STW Communications Group Limited is Australasia’s largest marketing content and communications services group. Within the STW group there are 75 individual operating companies which focus on advertising, design, digital, public and government relations, and specialist communications.
Being such a large group of companies operating under the same banner, naturally STW Group’s IT department faced the challenge of supporting, running and understanding the different IT needs of each organisation. Coming to grips with the idiosyncrasies of each company was time-consuming and labour intensive.
Enter Cisco and NetApp. STW were able to roll-out the joint FlexPod architecture to virtualise STW’s centralised computing platform. STW reported that the virtualisation of its computing through FlexPod has led to extraordinary results. The once labour-intensive IT environment became a simple and easy to manage platform.
STW’s 1400-odd users were creating data that was growing at a rate of 50% per year. It became evident that the IT team needed to consolidate the disparate IT systems into one integrated platform, accessible to everyone. Anecdotally, STW has reported that at one site in particular, 350TB worth of data is being stored in what is only 101 TB worth of physical space.
“From the end user perspective, the change has been completely transparent, which means end users haven’t experienced downtime because we’ve been able to do it all seamlessly. They’ve actually gained faster access to their files and information,” said Tom Ceglarek, Chief Information Office, STW Group
Not only does the streamlined system allow a level of computing power and data security that is virtually unmatched in STW’s industry, it also provides them with a unique benefit. Many tender documents require agencies to outline business continuity. Well, now from an IT perspective, STW group can truly say they have one that will remain reliable in future.
“Through the implementation of FlexPod, STW Group has been able to transform the way they conduct business. In an extremely competitive industry where time is money, STW Group has revolutionised its business model, all from the implementation of a flexible and scalable IT platform, paving the way for future growth,” said Susan Aoki, Vice-President, Solutions, NetApp.
“We are in an age where business growth is very unpredictable. We are creating huge amounts of data that needs to be stored efficiently. STW Group relies on very data rich content including high definition video and images, and they needed a reliable infrastructure that could house their data. Through the FlexPod solution, the company now has the flexibility and agility to grow or shrink the architecture at an affordable cost,” said Vaughn Stewart, Director and Evangelist, Virtualisation and Cloud Computing, NetApp.