Apr 22, 2024 | Case Studies, Managed Services

Reducing Downtime to Zero


Our team partnered with an MSP to improve and develop a stable IT infrastructure for Garrard & Co Ltd – Fine Jewellery

Garrard & Co. Limited, formerly Asprey & Garrard Limited, designs and manufactures luxury jewellery and silver. George Wickes founded Garrard in London in 1735 and the brand is headquartered at Albemarle Street in Mayfair, London. Garrard also has a presence in a number of other locations globally.
Garrard was the first official and most notably important Crown Jeweller of the United Kingdom having supplied jewels for Queen Victoria, and was charged with the upkeep of the British Crown Jewels, from 1843 to 2007, and was responsible for the creation of many tiaras and jewels still worn by the British royal family today. As well as jewellery, Garrard is known for having created some of the world’s most illustrious sporting trophies, including the America’s Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy and a number of trophies for Royal Ascot in its role as Official Trophies and Silverware Supplier, which originally dates back to the first Gold Cup in 1842.

Garrard and Computer Care Ltd 
Computer Care were recommended and introduced to Garrard by a contact from one of our existing satisfied customers. Once engaged we got to work with Garrard to understand their current pain points and issues.
Initial Customer Requirements
In the initial consultation Computer Care Founder, Simon Pardo, met with Morag Lynch to discuss current issues and why they were looking to partner with Computer Care. We established that although previously there was 2 in-house onsite engineers, the one who had setup most systems had left, and the remaining engineer was focused on desktop and application support.
Performance of the server infrastructure was causing continued poor performance or often complete downtime. There was limited in-house knowledge to troubleshoot and find the root cause of these problems and so inevitably they continued to return, and cause downtime and poor productivity to the organisation.
Upon selecting Computer Care as their preferred provider, we immediately undertook our customer on-boarding process.  As a part of this process, we determined that Garrard’s IT systems were working very poorly and suffered from instability and ultimately a significant portion of downtime.

Success Criteria 
To identify the root cause of the performance and outage issues on the core server infrastructure, implement corrective measures and then create a plan and schedule to ensure the infrastructures performance and resilience meets the business’ needs.

As with all new client sites, a challenge is both understanding the topology and then gaining access to the systems, luckily, we had most logins to the systems in one form or another. Information we received from their previous IT staff was incomplete or unknown and so caused confusion whilst investigating the performance issues.
Reviewing a relatively large infrastructure with limited existing information makes this more difficult, we reviewed their firewall, servers, storage, network switches and internet speeds.

Our Solution 
Due to the nature of the handover that we received and the lack of clear information, we approached the problem with a critical issue meeting.
This is a meeting that we would normally conduct when an issue for a customer cannot be resolved by normal means.  It is typically part of the escalation process that we use to guarantee that we can fix 100% of IT problems for our customers.
In this meeting, we determined that to find the root cause we would need to spend considerable time logging into all the relevant systems and identify how these linked with one another building up a topology and network diagram. Whilst doing this we identified numerous issues including outdated software and misconfigurations, some of these were contributing to the main performance and outage issues.
After going through this process, we determined from the logs on the server host that it was repeatedly losing connection to and struggling with performance between itself and the vital storage system (SAN) which held all the companies’ data.

We were able to identify a single 100Mbps switch which had been put in as a ‘temporary’ fix by the in-house team.
As with all our fixes, we guaranteed that replacing this switch would resolve the issue.  If it had not, we would have taken back the switch and refunded the customer.  However, once it was replaced, it made an instant improvement to performance. Updating the server to the latest host software (VMWare ESXi) for the hardware improved the resiliency and put an end to the system crashes.
Garrard & Co went from 1 to 2 days of downtime a week to full system stability overnight.
From here we introduced regular IT Review meetings with Garrard and plotted a path forward to address all the issues that were highlighted.
Our review meetings involve
Discussing budgetary items such as new server hardware
Planning software changes and improvements
Implementing improvements along with timescales set in consultation with the business
Ensuring a working business continuity and disaster recovery plan is in place and tested.
Review and develop staff onboarding, role changes and offboarding processes.

Garrard & Stephen Webster are now in a great position with their IT systems ensuring that their systems are always available and running at optimal performance. There is a clear path forward including estimated pricing for required systems and solutions based on priority.

If you are struggling with the performance or coverage of your Wi-Fi or are looking to implement a new system, click here for a free 30-minute consultation.

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