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    Windows Server 2012 Case Study: Arthritis Research

    Project: Windows Server 2012 Virtualisation technology and Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services

    Company Background

    Arthritis Research UK is the charity leading the fight against arthritis. They are the biggest funder of research into the cause, treatment and cure of all forms of arthritis in the UK. More than one in six people are affected by arthritis, it is the biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK.

    As an organisation Arthritis Research UK create the knowledge to change the lives of people with arthritis, from funding research, to educating health care professionals and providing information to people with arthritis and their carers. Their aim is to fund pioneering, high quality research that will develop the best treatment for and prevention of arthritis in the world. Arthritis Research UK receive no government funding, but rely on the generosity and commitment of supporters to continue funding world class research.


    In 2010 Arthritis Research UK set out a 10 year plan which would require the charity to grow substantially in all areas. Part of the plan would also include investing in IT to provide a more efficient, productive and connected workforce.

    Following successful upgrades to the charities WAN infrastructure and communications, budget was then made available to address existing legacy server platforms. An ageing server farm based on Windows 2008 standalone servers and a small number of Hyper-V platforms were fast becoming insufficient to provide the resources for the growing charity.

    Alongside this the IT department were having to manage a large number of machines, all of which incurred extra costs through support, maintenance, power and cooling requirements. Space within the datacentre was also at a premium and running close to capacity.

    Arthritis Research UK have worked with IMEX Technical Services for over 10 years, outsourcing projects and specialist support requirements. As a long term HP Preferred Partner and Microsoft Partner, IMEX put together a solution to give Arthritis Research UK a platform to allow them growth, performance, reliability and efficiency.

    The solution based on HP Proliant Gen8 hardware would utilise Windows Server 2012, the latest Hyper-V and Failover Clustering features. With the Arthritis Research UK IT department already familiar with Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager, the new server platform would also require little investment in training and testing before being ready for production.

    IMEX provisioned the new HP server infrastructure and created a high-availability platform with redundancy. Following successful testing of features such as virtual machine Live Migration, IMEX assisted with the transition of existing servers on to the new Failover Cluster, alongside the provision of new Windows Server 2012 virtual machines to make full use of the added functionality in the latest Microsoft server operating system.

    Arthritis Research UKs new Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster platform now runs all server based resources on just two physical machines and the connected storage. This has resulted in a near 400% reduction in physical machines, and as a result datacentre space has been regained, support costs lowered, with power and cooling requirements vastly reduced.

    New features in Windows Server 2012 have also helped to improve service delivery and reduce storage requirements. But most importantly the charity now can provide a much more reliable service to its employees and has plenty of scope for growth to help them achieve their 10 year plan.

    • Windows Server 2012
    • Windows Failover Cluster
    • Hyper-V 2012
    • System Center 2012
    • HP Proliant Gen8