Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council TestimonySolving the Problems of Government Cuts and Pressured IT Teams
“As an IT department, we do a lot of complex migration projects with third parties but I can’t think of one that has gone as smoothly as the one with EfficientIP.”
Kevin Waller, Implementation Team Manager
“From the three solutions we looked at, the value for money from EfficientIP stood out.”
Kevin Waller, Implementation Team Manager
- DHCP service management
- Major cost savings
- No loss in functionality
- Zero downtime during migration
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council is the local authority of the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, England serving a population of around 260,000 people. It provides the majority of local government services in Rotherham, including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, transport, housing, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority. As most local authorities and government bodies in the UK, the council has been severely challenged with regular government cuts and needed to bring efficiency and savings to the way it delivers IT services to 4,100 active users.
To successfully deliver those IT services across 3,500 VOIP handsets combined with 4,500 computer devices at the same time, Rotherham had been using an IPAM solution from Infoblox. However, with the two Infoblox appliances being discontinued, Kevin Waller, Implementation Team Manager, made the decision to look for a more efficient and competitive replacement solution. Rotherham requires two data centres to handle the IT for the entire council, and 500+ DHCP-defined networks installed across the grid handling IP requests from clients, printers and other network devices. Just to ‘keep the lights on’, Kevin needed a robust system.
With a clear set of cost efficiencies and savings requirements in mind, Rotherham started the tender process and evaluated IPAM solutions from multiple vendors like EfficientIP and BlueCat. “After speaking to a few customers who highly spoke about the solution and taking Gartner’s DDI Market Analysis into consideration, we started to see EfficientIP as a viable solution to move to,” Kevin explained. Following the first meeting with EfficientIP, Kevin and his team were impressed by the professionalism and technical knowledge of the engineers who answered all the questions that were asked of them, and were happy to make the move.
The solution purchased by Rotherham consisted of two EfficientIP SOLIDserver™ 550 appliances, designed to provide DHCP service management for existing servers (eliminating the need for more appliances), and Active/Active DHCP failover. In addition, Rotherham implemented the NetChangeIPLocator, which queries network switches and pulls information on what devices are connected to particular interfaces. The resulting data is then stored in the IPAM database.
Transition Process and Key Benefits
“As a project manager, I can’t speak highly enough of the team that helped us make the transition, they were excellent. They delivered everything to the schedule and timescale that were set. The migration went seamlessly and no downtime has been experienced.”
In addition to meeting the functional requirements, Kevin stated the price of EfficientIP’s solution, as well as the assurance provided by existing users, were the key drivers of the team’s choice. “From the three solutions we looked at, the value for money from EfficientIP stood out.”
However, EfficientIP engineers’ efficiency and expertise was the biggest win, according to Kevin. “As an IT department, we do a lot of complex migration projects with third parties but I can’t think of one that has gone as smoothly as the one with EfficientIP.”
The training and support level of EfficientIP’ services have made it easier for Kevin and his staff to feel more comfortable when switching systems, especially during a busy December holiday period.
Plans for the Future
The whole implementation process will have taken two months, which according to Waller, went exactly to the plan. In terms of the future usage of EfficientIP solutions, Rotherham is not yet using the DNS facility, as it is currently being managed by another team through Windows servers, but Kevin and his team are planning to explore it in the first quarter of 2017. The IPAM part of the solution provided by EfficientIP is also being considered for future deployments: “We are currently using an in-house system that notably does address management, but as we’ve got a lot of projects going off combined with severe cuts, we would like to revisit this with the EfficientIP sales team,” noted Kevin.
“Since the implementation of the EfficientIP solution, we have done numerous upgrades and no glitches occurred,” Kevin pointed out. “We feel comfortable for the other projects. The product is good, it doesn’t feel like we’ve switched solutions, we’ve not lost any functionality or had impacts on service. We just did it for less money.”