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JR Rix & Sons

Infrastructure as a Service case study

JR Rix & Sons Ltd is a family-owned business, headquartered in Hull, East Yorkshire.

With a company history dating back to 1873, today JR Rix & Sons Ltd is involved in a variety of activities, including commercial, residential and marine fuel distribution, stevedoring, ship owning fuel cards, warehousing and off-shore wind farm support, to holiday home manufacturing, car retail and property through a number of subsidiaries, of which the largest is Rix Petroleum Ltd. 

The situation

Additional subsidiaries of the company include Rix Shipping, Rix Shipping (Scotland) Ltd, Rix Heating Services, Rix Sea Shuttle, Maritime Bunkering, Jordan’s Cars, Rix Truck Services; Fuelmate and Victory Leisure Homes. With a group turnover of over £500 million, the company regularly appears in the Sunday Times’ Top Track 250 and was ranked 38th in 2015.

A virtual operation environment offered a clear advantage.

When the IT department at Rix decided that an update of their IT systems was appropriate, they elected to work with Leeds based virtualDCS to install a virtual operating environment, offering several clearly identified advantages.

Commenting on the project, Paul Codd, Rix ‘s Assistant IT Manager remarked: “When demand for more servers arose, a virtual environment looked like the most promising solution, as opposed to purchasing additional physical servers.”

JR Rix & sons - infrastructure as a service

The response

IaaS infrastructure as a service diagram

Following discussions with virtualDCS, we decided to migrate our 30+ servers to a VMware vSphere platform consisting of 3 high spec hosts using HP Proliant servers, and an expandable HP fibre channel storage solution, initially with 3 disk shelves. 

This allowed us to vMotion across the hosts when demand for CPU/RAM is needed without any impact on our users and achieves the results we were seeking.”

Expanding further on this, Paul went on to say, “additional benefits arising from his project included power reduction to the server room, which has helped us reduce our carbon footprint and lower operating costs. These were both major factors in our original decision-making process.”

The result

“When we migrated the servers across to a virtual environment, working alongside virtualDCS consultants, we also upgraded from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008, as well as from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010.

One of the most satisfying aspects of this project was that we achieved all we had set out to accomplish with virtually no down-time. virtualDCS offered invaluable support and proved to be extremely knowledgeable concerning the implementation of the latest technologies. 

The virtualDCS staff definitely made the process a much smoother and easier goal to achieve within the timescales. We are very pleased indeed with the final outcome and the ongoing commitment to service we receive as part of the company’s ‘proactive support package.”

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