Professional services and MINTs are an essential part of Flint’s service portfolio. Recently, our engineers installed two new HyperFlex clusters to support Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s expanding network of remotely connected users.
Through the Cisco Solution Partner Program, Flint offers companies Mentored Install Network Trainings (MINT). MINTs are designed to combine professional services and hands-on training for engineers on different Cisco solutions. Flint’s experienced engineers deploy Cisco solutions for clients, guide them through the deployment process, and convey important skills and best practices.
Implementing new HyperFlex clusters for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
Many companies take advantage of our MINT services to accelerate the adoption of new technology or upgrade existing solutions and infrastructures. Stockport NHS Foundation Trust was already using Cisco’s HyperFlex solution to serve their database and VSI (Virtual Server Infrastructure) workloads. Recently they entrusted Flint to support the installation of additional HyperFlex clusters to support their expanding network of remotely connected users.
Cisco HyperFlex is a hyper-converged solution featuring an end-to-end software-defined infrastructure approach. Together with the Cisco Intersight cloud management platform that provides a single point of management, Cisco HyperFlex delivers an easy to deploy, use, and manage platform that can serve many types of workloads and can be easily expanded in a scale-up or scale-out fashion. It also features always-on data optimisation, high availability, and data protection which were key reasons for Stockport NHS to use the Cisco HyperFlex solution.
As part of their DC transformation plan, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust recently purchased two additional HyperFlex clusters that will, in combination with VMware Horizon, serve as a VDI platform for 4000 remotely connected users. This will enable Stockport NHS Foundation Trust’s in-house IT team to easier support their users, deploy new desktop instances significantly faster, be more flexible, have better backup capabilities, and be more cost-efficient.
The MINT service started with a short ‘kickoff’ meeting to briefly introduce both teams and align expectations and timelines. This meeting was followed by a series of workshops where the HyperFlex clusters’ topology and design were reviewed, and the requirements document was filled in. After that, the VMware vCenter Server Appliance and HyperFlex installer VMs were deployed, and once complete, both clusters were installed. The following steps included the expansion of clusters with compute-only nodes, the application of vSphere security patches, the configuration of vMotion interfaces, and the licensing of HyperFlex nodes. After completion, the HX Bench tool was deployed, and performance tests were carried out to determine clusters latency and IOPs followed by ready to use tests. The project was completed with a short wrap-up call that included a knowledge transfer about the deployment, its limitations, and recommendations.
Taking Advantage of Flint’s In-Depth Expertise
Flint’s MINT services are designed to provide high-quality deployments that combine best practices, knowledge transfer and accelerate technology adoption. They can be adjusted to our customers’ needs and support the seamless integration of new technology into your network.
Bhekimpi Sibanda, IT technical architect at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, has conveyed his contentment with the services Flint supplied to his department: “I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Flint team for delivering our HyperFlex platform for our Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Flint did not deliver an out of the box solution; they went to great lengths to listen and understand what the Trust wanted to achieve. Their engineers looked at all aspects of our IT Infrastructure landscape, not only to integrate the new solution, but also to provide recommendations on improvements on the existing infrastructure, that would maximise benefits. They showed flexibility and willingness to explore different scenarios and provide detailed benefits and drawbacks of each scenario, making it easy to make crucial decisions. I look forward to future IT projects with Flint, and it was a pleasure to work with such a professional team of experts.”
Liam Simpson, Systems Manager at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Working with Flint was useful, engaging and a pleasure. They knew exactly what direction we wanted to go and were direct in their approach to getting us there; this has been the best guided and knowledgeable deployment I have worked on and look forward to further projects with Flint.”
About the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust: The Stockport NHS Foundation Trust runs Stepping Hill Hospital and other specialist centres and community health services for Stockport, England. The Trust is the second-largest employer in Stockport, employing 5,000 staff, with the main health facility Stepping Hill Hospital seeing around 500,000 patients per year. It is recognised as having the best stroke services in England.
Flint’s MINT Services Offer
Currently, Flint offers five MINT listings encompassing Cisco’s SDWAN, DNA Centre, DCN – ACI, Compute and DNA Spaces solutions. All are available through the Cisco Solution Partner Program. These services can be customised to your network’s or customers’ specific needs, and all include important knowledge transfer, so your engineers are confident using your new Cisco solution.