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Virgin Management moves IT infrastructure into the cloud

Virgin Management moves IT infrastructure into the cloud

Virgin's users are extremely mobile and need access from all types of devices from all over the world

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Virgin Management, which provides services to the Virgin Group of companies, has moved its IT infrastructure into the cloud to increase flexibility and reduce costs.

The infrastructure-as-a-service system from Codestone will support 200 users with remote access to applications using any device through a cloud-based Citrix XenDesktop platform. The IaaS system comes with a full failover disaster recovery (DR) plan.

"Codestone understood our key areas of risk," said Terrie Kennedy, IT director at Virgin Management. “Codestone has a structured approach to project delivery including a provision of a detailed Project Definition Document, which provided us with a clear scope and delivery objectives and level of expectation.”

A decision to relocate its UK head office in Brook Green, London, to a new corporate HQ situated in the Battleship building near Paddington, prompted Virgin Management, a subsidiary of Virgin Group, to evaluate its IT requirements.

Virgin Management users are extremely mobile and need to access the network from both company and personal devices, ranging from laptops, PCs and Macs, to thin clients and tablets from locations around the world.

It therefore needed a fully flexible system that allowed for expansion and contraction with limited upfront costs and maximum agility, said Kennedy.

Virgin's IaaS system is built on Dell servers, EMC storage area networking and VMware vSphere hypervisor technology. A 99.99 percent uptime SLA is provided and supported by the platform's ability to sustain multiple points of simultaneous failure, without causing system downtime to Virgin Management.

To enable users of any supported device to use instant messaging, video conferencing and IP telephony, Codestone designed and implemented a new Microsoft Lync server platform. It also migrated the existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server to BlackBerry's new system for improved device management.

Virgin Management data is now replicated to a resilient data centre and key workloads are protected by VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM).

Codestone also replaced the existing Dropbox system with Citrix ShareFile, allowing users to access their files from anywhere and work on or offline. It also provides file sharing capabilities for group collaboration, and enables offline caching of files and helps with auditing and reporting.

As an additional security layer, Codestone decided to integrate a two-factor authentication solution. This ensures that any compromise of a user’s password does not result in a compromise of security.

As support and managed services were of high priority on all central systems in the cloud, and also to Virgin Management users based in London, Geneva, New York and the British Virgins Islands, Codestone mapped out a comprehensive support solution for all IT assets and end users, including onsite Codestone support running in parallel with Codestone’s round the clock UK-based IT service desk.

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