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Headquartered in the Isle of Wight, Carisbrooke Shipping is one of the largest shipping companies in UK operating a fleet of over 50 modern dry cargo and multi-purpose vessels. In the forty years since it was founded, the company has had to combat rising fuel costs and increasing competition in the shipping industry. In order to continue growing its business, Carisbrooke decided to audit its IT systems to see how they could control costs and move beyond the limitations of their physical infrastructure. That’s when they began to consider the cloud.

While many companies offered varying levels of integration and support in their cloud solutions, Carisbrooke struggled at first to find a provider that offered the flexibility and control the company required. Carisbrooke IT Manager, Daniel Lewandowski, stated that his team needed to be able to move workloads into a cloud environment seamlessly and instantly, while still being able to maintain complete control. “We still wanted some level of control over the way the estate was run – both from the applications layer and the underlying estate beneath. Initially, there was nothing on the market that suited our need for a truly hybrid approach – with the ability to both outsource and retain complete management.”

Attracted to the seamless integration, flexibility, and control of VMware vCloud® Air™, and having already begun virtualizing three out of five of their offices with VMware vSphere®, Carisbrooke decided to move forward with vCloud Air last year. Lewandowski explained their decision, stating, “Not only did we have the experience with VMware, and were impressed with what we’d already achieved with vSphere, but in terms of the technology, functionality and pricing of vCloud Air, the service just couldn’t be beaten.”

Since launching the service, the shipping company has been able to achieve two crucial goals: 

  1. Find a solution to drastically reduce their dependence on physical hardware – Physical servers are expensive to maintain, upgrade and replace, and the company was getting close to the limit of new resources they could provision physically. When substantial damage outside Carisbrooke’s German office left employees without email access for hours, the company knew it needed to minimize its physical vulnerability. With vCloud Air, Carisbrooke has improved the performance and reliability of Microsoft Exchange and other critical business applications. “Now we don’t need to worry about any physical damage to wires, or other anomalies – if one connection goes down, then we can simply access our email via another Internet connection.”
  2. Unify and manage their IT infrastructure from one centralized location – Carisbrooke also recognized that they needed to improve the flow of information between offices and saw an opportunity to consolidate management and improve agility with the cloud. With vCloud Air, Carisbrooke could now provision new infrastructure immediately with a single click while only paying for the services they actually used. “The flexibility vCloud Air has given us has been exceptional. Not only can we scale up and down in seconds, but we now pay for our infrastructure on a monthly basis, rather than having to make an upfront investment in physical hardware. This was also very attractive to us as it means the business can be agile when it comes to expanding upon our environment.”

Lewandowski stated that his team couldn’t be happier with their decision to expand to the cloud with vCloud Air. By taking advantage of the hybrid cloud, the company can now reallocate IT resources towards other needs. “With everything so simple to manage, we’ve freed up a lot of IT team time that can be used to focus on other, more strategic business projects.” 

Having unified its IT estate to one central location in the UK and drastically reducing their physical dependency, Carisbrooke Shipping is now poised to continue growing its business, while maintaining a competitive edge within the shipping industry. “We knew VMware was the market leader, so it was a no-brainer to use the service. That said, the benefits of the truly hybrid approach to our estate has surpassed what we were hoping to achieve.”

To learn more about Carisbrooke’s success with VMware, read the case study and watch the video.

If you’re ready to get started with the hybrid cloud, visit vCloud.VMware.com.

For future updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @vCloud and Facebook.com/VMwarevCloud.

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