IT team.

With a server virtualisation solution from Managed Networks, Liberty Wines' 10 physical servers were replaced with just four physical servers. Ten virtual servers were configured in a high-availability cluster so that if one fails, its function would be picked up by another.

One initial benefit was a saving of around 60% on energy costs. But the new system, which deploys Windows Server 2008 R2 running the Hyper-V hypervisor, also allows for faster-running applications, helping staff to offer better customer service.

"It’s easier for everyone - office-based and remote - to get to the information they need when they need it," explains Tom Brown, IT manager at Liberty Wines.

It also helps Tom, too: with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, all Hyper-V and cluster management tools are in one place. "I can monitor the health of the network from one place," he says.

The flexibility of the system is a key benefit. Tom can provision virtual servers flexibly, and he also estimates that if he adds more memory in order to double the number of virtual machines, Liberty Wines would save £45,000 compared to adding more physical servers.

Resilience, of course, is critical, and Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V provides automated failover for virtual servers, reducing downtime.

Overall, Liberty Wines is seeing the freedom that comes with virtualisation. "We reduced the number of physical servers from 10 to four," says Tom, "while increasing performance, resilience and flexibility."

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