Management and staff at the Mail & Guardian Newspaper and Mail & Guardian Online, an established weekly newspaper and online news service, have suffered longstanding email issues and network problems, but are now able to breathe a sigh of relief having invested in managed ICT services from the Integr8 Group.

Following months of difficulty with their email system and trouble with the network, management at the Mail & Guardian decided it was time to replace the system and acquire a new level of network support.

“Our client also experienced challenges with call logging because there was no system in place, so a review of the infrastructure was necessary,” says Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8.

IT administrators and managers from the newspaper met up with members of the Integr8 team and decided upon a strategy.  This involved the implementation of a virtualized server infrastructure and Microsoft Exchange 2010 email infrastructure.

In terms of technology Integr8 has implemented a virtual server cluster with ‘high availability’. This means that should any of the of the servers fail, there would be no disruption to business.

“Together with the virtual servers, we also installed a storage area network which provides shared storage for the virtual clusters. All our client’s business critical applications run on the server cluster. This is a more effective means of network management that suits the business, is easier to control and has the capacity to meet all requirements,” adds Sussman.

In order to address email issues Integr8 rolled out Microsoft Exchange 2010 as a replacement for the client’s outdated Linux Mailer Daemon system.

“The previous system did not facilitate functions such as calendar sharing, and there was also the challenge of repeat mail failures from the year before. This obviously was a major frustration for staff,” Sussman explains.

At the same time Integr8 wanted to ensure that the core of Mail & Guardian’s network, its Active Directory, was solid and operating at one hundred percent level.

Integr8 is currently busy with an in-depth network probe to root out any further network or security issues. “From this we will produce a full report as the basis for proposing a new LAN network design based on Cisco switches and security appliances,” Sussman continues.

At present there is an outsource service level agreement in place and an onsite engineer, with all calls being logged with the Integr8 Nerve Centre™.

Alistair Fairweather, online manager at Mail & Guardian, said the company is very pleased with Integr8’s level of service to date and that their input and recommendations have made a significant difference, even at this early stage.