Firstnet made IT cost effective

When Firstnet Data Centres first started working with Garbutt and Elliott (G+E) they were using Microsoft Azure Cloud Services. Since service inception G+E experienced numerous issues.

In addition to the service outages the costs for the Azure platform trebled over the course of a year and a half. This meant that to save on the high platform costs, they were forced into a situation where they shut down several costly servers every night. However, whilst this action did save them on their monthly Azure costs, unfortunately it also inconvenienced staff being able to work late.

This is when Simon Greener (IT Manager) and Paul Ellison (Director) engaged with Firstnet to explore the feasibility of moving away from the Microsoft Azure platform, over to Firstnet’s Cloud.  They wanted to know what their Firstnet cloud service would look like, how much would it cost and most of all how reliable would it be given they had experienced several service outages, so mitigating risk was key factor in their decision making.

Because of the advanced technology, coupled with the extensive inhouse technical knowledge and skill of the Firstnet team and our Cloud platform, we were able to very quickly create a test evaluation area specifically for G+E. Within this environment both Simon Greener and Asif Malik, Firstnet Technical Director, were able to rigorously test G+E’s platform.  This environment was made available for several weeks to ensure that G+E had enough time to fully test the platform ensuring all the critical success factors were met.

When it came to cost the solution, it was very easy as Firstnet’s pricing model is transparent and easy to understand, in addition to being extremely cost effective for our clients. G+E’s cloud was no exception and Firstnet have halved the costs of that G+E were paying for their Azure platform, but with a much faster and more reliable service. G+E also have peace of mind that their baseline costs are fixed for three years. Moving across to Firstnet’s cloud also means there is no need to turn servers off late at night.

To migrate G+E from Azure to Firstnet Cloud, Firstnet downloaded virtual hard disks from Azure and created the servers on Nutanix. Firstnet understood G+E’s line of business applications and knew what was needed to migrate them across successfully with very little to no business disruption.

Firstnet worked closely with G+E’s IT Manager and their software suppliers to migrate over one weekend. When the users came in Monday morning they saw no difference apart from improvement in speed and stability which was quickly fed back to the G+E Senior Management team.

Firstnet utilised the world’s best hyper converged cloud platform by Nutanix, this gives G+E outstanding performance and a price point nearly half of Azure.

Quote from Asif Malik, Technical Director at Firstnet Data Centres Ltd:

Migrating G+E onto our cloud platform is fantastic news for Firstnet, we can now provide them great performance, great prices, and great service, without the need to engage Microsoft Azure team when a change is required to the core service

Local accountants Garbutt+Elliott are one of those new clients and their IT Manager, Simon Greener, said

"We're delighted to be working with local Leeds-based firm FDC, in the knowledge that our data is safe, protected by bespoke disaster-recovery.  FDC have proved themselves to be an excellent IT partner for Garbutt+Elliott”

Stephanie Yardley