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Corporate Express Selects Cisco, EMC and VMware to Virtualise for Increased Business Agility and Energy Efficiency
Corporate Express, a $1.16 billion supplier of products for the office with 40 locations across Australia and New Zealand, is extending its commitment to virtualisation in the data centre with its selection of technology from Cisco, EMC and VMware. 

In September 2009, Corporate Express issued its inaugural sustainability report and vision to provide socially responsible solutions through its products and the way it operates.  The company's decision to bring network, compute and virtualisation platforms closer together with support from NetstarLogicalis, the first Australian partner to be qualified to resell and implement Vblock, aligns with this vision to increase energy efficiency by creating a green data centre.  The solutions from Cisco, EMC and VMware will enable:

  • Reduced Energy Consumption and Cooling Costs.  By breaking down IT silos and creating virtual network resources, Corporate Express spreads its energy needs and cooling expenses across data centres and expects to further reduce its energy consumption and cooling costs.  Since Corporate Express began virtualising with VMware ESX in 2004 and now with vSphere virtualisation software more than 200 physical servers have been removed from operation.  This architecture has been simplified through the design and development of the selected Cisco, EMC and VMware technologies for optimal performance and simplified management.
  • Transformation of IT to Better Align with Business Initiatives for Growth.  By using the modernisation of its data centre architecture as a catalyst, Corporate Express has reshaped its IT organisation to become a strategic driver of transformation within the company.  By reshaping the people and process of IT and shifting resources to allow for cross-skills training of the IT team, Corporate Express is unlocking the tremendous potential of virtual computing and providing ongoing career progression opportunities for IT staff which together underscores IT's critical importance to overall business strategy.
  • New levels of Operational Efficiency.  Corporate Express has embarked on an initiative to build a pervasive, scalable infrastructure on the Cisco Unified Computing System that bridges compute, network and storage domains and unifies them into a fabric of shared, virtual services that can be provisioned in a fraction of the time it took previously. 
  • Improved Availability, Backup and Recovery.  With its extensive supply chain and distribution infrastructure, a reliable and highly secure network infrastructure that efficiently replicates deduplicated data to ensure uptime and reliability is a business requirement for Corporate Express.  EMC's Avamar solution enables Corporate Express to identify redundant data at the source, minimising backup data before it is sent over the local area network and wide area network.  With Avamar, Corporate Express has experienced new levels of data reduction and faster, more secure backup for its VMware environment.

Andrew Grech, Infrastructure and Operations Centre Manager, at Corporate Express, said: "Because Corporate Express is the one dependable source for the many things our customers need to run their business, systems availability and reliability is a paramount concern.  The selection of Cisco, EMC and VMware technology was driven by this requirement coupled with the goal to improve alignment with the business' initiatives for faster growth and corporate sustainability."

Dylan Morison, Data Centre Practice Manager for Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said: "We are thrilled that Corporate Express has selected the Cisco Unified Computing System as the foundation for the transformation of its data centre.  As it's rolled out, we expect Corporate Express to realise many of the benefits of virtualization including lower facilities and power and cooling costs, better server utilisation, higher service levels, and faster deployment of applications."

"We have had a long standing relationship with Corporate Express and this recent commitment will align our two businesses well into the future as we look to lead the world from a best practice perspective around dynamic and increasingly efficient data centres that enable IT to deliver far greater value back to the business," said Darren McCullum, EMC's VCE Business Manager.

"We are very excited to be working in this collaborative partnership to help Corporate Express achieve their IT Transformation goals, and ultimately realise the full benefits of virtualisation, especially the significant positive environmental impact for which our technology is world renowned", said Paul Harapin, Managing Director VMware, Australia and New Zealand. "

Oliver Descoeudres, Marketing Director at NetstarLogicalis, said: "It's great to be involved in this project at Corporate Express where technology is so actively integrated into business strategy, and even more so, when management teams are looking at how technology can be used to deliver innovative solutions and support staff career progression."

Published Tuesday, October 26, 2010 6:09 AM by David Marshall
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