Scottish Youth Hostels - Hosted Exchange (Dedicated)
Databarracks Hosted Exchange improves
availability and centralises emails for Scottish Youth Hostels
Scottish Youth Hostels Association (www.syha.org.uk), which has
over 70 locations and 175 mailboxes.
To migrate SHYA to a hosted exchange platform after another
Databarracks proposed a dedicated hosted email service and
carried out two months of testing before successfully upgrading and
migrating the sites to Databarracks' Dedicated Hosted Exchange 2010
Scotland is the largest network of tourist Youth Hostels in
Scotland, offering a diverse network of around 70 youth hostels in
some of the most stunning locations across the country. As a
charity, they aim to provide opportunities for all, and especially
young people, to experience Scotland's natural heritage and places
of historic and cultural interest.
SYHA was running Exchange 2003 from its head office in Stirling
and their IT Manager, Bob McMeekin, was seeking to improve the
availability of the service through a hosted provider and upgrade
to a 2010 Exchange platform.
"Our key requirements were resiliency, ease of access and, very
importantly, something that would fit with our DR policy,"
Originally, another provider attempted to migrate Hostelling
Scotland to hosted Exchange 2010 on a shared platform but it was
unsuccessful: "They had difficulties with the installation and
connecting users to the hosted server," reveals McMeekin. "There
were also issues with the planned migration process and the impact
the downtime would have on the business."
Hostelling Scotland approached Databarracks to provide a
solution and they proposed a cloud email service on a dedicated
rather than a shared Hosted Exchange platform. This would allow
SYHA to continue managing the hosted exchange and crucially,
integration with IT services hosted locally, in particular their
booking system, an integral revenue- generating part of the
Databarracks carried out a proof of concept exercise before
migrating Hostelling Scotland to a dedicated hosted Exchange 2010
on a private cloud platform.
"Our main aim was to switch over with a minimum of disruption.
Exchange is used for bookings and enquiries so downtime has
potential to be extremely costly. Databarracks worked with us on
that and trialled out a number of different solutions to make
eventual migration as pain free as possible," says McMeekin.
Now that our email is hosted in the cloud, it's
easy for remote workers to get access.
IT Manager, SYHA
As part of the implementation process Databarracks engineers
worked throughout the weekend resolving several technical
difficulties during the migration and at no charge to the
Post-migration, SYHA also had difficulties with some of the
Outlook clients connecting, so Databarracks helped to upgrade all
the users from Outlook 2000 to 2010 and shared the cost of doing
"Now that our email is hosted in the cloud, it's easy for remote
workers to get access. It also fits into our DR policy. We don't
have to worry about how we replicate our entire Exchange system.
It's Databarracks' responsibility," says McMeekin.
Databarracks also provide SYHA with Asigra online backup, which
allows SYHA to restore individual mailboxes should a user
accidentally delete an email. "Again, with backup, Databarracks
went the extra mile, enabling us to restore back to message
level," explains McMeekin.
"I've been extremely happy with the level of service we've
received from Databarracks. Right through the pre and post
implementation process, everyone we dealt with was very
professional." says McMeekin.