Case Studies
Case Studies
Shoff Darby

Shoff Darby

Virtualization Using Hyper-V.

Summary Data: From personal insurance to business insurance, Shoff Darby strives to tailor your insurance to meet your needs.

Industry: Insurance
Project Services
Windows Server Hyper-V

Replacement of the existing server hardware needed to be completed with minimal production downtime
Solution had to reduce heat and operating costs while improving backup and recovery solution
Update storage capacity and plan for growth
Virtualize five physical servers into a single physical server with large and expandable data storage using Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft Hyper-V
Replace expensive third party backup solution and agents with simplified and improved backup methodology leveraging Windows Server backups
Work resulted in a significant heat reduction in the server room
Increased server performance, storage capacity
Simplified backup and recovery method
Reduced monthly operating costs by reducing electrical consumption


From personal insurance to business insurance, we strive to tailor your insurance to meet your needs. Our agency is dedicated to meeting the insurance needs of emerging businesses with specialties in Technology Insurance and Entertainment Insurance.


Shoff Darby had several end-of-life servers and a need to ensure that their critical business applications remained in production during any considered update to their infrastructure. Due to document imaging using PDF’s, which increased the amount of data being stored, storage capacity of the existing infrastructure was limited necessitating an increase in their capacity with room for future growth. Due to the nature and importance of the data stored in structured and unstructured locations, simplifying and improving backup and recovery methods was critical to any solution. Another serious consideration was the limited cooling available in the server room, so any considered solution would have to factor in this constraint.

  • Replace several aging servers and reduce heat footprint
  • Increase storage capacity and accommodate for forecast growth
  • Minimize downtime and impact any project may have on production


After working with the management at Shoff Darby to discuss the infrastructure, expectations, and analyzing historical storage utilization to prepare an accurate forecast of storage requirements, Synergy engineers determined a single physical server with significant storage would meet the requirements. The computing power of current servers enabled Synergy to virtualize all of Shoff Darby’s physical servers, which not only reduced heat output, but also reduced electrical consumption. With the installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 and configuration of the Microsoft Hyper-V role, we were also able to leverage built-in Windows 2008 Backup to eliminate the need to maintain expensive third-party backup solutions, tape drives, and tape media. Our engineers virtualized the physical servers, and due to the power of the host server, we were able to implement more processor and memory resources to the newly virtualized servers.

  • Purchase a new high power and large storage capacity server
  • Implement Windows Server and Hyper-V role and configure backups
  • Perform P2V conversions of aging servers and optimize performance


Shoff Darby’s 5 end-of-life servers were virtualized successfully, and the process was completed with almost no impact to the business as the virtualization was performed out of business hours. All client workstations and end-users were not impacted by the project as no reconfigurations were required on domain workstations. Due to the low cost of high capacity drives, we were able to increase available storage capacity by orders of magnitude, and have afforded growth well into the future. The need to reduce heat in the server room was realized by reducing the number of servers, ensuring no cost to upgrade the cooling in the room by efficiently reducing heat output of the infrastructure. The legacy backup solution with an expensive console and backup agents for e-mail, SQL, and Windows was retired, leveraging the powerful out-of-the-box Windows 2008 Backup solution using inexpensive removable hard drives. The process to restore data in part or in its entirety was greatly simplified, and the recovery timeframe reduced significantly.

  • Replaced all end-of-life servers with a single powerful server with minimal downtime
  • Increased storage capacity with adequate room for growth
  • Reduced heat output, operating costs, and eliminated expensive licensing