SEACAUCUS, N.J. — After struggling with disparate IT technologies based on Red Hat Linux, EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services recently decided to transform its infrastructure using Microsoft software and HP hardware.
With its new environment based on Windows Server 2008 R2, EmpireCLS has cut support calls by 75% and increased IT administrators’ productivity by 35%. It also expects to lower power costs by 33%.
Hollywood celebrities and Grammy Award–winning artists are among the people who rely on EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services to safely travel to destinations on time and in style. Behind the polished appearance of each chauffeur, 600 employees manage reservations, global itineraries, and accounts. In addition to a luxurious ride, customers enjoy many concierge services and tools so that their interactions with EmpireCLS are easy, secure, consistent, and comfortable.
Before 2007, the company’s IT architecture ran on Red Hat Linux and included software and hardware from different vendors. The disparity in technologies drove up complexity and costs, eroded stability, and made it hard to find IT employees who had the needed skill set.
In 2007, EmpireCLS decided to rebuild its architecture with the Windows Server 2003 operating system and HP hardware. By doing so, the company simplified its IT environment, improved reliability, and streamlined administrative tasks.
By 2008, 90% of the company’s server computers ran Windows Server 2008 Enterprise. Administrators made use of many tools from Microsoft to deploy unified communications, server virtualization, enhanced disaster recovery, and automated workflow processes. EmpireCLS had met its original challenges, but it continued to seek new technologies to streamline operations.
In 2009, EmpireCLS learned about the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system and decided to implement it. Administrators wanted to use virtualization and server management capabilities such as the enhanced Hyper-V technology with Live Migration and the Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) feature in failover clustering.
With Live Migration, administrators can move virtual machines from one host to another and still keep them online. With CSV, multiple cluster nodes can simultaneously access the same disk or logical unit number (LUN).
EmpireCLS also was interested in other features in Windows Server 2008 R2.
For example, the company wanted to use Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Remote Desktop Services to create virtual desktop environments. And by taking advantage of the BranchCache feature, EmpireCLS could accelerate file transfer speeds.
In September 2009, EmpireCLS deployed Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise on clustered HP ProLiant BL460c G6 server computers. In addition, administrators created virtual desktop environments running the Windows 7 operating system for 250 employees. Business applications and virtualized desktops are replicated across the new clusters and three existing clusters —which will also run Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition, administrators deployed Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 to streamline server management. Finally, EmpireCLS engaged Microsoft Services consultants to reconfigure its Active Directory service to support secure access to virtual desktops with most any Internet-enabled device.