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Case Study-Harsco

Harsco seamlessly moves its IT infrastructure between continents with help from Meridian IT

  • Industry: Industrial Products

  • Business: Metals and minerals; rail building and maintenance; industrial products

  • Focus: Server, backup and recovery

  • Challenges

    • Need to move IT infrastructure to Europe • Consolidation of three existing servers onto one new IBM POWER8 server • Transfer of hardware and software licences from the US to the UK

Overview

Facing a business need to move a core component of its IT infrastructure from the United States to Europe, Harsco turned to its  long-term partner, Meridian IT. Together, the two companies delivered a seamless transfer of the IBM POWER8 hardware, as well as introducing new 24/7 remote management and cloud-based high availability capabilities.

Business Challenge

Operating 166 sites worldwide, Harsco Corporation is an industrial products company with over 10,000 employees and revenues of $1.7 billion in 2015.

Steelmakers, rail companies and energy producers rely on its products and services – from high-efficiency water heaters used in large-scale projects such as New York’s One World Trade Center, to the maintenance of rail lines from the Swiss Alps to the Amazon rain forest. It is crucial that Harsco’s IT infrastructure keeps up with its fast-paced business, as Vicki Orman, IT Director of Europe and Africa at Harsco, explains: “Our IBM Power Systems servers run our critical core business systems, so the impact of downtime would be very detrimental. For example, it could disrupt our ability to procure essential materials, or maintain and repair our assets effectively. In business terms, it’s just not acceptable for these systems to be offline when we need them.”

She adds: “Recently, to align with some organizational changes in our global business, we decided to relocate our European and Asia-Pacific IT infrastructure from the United States to the United Kingdom. Because these systems are so critical, we knew that the transfer had to be as smooth as possible to cause minimal disturbance to the business.” However, the transition of Harsco’s IT infrastructure and licences to Europe presented a number of challenges. “We faced both the logistical problems of moving large-scale, high-tech equipment, and the administrative issues of transferring our IBM licences, which were territorially-based,” notes Vicki Orman. “We also wanted to consolidate three of our existing US servers onto one new IBM POWER8 server after we’d moved the hardware to the UK.”

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