Case Study – Queensland Performing Arts Centre

The Challenge

The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) is well known for its polished on-stage performances. When they contacted Surety IT their IT system’s performance was anything but polished. It was ageing, unreliable and letting them down. It was also:

  • Increasingly difficult to maintain
  • Taking up a lot of staff time; this was a major cost to the business
  • Causing staff to ‘fight fires’ rather than add value to the business
  • Unable to keep pace with QPAC’s growth
  • Cumbersome and very inflexible
  • Time consuming to add additional capacity and computer resources.

Some existing equipment had also reached its end of life. The warranty could not be renewed so a new solution was required. QPAC had been spending a significant amount on server hardware and, being a not-for-profit organisation, they wanted to get more value from that. QPAC also wanted some business continuity around server component failure and the ability to quickly recover.

The Solution

To address the challenges and issues, we implemented our solutions path – a proven process of insight and action that sees us: understand, plan, build, maintain, enhance (Repeatable).

By clearly understanding the issues and challenges that QPAC were facing, we were able to plan and build the right solution for them. The process also allowed us to explain our approach to the QPAC CIO and the other senior IT managers in a way that they understood and could visualise.

The solution we built was tailored specifically for QPAC. It was reliable, flexible and had enough capacity to allow for QPAC’s growth.

We recommended they move to a virtualised server platform with a suitable storage area network (SAN) to provide the storage capacity and redundancy they required. The solution was fully redundant, utilising the redundant components in the hardware plus features in the technology we specified. It was also implemented on time and within budget.

Surety IT continues to work in partnership with QPAC across a range of projects.

Business Benefits

  • The ability to provide business continuity for business critical applications and services.
  • The capacity, in the server infrastructure, that QPAC needed to grow.
  • A more flexible and agile environment.
  • A rapidly deployed, cost effective solution that dramatically improved the continuity of IT services, the business and meet RTO and RPO.
  • Improved manageability: streamlined provisioning, configuration and data management.
  • Reduced costs: by centralising computing and reducing ongoing maintenance costs.
  • A reliable and robust virtual infrastructure that will provide performance, redundancy and fault tolerance.
  • A smooth handover of the virtual infrastructure to QPAC technical staff, enabling them to support it on a day-to-day basis.
  • The ability for QPAC IT staff to spend more time on income-generating work and adding value to the business rather than firefighting.

In 2010, we engaged Surety IT to review and provide a solution for the growth we were experiencing within our existing environment.  The process which they undertook and consultation they did with us enabled us to be entirely comfortable with the solution they designed. 

The project itself was run professionally by Surety who were very structured in their approach, creating full project documentation, having regular project meetings with us, ensuring that all actions were completed on time, including hardware ordering and delivery so that other subsequent tasks in the project were not delayed.

Jon Smith is an excellent engineer who is also very approachable, which makes all the difference.  He shares knowledge willingly and helped us feel comfortable with the new technology and environment.  The project was completed on-time and within budget.

We are delighted with the solution that was provided, it has given us the performance, flexibility and easy room for growth, as Surety advised it would.  We are looking forward to continuing our strategic relationship with Surety IT in the future.

Chris Holder – CIO, QPAC

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