Alhelli & Sons
When one of our virtual SAN hosts crashed, Infraflex was already aware and taking action. There was no data lose and no business downtime, thanks to the robust and highly available private cloud design” Sadiq Alhelli, Director at Alhelli & Sons B.S.C.
Alhelli & Sons is one of the largest retail stores in Bahrain. Alhelli started as a small supermarket but the business grew very rapidly during the last few years. Lacking proper IT infrastructure in place, Alhelli had to rely on online hosted services for their email and CRM. The increasing cost and –more importantly- the lack of flexibility meant the business could no longer grow.
Alhelli approached Infraflex IT Solutions for consulting. Infraflex helped Alhelli decide on the most relevant IT services to introduce to the business, which included:
- Active Directory infrastructure
- Exchange Mailbox and Edge servers
- Internet Proxy and Firewall
- Centralised update Service
- Centralised antivirus and malware protection
- File and Print service
- Application and Database Servers for ERP
- Virtual Private Network
- Offline Backup for both VM and files
- Isolated test environment for R&D
- In-house Business Intelligence
All services needed to be highly available with simple design to reduce hardware, design and software license cost.
The new IT infrastructure was built on top of three rack mount servers. Excellent performance was achieved by separating storage, hypervisor and user traffic. Dynamic distribution and high availability options were enabled to balance the workload and increase business agility.
The complete end-to-end project was rewarded to Infraflex, including design of Active Directory, DNS infrastructure, Group Policies and so on. Windows Group Policy was utilized to automate most of the routine activities such as software installation and update. Security was enhanced by disabling all types of removable storage and by enforcing policies.
The externally hosted emails were migrated to the internal Exchange server in batches due to the relatively large number of existing mailboxes and separate geographical locations of the users. This was accomplished by pointing the MX records to the internal Exchange and modifying the SMTP connector appropriately.
The project was a success. It met all constraints of cost, quality and time. In fact, the project was completed slightly ahead of schedule, which included the time spent to build an identical testing environment at Infraflex testing centre to proof-concept the proposed solution.
Cost wise, Alhelli was able to reduce overall cost by over 40% by virtualising the Infrastructure.
The final icing on the cake was signing support contract to allow Alhelli focus on their core business, while enjoying the benefit of a flexible, robust and highly available IT infrastructure.
Alhelli & Sons
Having successfully deployed a robust IT Infrastructure on-premises, Alhelli was ready to take the next move: to turn its vast amount of sales data into business insight, and profit. Initially, three business problems were attacked: Stock-count discrepancy, Items re-order and Market Basket Analysis.
The objective was to find solutions to the problems outlined above, as fast as possible and at minimum cost.
In order to meet the strict project constraints, Infraflex designed a solution that utilized the existing IT infrastructure and Open Source, free but enterprise-class software. A 3-Node Linux cluster was built on top of the existing private cloud. Each node was assigned 40 virtual processors and 32GB of RAM, totalling 120 virtual processors and 96GB of RAM. However, the Cluster was given lower priority to avoid impacting operations systems such as Active Directory and Exchange.
As for the actual BI, H2O was used. H2O is free, Open Source, Enterprise Class software that is amazingly fast and efficient. R and R Studio were used for Data Manipulation and to control H2O in a scripted and repeatable way.
The vast amount of available computing resources allowed Infraflex to use Grid Search with Hyper Parameters to train the best possible models in a timely fashion.
Farmafacil.eu is one of the leading pharmacies in northern Spain. Farmacil.eu started using an in-house retail management system decades ago. Opting to expand the business online, farmafacil.eu faced the unpopular challenge of integrating its legacy system with a modern e-Commerce platform. To make matters more complicated, the legacy system cannot be changed (for good reasons).
Infraflex joined forces with iMediavan to develop a custom solution to address the problem. An Application Software was designed and developed from scratch to migrate selected products from the in premises legacy database to the online database, taking into account the different data structures. The software also served to synchronise sales data in two directions to ensure both the legacy and the e-Commerce systems are always in sync.
Despite the tremendous challenge, the project was delivered within just a few months, enabling Farmafacil.eu to outreach new customers without disturbing its internal legacy system (which no one wants to touch
Musk Store adapts a very interesting and unique workflow to meet the needs of its niche customers. Customers placed orders by phone or at the counter by giving the code of the items of interest. There was, however, no option to place orders online and Must Store’s website was simply an “online catalogue”.
The trouble for Must Store was that none of the existing e-Commerce solutions matched the internal workflow. Furthermore, Must Store wanted to seize the opportunity (for change) to improve the workflow so that the it becomes more ecommerce-friendly.
Infraflex was approached by Must Store for consulting. Infraflex researched the requirements and workflow at great detail and provided change management strategy. As for the ecommerce platform, Infraflex recommended Magento (https://magento.com) and provided detailed implementation plan.