IT Managed Services

IT Managed Services

Spyker Technologies Pty Ltd specialises in providing a range of IT support services to local government, with a particular emphasis on small to medium size shires which do not have the resources to operate their own in-house IT department. Our staff have many years’ experience in managed services IT support as well as in-depth knowledge of working with local government and an understanding of the challenges faced by our clients in an ever more demanding digital world. We are also proud to be a WALGA preferred supplier of IT and CCTV services.

We are able to offer a range of IT services from a full managed services solution of your existing environment to simple ad-hoc support. We can carry out a survey of your current system with a view to providing a health check or a complete new design and environment refresh including servers, workstations, wired and wireless communications equipment, disaster recovery and a range of other IT and CCTV related services and products.

Remote Management and Monitoring

Thanks to our remote management and monitoring software we are able to maintain complete visibility of your environment and ensure that your critical IT systems are operational and  in good condition. There is a full range of customisable items (both hardware and software related) that can be monitored, allowing us to tailor the monitoring to precisely suit your particular requirements. This ensures that we will be alerted to any issues and often be able to resolve them before any users are affected.

As you can see from the following image we can see at a glance if there any issues with any of our clients equipment. Our helpdesk will also receive an email notification as soon as any error threshold is reached.

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Online Helpdesk

We also operate an online helpdesk system, allowing your staff to log non-urgent issues; our helpdesk staff are then immediately notified by email. This means our technical support specialists can respond quickly even when out of the office or working away at a customer site. Once a call has been logged the user affected can log in to the helpdesk and monitor progress of their issue as well as receiving automatic updates via email. Of course for urgent and business-critical problems we welcome you call the helpdesk directly for an immediate response.

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Case Studies

Shire of Exmouth ICT Managed Services

The Shire of Exmouth requested Spyker Technologies to carry out a complete overhaul and refresh of the ICT environment following an independent assessment. Exmouth operates three distinct sites; the main admin building and library in the centre of town, a works depot approximately 2 kilometres distant and Learmonth airport approximately 35 kilometres from the admin building.

The assessment revealed a number of issues mainly focussed around the poor communication links between the three sites and the age and condition of the server and PC hardware.

ICT Original Environment

Learmonth Airport

Currently a number of diverse operations are being run from the Learmonth airport, including:

  1. Shire airport services
  2. Helipad operators
  3. Defence Force services
  4. Car rental

External internet connection is achieved using two independent technologies, namely a satellite connection and a 3G mobile data switch. It is left to the officer at the airport to determine which technology is providing the better connection at any given point in time and to then manually connect the best option into the network by plugging in the Cat 5 lead.

RDP connection is utilised to connect the Shire head office server, for access to the main corporate software interface (Synergy Soft).

Shire Depot

The Shire Depot network consists of four officer workstations and one local file server. Connectivity to the internet is achieved via an ADSL connection. It was noted that the 100Gb allocated for the local file store is running low on available disk space. Access to the main corporate software is achieved via RDP connection utilising the internet connection available.

Shire Library

The Shire Library is adjacent to the main administration building; hence it utilises a direct network cabled solution to connect the work stations. For the provision of public internet services a separate internet connection (ADSL) is utilised. At the time of the survey a number of the public computers were out of order.

Shire Administration Centre

The Shire administration centre consists of around 20 workstation users, two servers and a small wall-mounted network cabinet. These servers consist of an Application/Database server and a File Server located in the hall way between the open area and managerial offices. There is a rack-mounted UPS of indeterminate functionality with a high wall-mounted network cabinet and the servers are on top of a map file drawer. During severe weather the servers are shut down and moved into a strong room for safekeeping.

 

Priority Items

 

From the site assessment a number of priority items have been noted which require dedicated attention, these include:

  1. Telecommunication speeds and services – in particular the use of Telstra or Westnet data services;
  2. Server-end delivery of service – physical layout and virtual design;
  3. End-user workstation consistency – mix of hardware and software.
  4. There is uncertainty regarding the quality of the parts used in the construction of the desktop and server PCs with no recognisable branding (i.e. DELL, HP, ACER, etc.).
  5. Both main office and remote station staff report slowness in RDP connection, which might be server load or network speed related.
  6. Backups using Windows Server Backup to external USB drives are known to be unreliable and non-conforming with Records regulations.
  7. UPS – Of three backup power supplies in use at the admin building two are known to be faulty.
  8. There is no dedicated server/communications room and the servers are currently located in an open hallway making them vulnerable to accidental or malicious damage.
  9. Mission critical systems are vulnerable during severe weather.

Exmouth New Environment

Initial Improvements

Having taken over the management of the IT services from the previous supplier Spyker first installed a CyberPower UPS to ensure continued service in the event of a power outage or supply spike and then configured a more reliable backup solution using StorageCraft ShadowProtect running a scheduled daily backup to a RAID 5 protected NAS.

