IT Case Study : Ayrmer Software


Ayrmer Software Logo

Ayrmer Software is a leading bespoke software development studio, based in Devon, who specialise in  providing bespoke and turn-key business software solutions, professional b2b website design and web application development.  Hightrees have been providing IT support and VoIP services to Ayrmer Software for over 7 years, after a chance meeting through a mutual client.

Hightrees have helped Ayrmer build upon their internal IT infrastructure to improve their business and the services they can provide to their clients, here are some examples of the IT work we have carried out with Ayrmer :

Installation of in-house web development servers :

Linux based servers provide a centralised development platform for both new and existing client web applications as well as in-house development work.Using Linux as the platform base, means that Ayrmer can utilise the same technologies as their hosting platforms as well as testing upcoming software releases, trialling new programming libraries etc.
The servers (based on two different sites) are running in a typical LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) environment, which is ideal for building high-availability heavy-duty dynamic web sites and web based applications.

Backup and Data replication:

Core company data to two remote offsite facilities is performed by both in-house scripts and a third party backup service to ensure the safety of both internal and external data.  One set of backup data is purely for offsite backup/recovery purposes, the other backup set set goes to Ayrmer’s other development server kept a different site (any vice versa), meaning that in case of any hardware issues, development work can still continue at the alternative site.

VoIP Telephony :

Ayrmer software host their own internal VoIP (Voice over IP server) based on Asterisk.  The VoIP system provides telephone access to all members of staff by extension as well as pre-defined ring groups, i.e Technical Support, Sales etc.  As well as handling VoIP calls, the server also deals with the traditional calls over BT and provides 2 backup routes in case of VoIP failure.

Network balancing :

In order to get the best performance out of their VoIP technologies, an additional ADSL line was installed purely for VoIP traffic.  There is a mixture of physical VoIP Handsets and VoIP softphones. The internal network has been defined in such a way that VoIP data and general “internet” traffic goes via two separate connections to ensure quality of service.  Whilst this could be seen as overkill, it also provides a backup route in the event of any issue with either ADSL line.

Remote Working Facilities :

As well as being able to redirect calls to remote workers, there are VPN and secure access facilities available to all Ayrmer Staff to enable them to work away from the office – whether this is due to client meetings at the other end of the country or as in recent years, bad weather.  Server access, email and VoIP telephone services can all be accessed securely, creating the perfect remote office setup.

UPS Protection :

The core IT infrastructure is protected by small yet efficient UPS units to minimise disruption in case of power failure.

Summary

Whilst this sounds quite an expensive shopping list of IT requirements and services, in “cash” terms, the actual costs for the IT solutions implemented have been kept low thanks to utilising Open Source software solutions.

Software licensing costs have been kept to a minimum, (these are mainly incurred for the Windows environment), server hardware has been purchased without the “Microsoft” tax as Linux has been used as the operating system which has allowed more RAM and storage to be purchased, and by using compliant standards for the VoIP server (SIP/IAX2), hardware could be selected from a wider range of suppliers rather than propriety equipment.

As with any IT project, considerably time was spent discussing the “IT Wants vs IT Needs” which allowed Hightrees to get a better understanding of the core requirements of Ayrmer as a business, but also allowed Ayrmer to gain a better understanding of what was actually needed to be implemented as opposed to “I want a backup service”.

“We owe a huge part of our success, over the last seven years, to the systems we rely on day in, day out. Hightrees  have been invaluable in the implementation of most of our internal systems, thinking outside the box and finding solutions to the myriad of issues a business like our has. Put simply, Hightrees have given us an edge on our competitors time and time again!”
Charles Collins (Managing Director) Ayrmer Software Limited

 

To find out more on how Hightrees can help your business with practical and cost effective IT solutiosn and services, please contact us