European Rugby Cup invests €45k in virtualisation

7 Sep 2010

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The European Rugby Cup (ERC), the governing body for the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup, has invested €45,000 in a new HP storage and VMware virtualisation system to digitise and archive all its game content.

The company is owned and controlled by the French, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English and Italian representative unions and rugby clubs involved in the tournaments, each of which receive a percentage of ERC profits and a performance-based payment.

ERC Ltd, which is based in Dublin, employs 16 people. ERC has implemented a Hewlett-Packard SAN storage solution with VMware platform at the office in order to digitise all ERC games in a virtual environment which will provide leading-edge digital access to both historical archives and current and future games.

“Historically, we had all our games recorded on either DVD or VHS,” explains Roger O’Connor, finance and admin manager at ERC.

“The storage and accessibility to this media was cumbersome.  We needed to have all games stored digitally and we needed to have our network and infrastructure designed to support our requirements.”

Kitting out

ERC’s managed service provider Trilogy Technologies implemented a robust infrastructure which includes the SBS 2008 server, HP Server and SAN backbone and VMware for the virtual platform.

Trilogy also installed Onsite Business Continuity appliance, which allows for the fast restore of one or more servers due to a hardware failure onsite. ERC personnel can connect securely from anywhere once they have access to a PC and internet connection.

Trilogy also upgraded all ERC’s antivirus, anti-spam and UPS solutions.

“We now have real time on-site replication with regard to our email and applications and this allows us to respond quickly in the event of any failure or disaster.

“If our systems go down, I have the security of knowing that switching to our virtual environment will allow users to experience minimum disruption times,” O’Connor said.

“It represents another step towards development of a digital culture at ERC, and the content itself is quite fascinating.

“We are now providing leading-edge digital access to both historical archives and current games which, from a commercial and operational perspective, allows us to refer specific data for refereeing and disciplinary issues."

The next phase for the ERC is to design a SharePoint solution with Trilogy Technologies Focus for document management and collaboration.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com