Cloud computing and managed hosting services provider iomart Hosting has announced that it has carried out a group- wide virtualisation project for office2office (o2o), the sole provider of offices supplies and Closed Loop document recycling services for the UK government.

The project involved moving over 200 servers into iomart Hosting’s London data centre. The resulting group-wide virtualisation has vastly reduced o2o’s server hardware. There is a large VMware platform with built in backup, which provides the group’s DNS services, Active Directory plus SAN storage. There are also two dedicated database servers – an MSSQL Cluster and MSSQL Mirror.

o2o’s IT had been focused around a single set of offices and one server room in Norwich as a legacy of its days as part of Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (HMSO). However a series of acquisitions over the last few years saw it grow to such an extent that its IT environment became extremely fragmented.

Vincent Cassidy, Group IT Director for o2ooffice2office, explained: “As we made new acquisitions I knew we needed to reduce our risks and put in a scalable platform. Essentially we needed to evolve from a traditional IT department that was just keeping the lights on, to a flexible IT infrastructure that added value for our customers, enabled us to adopt more modern technological processes and allowed flexibility for future growth. We wanted to get to the point where our IT was having a positive impact on our bottom line.”

o2o decided that the only way forward was to fully outsource its IT and selected iomart Hosting to carry out the rationalisation. Cassidy said: “The iomart team invested a huge amount of time and effort to understand our business and the challenges we face, through regular site visits and assessment of our existing estate. This meant that when it came to the proposal they could address our specific requirements in detail. It really set iomart Hosting apart from other potential service providers.”

Sarah Haran, managing director of iomart Hosting: “What we have created for o2o is a resilient and secure environment which supports its on-demand business model and which mitigates the risk of unacceptable loss of IT systems which support its business critical functions. We have reduced the complexity of its IT environment and provided a platform that allows for greater group-level consolidation which should significantly reduce o2o’s existing internal operating costs.”

Cassidy said: “The decision to outsource our IT infrastructure to iomart Hosting came at just the right time. As we win bigger and more complex contracts it’s great to know that we have got a hosting partner that is prepared to go that extra mile for us and adapt as our requirements change. The relationship we have with iomart Hosting is crucial for our business and how it develops. We are already looking at cloud services and are talking to iomart Hosting about the potential to use other services like email in the future.”
iomart Hosting is a subsidiary of iomart Group plc (AIM:IOM) which was named Scottish Digital IT Company of the Year 2011, and ranked as one of the best web hosting companies in the world by HostReview.

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