The Integr8 Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned BEE ICT managed services company, has been appointed as the technology services provider and product vendor to the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency (NURCHA).

According to online information NURCHA is a construction finance company and Section 21 organisation that supports the national programme to house all South Africans in sustainable human settlements.

NURCHA provides bridging finance to contractors and developers involved in the construction of subsidy housing, affordable housing, community facilities and infrastructure.

The Agency is a government-funded initiative in partnership with Soros Economic Development Foundation, international donors and other commercial lenders.

Management at NURCHA sought to partner with an established, experience and credible ICT managed services provider to assist with the enhancement of its server infrastructure and other key areas of its overall ICT resources.

Integr8 was identified because of its proven track record within the ICT managed services arena and its ongoing success in technology integration, management and application both domestically and internationally.

Integr8 management immediately initiated a transitioning process which meant an analysis of the client’s current environment and recommendations to improve ICT delivery. This process made provision for the possible roll out of solutions to enhance technical monitoring and reporting for efficient support of the site.

This process is done in a project mode with the involvement of the client.

According to deliverables scheduled Integr8 is required to provide national server, network and desktop support, including the support, configuration and management of current server environments for NURCHA’s seven regional offices.

In addition Integr8 is also contracted to provide desktop and laptop support, including management and configuration to all NURCHA branches.

The mandate discussed and agree upon  includes support for NURCHA IT in its task to provide first line support for all NURCHA offices nationally, second line support for NURCHA head office, a helpdesk service to the intermediaries and software programme support for reporting and system needs.

The role of services provider also requires that Integr8 technology experts liaise with- and engage a number of external ICT vendors.

To date Integr8 installed Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise on a server and configured it as a Hyper-V server. The company also provided full support to ensure that NURCHA avoids any risk of downtime or impact on operations and is able to benefit from enhanced server utilisation.

As a result the Agency has failover on its mission-critical servers.

Integr8 installed Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise on a server and configured it as a Hyper-V server. Three servers are currently running on this infrastructure.

From an operational point of view, the virtual server 1 covers backup domain controller for failover. The virtual server 2 is a second file server on domain – which means that should one of the file servers fail, the other will automatically kick-in without any user being any the wiser.

The virtual server 3 is a second exchange 2010 server. Integr8 has configured Database Availability Group on the two exchange servers and this allows NURCHA to retain an active copy of their mailbox database on the second exchange server. This enables automatic switchover in the event of failure on one of the servers.

“We have also installed Symantec System Recovery on our client’s Black Berry Server and this is making backups to another server. Should their Black Berry server fail, they can either get new hardware and restore the Black Berry server on the new server within an hour or two and have it back as it was before it failed. Alternatively, they can convert the Snapshot of the Black Berry server to a Virtual Disk and have their Black Berry server up and running again as a Virtual Server within an hour or two,” explains Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8

“This is an extensive and comprehensive project that requires ongoing, proactive services and support. We are very proud to be the official services partner to the Agency. Information communication technology services and support is vital to the sustainability of the organisation and we will ensure that every facet of its operation runs smoothly and in accordance to structure, deadlines and requirements,” adds Sussman.

…. at NURCHA says, “We are very pleased to have a company of Integr8’s caliber on board. Our core work and the impact of our service delivery are dependent on proactive and reliable technical service and support. The reliability of our server infrastructure and its level of performance is absolutely essential to our operations. Integr8 has ensured that we have peace of mind should any challenges or issues arise and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial association.”