We then designed and installed a wireless network linking all three sites into a single WAN, comprising redundant links between Airport, Depot and Admin buildings. This made a considerable difference to the speed of access to the Shire’s mission critical applications from both Depot and Airport, increasing link throughput from less than 4 Mbps to over 100 Mbps. As internet access would now be over the main link at the Admin building rather than the slow and unreliable ADSL lines installed at the remote Airport and Depot buildings internet access for the two remote sites was hugely improved.

Server Upgrade

The second phase of the project involved converting the existing strongroom into a secure server/communications room and installing a 42RU rack with 15 amp power and UPS with additional battery backup. A Dell PowerEdge 700 series server running Windows Hyper-V 2012 Datacentre with 20 TB data storage was installed in the new rack along with a Dell PowerVault LTO tape drive backing up via Symantec BackupExec. Three new virtual Windows 2012 servers comprising Microsoft Exchange 2013, SynergySoft, Amlib, File and Print Services and Domain Controller were added, each backing up independently to a Synology NAS using StorageCraft ShadowProtect. The Hyper-V host is also backed up to the NAS via ShadowProtect.

A Sophos UTM firewall was implemented providing total network anti-virus management and email and web content filtering.

Due to the outstanding performance of the new wireless links the old file and print server located at the Depot was able to be decommissioned and all data located on the new servers at the Admin building with users able to log in to a high spec domain controller in the Admin building.

 

PC Refresh

The final part of the project was a complete refresh of all PCs and laptops across all three sites, replacing the generic-built desktops with state of the art Dell Optiplex PCs complete with ergonomic PC and monitor stands. The airport PCs were then added to the domain and all users migrated from webmail to the on premise Exchange server.

Ongoing System Support

Spyker currently provides full support of the Shire’s ICT environment utilising a combination of remote management, scheduled monthly site visits and online user accessible self-service helpdesk system.

Conclusions

As a result of the new ICT design implemented by Spyker the Shire of Exmouth now has reliable, high speed links between all of its sites, a state of the art server and data storage infrastructure and a complete new PC fleet. In addition there is a managed UPS system, robust backup solution and dedicated secure server/communications room. By utilising server virtualisation and energy efficient desktop computers the Shire is able to make savings in power usage and free up much needed office space. We were also able to offer favourable lease terms through a WALGA preferred supplier to enable the Shire of Exmouth to make more efficient use of capital expenditure. The Shire of Exmouth now has complete peace of mind that they have a secure, robust ICT infrastructure with friendly knowledgeable technical assistance and protection from data loss or prolonged downtime in the event of severe weather.

 

 

 

Shire of Kulin IT Managed Service

Spyker Technologies currently provide a full managed service – IT solution for the Shire of Kulin. We took over the management of Kulin’s IT system from their previous provider when it became apparent that the environment had become somewhat unstable due to a lack of maintenance, initially making no changes other than to secure and stabilise the site. We first installed a new CyberPower UPS as the region is susceptible to power outages and then configured ShadowProtect backups to a Network Attached Storage Device. We then began daily monitoring and system checks allowing a transition period whilst planning and designing a complete system refresh. The original hardware deployed at Kulin comprised of generic server and PC hardware with very limited backup capabilities and no disaster recovery planning and whilst operational was clearly in need of updating.

Our in-house system architect designed a new environment comprising state of the art Dell server hardware utilising Microsoft Hyper-V with Windows 2012 virtual servers providing email, SynergySoft and file and print capabilities. The use of server virtualisation offers such benefits as reduced hardware costs, lower power and air conditioning requirements and improved disaster recovery options.

We also negotiated an improved internet connection and installed a wireless link between the admin building and the additional external sites approximately 2 kilometres away, thus connecting all of the Shire’s sites under a single WAN.

The new system was thoroughly tested and documented before installation and a seamless migration was carried out with no loss of data and only minimal downtime.

As part of the system upgrade a more robust and comprehensive backup solution was implemented as well as the introduction of an internet firewall, web content filtering and managed anti-virus.

The new system undergoes 24 x 7 automated monitoring and a daily health check carried out by a technical specialist.

Given the remoteness and frequency of power outages in the region it was deemed essential to implement a reliable backup power source therefore all servers and communications equipment were protected by managed UPS configured to carry out controlled shutdowns and giving up to 12 hours battery power.

Ongoing improvements include a phased PC and laptop refresh, a reliable, affordable disaster recovery strategy and offsite backup tape storage.

 

 Please contact Paul Willemse at paulw@spyker.net.au if we could assist you with your IT requirements.

 

 

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