Supporting Future Growth with Scalable Cloud Infrastructure: Why Sherrin Rentals Migrated to Microsoft Cloud
Sherrin Rentals are an Australia-wide industry leader in the supply of heavy earthmoving equipment rental, with their extensive national fleet including compaction rollers, excavators, water trucks, track loaders, wheel loaders, skid-steers, and truck mounted elevating work platforms (EWPs). Tracing their heritage back to 1968, Sherrin’s name has become synonymous with superior customer service and all-industry solutions for equipment rental, supplying to civil, construction, electrical and resources sectors around the country.
Until recently, Sherrin Rentals relied on an IT infrastructure made up of on-premise Citrix servers for their technology needs. But as the company continued to grow, so did their network and server performance needs—and the company recognised that the time to update their IT systems had arrived.
Evaluating IT Alternatives with a Trusted Partner
For help determining the best path forward, Sherrin Rentals turned to Mangano IT—a Telstra partner and Sherrin’s existing Managed Services Provider (MSP) for server maintenance and network support.
“We’d been with Mangano for a few years”, explains Grant Sherrin, the company’s Managing Director. “The service they provide is really good, so we really take on board what they say and their thoughts on where we should go with our network and our systems.”
The COVID-19 pandemic had also put some strain on Sherrin’s infrastructure, as it forced the company to pivot from doing much of their business face-to-face to video conferencing and virtual meetings. “The network wasn’t really built to take on all that”, says Sherrin. “Mangano worked really well to get us through that period, but then they also knew what we needed to do moving forward and with our growth as well.”
The rapid growth the company had recently seen was also taxing the capacity of their existing technology. According to Sherrin, “With our growth, we were having network and server performance issues. Our servers were outdated, and technology is changing all the time as well. We needed more resources to keep up”.
An On-Prem Upgrade vs. A Cloud Migration
Exploring a larger business transformation project was a natural extension of the relationship between Sherrin Rentals and Mangano IT, but it wasn’t a decision Sherrin wanted to make lightly. To ensure all alternatives were considered, Mangano IT designed and presented proposals that demonstrated the results Sherrin could expect to see by upgrading their existing, datacentre-hosted servers, compared to transitioning into Microsoft’s cloud environment.
“I was really against [going to the cloud] initially”, Sherrin notes. “Just because that’s where everyone’s going, it still needs to be a fit for me. And while it’s alright to have cost-savings, I didn’t want to get worse performance than what we were getting—there needed to be an improvement.”
Control over their IT infrastructure was also a concern for Sherrin. “We owned our servers, and we owned the hardware, so we could move it anywhere we wanted to”, he says of the company’s former systems. Evaluating Mangano IT’s cloud proposal on its merits required Sherrin to weigh the potential change in ownership models against the opportunity to have more flexibility—and to be able to create an entirely new infrastructure that could be perfectly tailored to the company’s needs.
Rolling Out a Cloud Transition Across 140 Users
In the end, Sherrin elected to migrate their on-premises datacentre equipment into Microsoft Cloud using Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Azure virtualized application servers. This involved transitioning the company from their former Citrix servers to Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktops, in addition to conducting a network refresh across 15 sites nationwide.
In particular, Telstra Adapt S1 / Adaptive networking services were deployed to all sites, with increased link speeds incorporating built-in network redundancy and 4G failover, in the event terrestrial links were to fail.
The rollout process was conducted in two phases across 140 users and required Mangano IT to migrate systems and platforms on a tight delivery timeline in order to exit a hosted datacentre at the end of the engagement.
“Because our business is 24/7, they did the rollover over a weekend, and the majority of it happened on a Sunday”, says Sherrin. “On Sunday afternoon, we were logging into different places to make sure we could get in and that the system was up. And then Monday morning, Mangano had people on standby so that as soon as something happened, we could contact them directly, and they were right on it straightaway and fixing it.”
“From what I’ve experienced previously in different rollovers, this rollover was very, very good”, Sherrin emphasises. “You always find a couple of little problems. But especially where we were coming from to this new technology, the problems that we had were very minimal. The way it’s handled is what I look at, and I couldn’t fault that process.”
Immediate Improvements in Speed, Security, and Uptime
Almost immediately after the rollout, Sherrin Rentals began seeing performance improvements. “Once we rolled over to the new network, we saw fewer disruptions and faster speeds”, says Sherrin. “It also highlighted a couple of other things in our software that we needed to upgrade, which helps with the speed even more.”
Sherrin also appreciates the stronger security benefits that were made available to the company through their new infrastructure and Microsoft licensing. “Security is a big thing of it”, he says. “Even now, we’re going further with our security—which we can, now that we’re on to this platform”.
Even better, Sherrin has been able to enjoy these advantages without losing the level of control he had previously enjoyed with Citrix. “Citrix had always given me a lot of comfort, knowing that I had control over what people were plugging into the network. Moving over to Azure, I’ve still got that tightness,” he says.
Scalable IT Infrastructure Supports Future Growth
Following their cloud computing rollout, Sherrin Rentals are well-positioned to continue their current expansion. “With this system and the technology that we’re on, we can up-spec what we’ve got quite easily,” says Sherrin. “I can flick it on, like a light switch. I don’t have to go out and buy a new server. It’s built on the concept that when you’re growing, it keeps growing with you, rather than stopping you.”
Ultimately, Sherrin is happy to recommend Mangano IT to other companies considering similar business transformation projects. “Mangano have done a really good job, especially working through the design and getting me into this technology”, he concludes. “The rollout just confirms that I did go the right way and that they have the expertise to be able to do it.”