Virtualisation to save council £1.2M

44 per cent saving on energy through virtualisationThe Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) in Berkshire has a population of 135,000, a council workforce of 5,000 employees and an annual budget of £250 million.
The Council recognises the importance of serving the local community sustainably and effectively. It strives to deliver value to its citizens, looking for innovative developments in technology that can contribute to this goal.
In 2008, RBWM decided to review its server infrastructure with an aim to upgrade. It had been some time since its last review and its current data centre capacity was at a maximum; hardware assets were coming to the end of a five-year cycle; existing storage methods were inefficient; and it wanted to reduce its carbon footprint to lower its environmental impact.

The challenge
Historically RBWM’s emergency planning, including disaster recovery and business continuity, were stored on a server estate with key systems as stand-alone entities with little resilience. It had an outsourced disaster recovery agreement to manage these systems and was in great need of a replacement to minimise costs with equal or greater service and restoration abilities.
It was essential that the new infrastructure allowed easy and effective testing on a regular basis, and covered more than the core systems.  Other considerations included allowing a flexible working environment that embraced remote working.

The objective
To remedy these issues, RBWM implemented a comprehensive review to create a business case for the new technology.
The primary objectives were:

  • Create a strategic platform that allowed greater control and flexibility;
  • Virtualise 184 servers to reduce operating costs and minimise the carbon footprint;
  • Centralise storage by investing in SAN technology; and
  • Implement an in-house disaster recovery solution

Keith Clark, Head of ICT at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead says the projected results from the business case were excellent.
“For a public sector organisation it is crucial that we offer our local community the best possible service as well as lead by example on important environment issues.  We decided it was time to consider new virtualisation technology in an attempt to achieve our objectives,” says Clark.
The Council underwent a rigorous planning campaign to develop a business case for making the changes. It spent time considering all the possible risks and perceived benefits before deciding it was an option too good to pass up.
“To make the transition successful, there are two elements. One is to do the right planning, it’s important to go in with your eyes open. Secondly, you need an experienced and proven partner to advise and make the project happen.”
RBWM underwent a competitive tender process to choose its virtualisation specialist and eventually decided that London based firm, Intercept, was its preferred option.

The benefits
The Council has undergone a transformation since implementing the virtualisation technology. It has experienced huge business benefits and turned around its information productivity and efficiency concerns.
According to Clark, the disaster recovery system enables the organisation to achieve greater control and more cost effective efficiencies.
“We have reduced our energy bill by  44 per cent so far and predicted a saving of around £1.2M on projects over five years,” says Clark.
Gary Collins, Chief Information Officer at Intercept, says many organisations are intimidated by the challenge of implementing software such as virtualisation.
“We offer the public sector the latest virtualisation solutions; from server consolidation, energy efficient technologies, workstations and thin client devices,” says Collins.
“Intercept has been a tremendous help. The expertise and experience its team offers is vital in our success. Virtualisation has been hugely positive for our organisation,” added Clark.
“We are delighted at the progress RBWM will continue to make as it realises the financial and environmental benefits of virtualisation technology. Without doubt it adds value to the citizens and Berkshire local community,” concluded Collins.

Why not attend our seminars?
Wednesday 7th 12.30-13.00pm
Case Study: Learn How Virtualisation Can Save You Millions
Presented by: Andy Cooke (Principal Consultant) – Intercept, Keith Clark (Head of ICT) – Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Wednesday 7th 11.10-11.40am
Case Study: Staving off Disaster Whilst Saving Money
Presented by: Gary Collins (CIO) – Intercept, Ian Lauwerys (IT Director) – Kennedys  

Wednesday 7th 11.50-12.20pm
Case Study: Taming the Core - Application Management
Presented by: Nigel Woods (Technical Director) – Intercept, Dan Atkinson (IT Architect) – Knight Frank
Thursday 8th 11.10-11:40am
Case Study: It’s Not a Cloudy Day When You Save £250K
Presented by: David Seaton (Joint Managing Director) – Rowanmoor, Gary Collins (CIO) – Intercept

For more information
Intercept will be at stand 558 at IP Expo, 7-8th October 2009.
For more information on Intercept and virtualisation technology, contact 0207 743 0100 or visit