Pro-Networks have been our IT partner for many years, they have proved themselves to be reliable, honest and most importantly knowledgeable. We wouldn’t look anywhere else for our IT services.
Sian Waddell, Company Secretary
NWP Electrical & Mechanical are one of the leading contractor’s in the UK. Based in North Wales NWP have permanent staff located throughout the country including the north-west, London & Edinburgh.
Initially starting in 1996 with only 5 employees the business expanded rapidly into four main divisions, Electrical, Mechanical, Utility and High Voltage employing a total workforce of 180 operatives. Managing Director Tim Keyes took the decision in 2007 to purchase the mechanical & electrical contracting division of the business in order to concentrate fully on its core business activities.
Pro-Networks dealt with NWP when the company split into the two divisions and we helped set up the IT infrastructure at their offices in Kinmel Bay. We have seen the business grow rapidly since Tim acquired it and have helped support it every step of the way.
As you would expect, Pro-Networks have helped NWP through several hardware refreshes and have also previously migrated the email systems from an on-premise Exchange server to Microsoft Office 365.
In addition to a conventional head office structure for IT (servers and PCs at everyone’s desk), NWP’s main activity is project work away from the office. Here, remote workers need to connect into the head office servers using 4G solutions to access resources and applications not usually available to them out on the field.
Following the introduction of new, highly demanding computer-aided design (CAD) software remote users noticed a delay when opening large, resource-hungry files from the server.
Diagnosis at both the client and server-side did not identify any unusual increases in CPU and Network Activity but disk queue lengths and activity were adversely affected by the software constantly writing back changes to the server.
As the servers were only three years old a cost-effective, future proof solution needed to be found and tested.
Moving the database from a conventional hard disk drive (HDD) to a modern, much faster solid state drive (SSD) in a test environment saw the performance increases required and a decision was made to replace the disks in the Hyper V Host with SSD disks and allocate these to the file server.
This solution gave NWP the performance boost they required for their day to day use of the application and was a lot more cost-effective than replacing the servers the application was running on.
Following the introduction of the SSDs at NWP earlier this year the new CAD software is performing better than expected and the whole business is enjoying faster access to all files, not just the project engineers accessing their technical drawings.
Three years ago running a server on SSDs was an incredibly expensive option. Following the inevitable price drops as the adoption of new technology increases, we are seeing more and more new servers being supplied with this solution as standard.
Pro-Networks always look for the best solution for the customer and quite often this isn’t a costly hardware refresh – you can read how we adopted a similar approach for Click Consult.