Founded in 1986, Master Drilling provides specialist drilling services to the mining industry, from the exploration phase right through to production.Master Drilling listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2012, and its services include the design, manufacturing and maintenance of drilling equipment, along with associated training – all of which can be customised to the needs of each client and prevailing site conditions. With operations in South Africa, West Africa and Latin America, Master Drilling is reliant on a highly available IT infrastructure to enable effective collaboration and access to company data. “There’s always somebody working so we have to keep downtime to an absolute minimum,” says IT manager Steven Naudé. “Much of the business’s value is contained in its intellectual property, which is largely held on the network, so again we need reliable back-up and storage environments.” Master Drilling maintains its own small on-premise data centre. With its existing servers nearing the end of their warranty periods,Naudé wanted to upgrade the infrastructure. He called in the team from Triple4, who had been providing services related to virtualisation for some six years. “The key consideration for Master Drilling was an infrastructure that was highly available. With that in mind, we recommended they opt for Fujitsu servers and storage area network,” says Scott Orton, Triple4’s sales director. Triple4 helped design the infrastructure to make it more resilient and scalable for future needs.
Triple4 managed the migration of both the physical and virtual environments, and continues to provide infrastructure monitoring and support to Master Drilling.In a parallel project, Triple4 helped Master Drilling create a wireless environment at its Fochville head office that was easier to manage and offered significant benefits to users. In this instance, Triple4 recommended the use of a Juniper Enterprise Wireless solution. Because all the wireless access points are managed by a central controller, it is no longer necessary to manage each access point individually. Users, who previously had to log on to each access point with a separate password as they moved around the offices, now only have to log on once. The solution is also very reliable and stable. “Both the infrastructure solutions recommended by Triple4 have more than lived up to expectations – it’s really a case of ‘turn it on and forget about it’. Because Triple4 does the research so well, their recommendation is really worth something,” says Naudé. “I must also say that their support is excellent. We usually only know about a problem on our infrastructure when they contact us to say it’s been fixed, and if we log a call, the turnaround is impressive.” Triple4 is currently working on a project to help Master Drilling design and specify a global infrastructure for its enterprise resource planning software system.