4D and Direct Technical: A seamless infrastructure migration

How 4D successfully handled a managed infrastructure project to replace the network routing, firewalling and switching to upgrade Direct Technical's services into our data centre.

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4D and Direct Technical have worked together for many years, providing a wide range of services to Direct Technical’s end clients. We caught up with Bob Gilchrist, their Managing Director, after 4D successfully handled a managed infrastructure migration to hear his first-hand experiences of working with 4D and build this Q&A.

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The low level of issues exceeds my expectations and I regard the project as a resounding success. We were one of the very first customers at 4D Gatwick. It continues to be a pleasure to work with the 4D technical team, who we find to be enthusiastic, diligent and responsible.

Bob Gilchrist, Managing Director | Direct Technical
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About Direct Technical

Direct Technical is a highly-focused IT service & support operation, founded in 1988, servicing smaller business users of PC networks. They have clients ranging in size from 5 to over 200 users. These are based mainly in SE England, though one client has a network comprising of five offices in three countries all of which they designed, installed and maintain.

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What was the scope of the project?

The scope of the project was to replace the network routing, firewalling and switching in our full-height rack at 4D Gatwick.

What challenges did you need to overcome – between the end client, you and 4D?

We recognised that our expertise is in servers and storage, but we found that we were too often engaged in routing, firewalling and switching issues. It was a surprise to us to find faults in equipment from a major switch vendor. A switch stacking failure at 1am was the final straw – and so we looked for a single provider of support for the network infrastructure. I met (virtually) with David Barker, 4D’s CTO, and found a willingness to help us. We composed a detailed statement of requirement and 4D provided a proposal that we thought would work for us and our clients.

What was the migration experience like?

I was concerned with the fact that the migration needed to be minimally disruptive for our clients, some of whom work 24/7. We had several team meetings with the 4D technical department and together structured a plan which would see the work completed over four successive weekends. We put this plan to our clients who agreed to it. In the event, we managed to complete it in 3 weekends, due to the willingness of the great 4D team to work together with us.

We're proud to support Direct Technical with infrastructure that meets the level of reliability they need to deliver top-quality services to their end clients."

Jack Bedell-Pearce, CEO | 4D
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What are the expected end client results from this project?

The aim of this project was to provide our clients with the reassurance that their infrastructure was monitored and maintained, 24/7, with an engineer always on call.

Why do you like working with 4D?

It continues to be a pleasure to work with the 4D technical team, who we find to be enthusiastic, diligent and responsible and importantly, good communicators.

What advice would you give other businesses (like yourselves) looking to use 4D for managed infrastructure?

I wish I had thought of making this change earlier than we did – I would have had fewer sleepless nights! I encourage other hosted businesses to consider the benefits of outsourcing monitoring, management and maintenance of vital network infrastructure to a team who have a focus and expertise in routing, switching and firewalling.

About 4D

4D Data Centres is an independently owned, award-winning managed infrastructure provider with facilities in Gatwick, Surrey, Kent and London. Our colocation, cloud, connectivity and security services are tailored to your exact business requirements giving you peace of mind that your data is secure and accessible 24/7/365.

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