Blog: All Things Nortec

Small Business Upgrades to Small Business Server 2011 and Deploys SonicWall

The Background

National Signal Technology, Inc (NST) provides signal engineering services to the railroad and mass transit industry. The organization was founded in 1991, and presently has offices in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Louisville, Atlanta, and Omaha.

NST is comprised of a staff of 35 in five offices across the United States. Seth Erwin, Business Analyst, is NST’s sole IT support person – but he has additional help. Nortec has been providing supplemental IT support to NST for 7 years. “If something’s going on that I can’t figure out, I email Nortec and within an hour I have my answer and can get things going again,” says Erwin.

And so when NST’s servers began to fail, NST looked to Nortec for help.

The Challenge

NST’s server was old, space was dwindling, and the organization had reached its maximum for licenses. Erwin says he was constantly moving files off the server onto USB drives and FTP sites because space was nearly nonexistent. After suffering with space issues for almost 6 months, NST experienced a near-catastrophic failure when the server went down for two days. Erwin had Nortec come out and to get it up and running, but NST knew it was just a matter of time before things failed for good.

NST wanted to upgrade its server as well as incorporate a VPN because the organization handles a great deal of large file-size CAD drawings. “In Pittsburgh, we house 100% of the drawings, so if someone from another office needed a drawing, it needed to be put it on an FTP site and then be retrieved from there,” explains Erwin.

The Solution

Based on the organization’s goals and challenges with file transfers, Nortec recommended Small Business Server 2011, a single VPN, and that each office have its own Sonic Wall.

Since the implementation, Erwin can perform updates and file transfers quickly and easily by either remoting in or going directly into server. Erwin says, “With the VPN, the drawing gets pulled to that local site, eliminating duplicate, multiple drawings and also backs up everything.”

Additionally, Erwin estimates that because of the upgrade, he saves upwards of 10-15 hours per week in time he would have previously spent transferring files.

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