This hosting is designed to deliver an essential group-wide function operating on a Windows 2003 and Citrix metaframe XP platform.
BTCV commissioned the installation of six servers and related devices in the Biznet data centre. All these are necessary to run the organisation's new financial package, Agresso, with the following functions.
- citrix (controlling access for BTCV users across UK)
- main application (Agresso financial business logic)
- testbed (for new version testing and update checks)
- images (invoices scanned and placed here)
- database (main data repository)
- web (web access for additional BTCV users)
Installation of the Agresso software was carried out by Agresso engineers accompanied by Biznet IS Ltd staff. Biznet IIS Ltd staff have also been to BTCV's headquarters in Doncaster to help train staff responsible for setting up network links to the Agresso servers and instructing BTCV staff.
Also included is a large Powervault disc array with a SCSI split backplane. One array of 7 discs is connected to the database server for additional partitions; the other is connected to the test server which also acts as the control centre for all backups.
Backups occur direct to the second powervault array of 7 discs via Gbps network interfaces on all servers and using Veritas software.
The Agresso application has several complementary programs and procedures which require direct connectivity from BTCV client machines to the server. This is only necessary for six main offices (including Doncaster) for which hardware VPN solutions are installed. User machines at these locations contain desktop mappings to selected directories on the business server for simple data front-loading and report generation. Each office has a number of special printers which can be printed to directly from the server over the corresponding VPN.
All servers are monitored 24 hours per day and monthly reports on all server performance statistics are placed on a protected web site for all relevant BTCV technical staff. Recommendations for tuning or upgrades are made to these staff if any issues are considered important in the reports.
Updates to the Agresso configuration, new Citrix users etc. are implemented by Biznet IIS Ltd. staff on receipt of a request from BTCV via a dedicated support address.
Since installation of all the Agresso related hardware in December 2004, no downtime has been experienced except that scheduled for maintenance reboots and agreed beforehand with BTCV.
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