Makefast is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of a wide range of quality products for luxury marine craft. The company was created over 35 years ago, and is now based in Mid-Wales with a purpose-built factory and a team of around 30 people, devoted to the art and technology of modern boat and yacht building.
Requirements: Complete system overhaul, Networking, storage systems, Server set up, On-going IT support
Location: 31 Mochdre Industrial Estate, Newtown, Powys, Wales, SY16 4LE
Makefast Ltd, are a design and manufacturing company based in Mid Wales producing equipment for the marine and safety industries who were operating on an aging system and rapidly reaching the limits of computing and storage resources available, especially after they experienced a rapid growth in business. A complete new set of server, networking and storage systems were required to allow the company to continue to expand whilst offering them a similar working environment and a vast increase in performance.
Also, within the scope of the works was a site wide, unified, enterprise wireless system. Until now, the dual unit site had been operating wireless equipment from a dated single access point.
Lastly, an overhaul of the networking cabinets was provisioned. As many know, networking cabinets that are unloved and not maintained resemble a multi-layer spaghetti junction!
First point of call was to completely overhaul the networking cabinets. On a Friday, our engineers worked through the night and into the next day to strip and rebuild the cabinets ensuring that system operations could continue when work resumed on Monday morning. All old cabling was removed, panelling was documented, sorted, tidied and replaced within the new cabinets producing a major facelift and better still, easy accessibility to the cabling and network peripherals.
Next on the list was to work alongside Makefast’s electrical contractor to run the cables, install and configure the site wide unified wireless system. Thorough heat mapping tests were conducted and reported prior to any hardware procurement to ensure the optimal number of the access points was achieved.
The new system now provides Makefast with secure, staff and guest networks which are all securely segregated from one another utilising the VLAN capability of the new switching hardware.
5c Services Ltd then procured and installed new host systems using the latest virtualisation technologies from VMware, shared storage utilising 10 Gbps networking, solid state drives and performance tiered arrays. A new switching backbone offering link redundancy to the core areas of the company’s network.
Once initial setup was completed we delivered all hardware to site and assembled it within the new cabinet.
At this point it was a case of building the new server Virtual Machines and starting the task of migrating all features, roles, software, users and data across to the new systems. This was completed with no downtime to the company until the final cutover weekend.
The existing email system was migrated to a Microsoft 365 platform to allow for utilisation of the newest cloud features available. Again, this was completed in the background with no downtime or loss of email functionality to the company.
When the weekend arrived to finalise the migration, 5C Services began on the Friday evening and worked throughout to migrate the users, data, software and email to the new systems.
Thorough testing of the new Remote Desktop Server, Office 365 and MES systems were completed to ensure functionality for a seamless transition back to work on Monday.
5C Services were also present at the company site when work resumed to assist the users and systems through the transition and provide support for any issues that arose.
Makefast now have an enterprise level network and server infrastructure that not only has improved the work flow and efficiency for the employees but future proofed for any growth the company will go through. We continue to provide onsite and remote support to ensure the system continues to run optimally for the years to come.
5C Services look forward to our continuing relationship with Makefast and hopefully, one day when we’re BBQ’ing the finest in Welsh burgers on the Mediterranean in our grand (yet, reserved) Yacht we’ll be sure to be going to Makefast to supply our Bimini top.