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Case Studies
Hudson Scenic Studio

Hudson Scenic Studio

Virtualization Using Hyper-V.

Summary Data: From pre-production planning and budgeting to installation and maintenance, Hudson Scenic Studio provides a full range of services to bring any stage project to life.

Industry: Theatrical Services
Geography:SharePoint
Consulting:
Project Services
Technologies:
Windows
Windows Server Hyper-V

Challenges/Goals
Replacement of the existing server hardware needed to be completed with minimal downtime and disruption
A low cost solution was required, and any efforts to reduce operating costs were extremely beneficial
Solution/Approach
Purchase a new server with sufficient storage capacity to meet the client’s requirement and build with Microsoft Windows Hyper-V server
Perform P2V conversions on all aging servers out of normal business hours
Results
Work resulted in a reduction in server operating costs
Increased storage capacity
Simplified backup and recovery procedures while incurring nearly zero system downtime

Overview

Since 1980, Hudson Scenic Studio began as a small shop with just five employees in upstate New York. Today, the company makes its home in a 72,000 square foot facility in Yonkers, NY that enables it to build and set-up the large structures and intricate installations designed by many of the leading set designers, lighting designers, architects, and artists of our time. Hudson is 'where Broadway shows start'. From pre-production planning and budgeting to installation and maintenance, Hudson Scenic Studio provides a full range of services to bring any stage project to life.


Challenges/Goals

Hudson was running production services on aging and end-of-life hardware and required a low cost solution to extend the life span of their business systems. Replacement of the existing server hardware needed to be completed with minimal downtime and disruption. They were also faced with outgrowing the storage capacity of their existing systems. Any cost savings that could be realized from minimizing power usage, cooling requirements in the server room would be beneficial to reducing ongoing costs. Also, ensuring that in the event of a device failure, recovery time should be minimized necessitating a careful look at the infrastructure and ways to accomplish these challenging and disparate goals.

  • Replace several aging servers
  • Increase storage capacity
  • Limited budget/reduce ongoing costs

Solution/Approach

After meeting with Hudson’s IT staff and reviewing their goals carefully, Synergy designed a solution to incorporate the latest virtualization technology while leveraging the significant increase in storage capacity offered by current server hardware. To ensure costs were minimized, a single server solution with large storage capacity was designed and built with Microsoft Windows Hyper-V server 2008 R2, obviating the need for expensive third party virtualization technologies. We worked closely with Hudson’s IT staff to schedule the work to minimize the impact to business and ensure the servers were tested after performing the physical to virtual conversions (P2V).

  • Purchase a new high capacity single server
  • Build server with Windows Server and implement Hyper-V
  • Perform P2V conversions of aging servers

Results

All servers were successfully converted to Virtual Machines running under Hyper-V with near zero impact to the business as most conversions were performed out of normal operating hours, and zero impact to the end-users as no reconfigurations needed to be performed on their workstations. Thanks to the dramatic increase in hard drive capacities in recent years we were able to deliver a more than 10x increase in available storage over their previous servers, ensuring they have room for growth during the lifecycle of the current server.

Other noticeable and welcome benefits were the reduction in server hardware from five servers down to a single server resulting in dramatically reduced noise, power and cooling requirements. By taking advantage of Microsoft Windows Backup built into Hyper-V server, we were also able to simplify the backup procedure, eliminate the need for expensive third-party backup software and replace tape media with low cost removable hard drives, as well as simplify their DR recovery procedure. Due to the fact that the virtual servers are hardware independent, it would be possible to rapidly restore the infrastructure to a new Hyper-V server.

  • Reduce server operating costs
  • Increase storage capacity
  • Simplify backup and recovery