Spirit Yachts are a Suffolk-based yachting company specialising in the design and build of modern, luxury yachts. Located in the Ipswich marina, close to our own head offices, Spirit Yachts are a large team comprising of boat builders, cabinet makers, designers, electricians and engineers, and naval architects.

As their new external IT supplier, we have worked closely with the Spirit Yacht team to help develop and implement stringent IT strategies that support their working practices. A core focus was to improve productivity and efficiency. To do this, we proposed to upgrade their network and systems to ensure collaborative working between staff members. Additionally, our helpdesk services provide additional resourcing for Spirit Yacht employees to contact if they are impacted by technical issues.

Summary

The Challenge

  • Structured Cabling

  • New Server Installation

  • Data Migration

  • New Firewall

  • VPN Installation

The Results

  • Improved data structure

  • Enhanced security

  • Remote working capabilities

  • improved resilience and flexibility

The Challenge

Spirit Yachts were looking for the installation of structured cabling as well as a new server and data migration. They were looking to improve their network speed and reliability. They had been impacted by intermittent slow connectivity with parts of their offices and needed a more reliable IT infrastructure that worked effectively for all users.

We recommended that they could benefit from a faster server with Solid-State Drives (SSD) that would run their new drawing vault database software and store their data. In addition, we recommended that Spirit Yachts would benefit from new structured cabling to improve network connectivity, upgrading old 100Mbps runs to 1000Mbps.

Our Approach

Once the client had signed off the proposal for the new network and system upgrades, our approach was to work collaboratively with Spirit Yachts’ senior management team to prioritise each element of the installation.

We recommended that Spirit Yachts would not only benefit from a new server but also a new firewall, Network Attached Storage (NAS), improved backups, Virtual Private Network (VPNs), and structured cabling.

As part of our consultancy services, we also took the time to devise new internal working policies for things such as mapped drives, sharing and security. We believe that when designing and installing new systems, it’s just as important to educate individuals on how to use the new systems to help them get the most out of their IT infrastructure. As part of this, we established a new file structure for all internal documents and created security groups that allowed us to manage who had access to which files within the system. We also took the time to set up a single sign-on VPN for their remote working people so that individual users did not need to remember multiple sets of credentials.

To enhance the updates, we set up a hypervisor to run the virtual servers and installed a new Domain Controller, File server, and Application server. This meant that we could facilitate their needs and Spirit Yachts would be ready for their new drawing vault.

Storage was also a key part of the redesign. By choosing to use a NAS, we could migrate the old static data across and not use up the space on the high-performance SSD drives. This was integral to ensuring that performance was ensured for fast working practices and new projects.

Finally, we implemented a new backup system to ensure the virtual servers and NAS were fully protected, with data easily retrievable in the event of a loss.

The Timescales

After the initial planning and preparation were completed, the actual installation of the new infrastructure was quick and easy. The server build and migration took place over two days, and we ensured that there was no downtime involved at all for Spirit Yachts. This meant that their staff could continue working seamlessly throughout the installation.

We ensured that the data was migrated overnight to minimise any impa