In January 2007, RPMC had a very typical Windows 2000 Server network with Active Directory Controllers, a file server and an Exchange 2000 Server. Along with that, they had several custom applications running on member servers, including an accounting application still running on Windows NT 4.0. Users worked on Windows XP computers that were members of their domain.
Users experienced daily disruptions caused by often having to reboot servers during business hours; and On many occasions the Exchange Information Stores had to be recreated, causing unacceptable data loss for all of the affected users. When traveling, users had to work remotely, which required tedious copying of data to notebooks prior to leaving the state or country.
Unfortunately many of the applications they needed could not be accessed remotely. And access to tech support after hours was a challenge.
Massive Infrastructure Investment?
The owners of RPMC were reluctant to undertake the massive investment required to update their infrastructure. They were not convinced that their staff was up to the task of designing and implementing a 21st century network. The words “cloud computing” were not yet commonly used, but they felt there was a more modern way to give their employees the tools for success.
Enterprise Virtualization Environment
We built RPMC a new network infrastructure on our Enterprise Virtualization Environment (E.V.E.). We installed redundant Active Directory Controllers, a dedicated Exchange Server, a file server and redundant load-balanced Terminal Servers. Office applications were installed and tested, and within a couple weeks we successfully transferred their users and their data to the new network.
Printing, Scanning and File Server Access
To accommodate the large number of network devices at their Calabasas site, we installed a Site-to-Site IPSec VPN. This enabled us to configure all of their network printers and scanners on the new network. This configuration enabled users to seamlessly print directly to network printers, and it also enabled them to scan directly to the file server. Users who required local applications to access the file server did so directly over the VPN.
Outside the Box
We converted their Windows NT 4.0 Server to a VMware Virtual Machine (VM) and uploaded it into E.V.E. While this did not eliminate NT 4.0 from their infrastructure, it allowed us to place it on current hardware. Then we installed Windows XP Professional on four VMs. Using these Windows XP VMs, accounting users were able to access Solomon.
Introduce Red Peak Group
RPMC and Red Peak Group merged in 2010, and we integrated their VON plan with the various Red Peak locations, including Chicago and New York. We migrated all of Red Peak’s email users to the Exchange Server, helping them achieve the level of integration between these two companies.
During the migration we found that we could not run their legacy Solomon accounting software on the terminal servers. After many hours of testing and troubleshooting with their software development partner, we determined that we needed a different solution. During the testing phase, we also found that, due to the software’s age, we could not move the Solomon server to a current version of Windows Server. We had to think outside of the box.
Over the years, RPMC users have been able to use their new system from Calabasas, from their home, and from all over the world while on programs with their customers. Their new network has succeeded in giving them a reliable, ubiquitous system that grows with the company. RPMC recently added a server running SQL Standard and AccPac to replace their legacy Solomon installation. And with that, their London users began using AccPac via the terminal servers.
Key to Success
One of the key requirements was 24/7 tech support and unlimited professional services. RPMC selected our Support Premium+, which includes unlimited hours installing and supporting hardware and software, both in our environment and on premises. RPMC gets concierge level service with no extra cost – just like what they give their customers.