Real World Results

A scalable infrastructure

Lower TCO

Platform for collaboration

Improved data protection model

About Stepnell

Stepnell is a £93 million turnover building and civil engineering business headquartered in Rugby which undertakes construction projects from £10,000 to £30 million in value. Established in the 1870s, the company is a family-owned business which operates through a network of regional offices across central and southern England. Stepnell is part of the Stepnell group of companies.

Stepnell are a financially strong regional contractor with an excellent health, safety and environmental record, competent supply chain and very experienced, technically capable staff.

The Challenge

  • Aging Existing Estate
  • Lack Of Capacity
  • Declining Application Performance
  • DR No Longer Fit For Purpose

The Solution

  • Hyper-Converged Storage Platform
  • Cloud Integrated Backup
  • Global File System For Collaboration

The Results

  • A Scale-Out Solution
  • Increased User Performance
  • Reduced TCO Vs. Traditional Approach
  • Improved RTO / RPO

The Challenge

Stepnells traditional block SAN environment was reaching capacity, and with data volumes continuing to grow, system performance was beginning to decline, impacting users.

As the company continues to grow, Stepnell face a challenge: continue to expand the existing infrastructure, or take a more strategic approach and leverage a modern, next generation architecture.  With considerable growth plans in place, the business and IT elected for a more strategic approach.

Nephos, as a leading provider of next generation infrastructure, have been selected by Stepnell as their preferred partner to deliver a strategic platform that can support the growth of the business.  The initial focus of the project being the improvement of the current block SAN and backup environments.

Nephos’ approach meant that we could work with a single partner to deliver the right solution for us, regardless of the underlying vendors. Because of their knowledge of new technologies, we could consider some different approaches, rather than the same old technologies that we’ve always used in the past. I have no doubt that we’ll continue to work with Nephos as we grow
Anthony Francis
Head of IT

The Nephos Solution

As part of Stepnells due diligence process, working alongside Nephos, an array of options was considered; from a storage perspective, traditional approaches (block SAN), all flash arrays as well as multiple hyper-converged solutions were investigated for both commercial and technical suitability.

Based on the project constraints, and the desire to reuse existing infrastructure investments, a hyper-converged platform from Nutanix was chosen as a replacement to the existing SAN environment.  The existing SAN environment being re-used to bolster the businesses DR capabilities, along with a Cloud integrated backup solution from Veeam.  The overall solution approach was selected based on several key features:

  • The ability to run multiple hypervisors
  • The ability to grow / expand in predictable blocks of infrastructure as required
  • The ability to co-exist and re-purpose the existing infrastructure
  • Provides an overall lower TCO for the infrastructure over its lifetime

Ultimately the end solution gives Stepnell the ability to support their growth in a cost effective and performant way; with a clear cost model for the future.

Nephos were selected based on their independent expertise of next generation datacenter technologies, the fact that Nephos works with some of the leading providers for both public and private Cloud infrastructure meant that Stepnell could work with a single partner to find the right solution for them.


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