Dell deploys IT infrastructure for Cherokee Nation housing authority

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 31 July 2015
Dell deploys IT infrastructure for Cherokee Nation housing authority

Dell has helped the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation (HACN) reduce its IT workloads by deploying a future-ready IT infrastructure.

The infrastructure includes Dell software, server, storage and backup solutions, and has seen workload reductions of as much as 50%.

Thanks to the new infrastructure, HACN is able to deliver uninterrupted housing assistance to more than US.

HACN became a separate entity from the Cherokee Nation in 2012, and faced an immediate need to build a future-ready IT infrastructure. HACN therefore decided to adopt industry-leading solutions for server virtualisation, simplified network storage, fast network connectivity and easy and reliable data backup and recovery.

An enterprise-class data protection solution was also required to ensure maximum data availability for nearly 200 HACN employees in offices across Northeastern Oklahoma.

“Having reliable backup and recovery is essential to the Housing Authority – if systems or data cannot be restored in a timely manner, it could affect the entire organisation,” said Tonia Williams, CIO and IT director of HCAN. “Our services to those in need would stop; staff and vendors would not get paid and funding could be jeopardised.”

The organisation’s IT team deployed a Dell-driven infrastructure, which includes Dell PowerEdge blade servers, to help accommodate its heavily virtualised Microsoft Hyper-V environment. 

HACN also implemented scalable Dell Storage PS Series arrays and Dell AppAssure backup and recovery software. 

“Dell AppAssure and Dell Storage PS Series go hand-in hand,” said Williams. “We chose AppAssure because it fit not only our needs and our budget but also our circumstances – lack of time, experience and staff.”

HACN was able to implement backup, recovery and replication capabilities with a minimal learning curve thanks to the out-of-the-box functionality of AppAssure. The authority now safeguards 31 virtual machines by taking snapshots of them every three hours. 

Recoveries are also seamless, enabling the restoration of a single file, message, data object or complete machine. This means HACN can recover an entire virtual server in less than 15 minutes.

“We have saved a great deal of time, which ultimately is staff salary,” said Williams. “AppAssure has cleared up as much as 50% of staff time that now can be focused proactively on other critical business needs, such as disaster recovery.”

Plans are now underway to deploy a secondary site to help ensure uninterrupted services in the event of a disaster, and as part of its disaster recovery strategy, HACN is replicating data to a remote site using AppAssure and Dell EqualLogic technology.

“Our Dell solutions have produced a much better return on investment than other products in meeting our needs, size and budget,” added Williams. “Most important, they’ve helped us move from being reactive to proactive in fulfilling our mission. I expect Dell to be there for us, as the company has been in the past, the present and well into the future.”

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