Lifting Gear & Safety

Lifting Gear and Safety (LGS) is an independent company specialising in the hire, sale, and servicing of Lifting, Marine, and Safety equipment. Their extensive product range includes items from spreader beams and shackles in the Lifting division to life rafts and distress flares in the Marine division.

With eight depots across England and Wales, LGS delivers products and services across the UK and beyond. It is vital that their IT is not only secure, but also reliable, allowing them to communicate between depots as well as to customers.

Looking after your IT: Server operating system EOL

At Geeks, we handle all your IT needs, including keeping you up to date with Windows lifecycles.

Windows Server 2012 R2 is nearing its end-of-life (EOL), scheduled for October 10th 2023. This operating system, released on November 25th 2013, was the backbone of many businesses over the years, offering reliability, scalability and flexibility.

Microsoft’s product lifecycles include two significant milestones: mainstream end of life and extended end of life.

The mainstream end date marks the end of feature updates and the start of limited support, while the extended end date signifies the cease of security updates, non-security updates, bug fixes, technical support, and online technical content updates.

In advance of the EOL date, our Technical Director, Rob, assessed all server under our support to identify and contact businesses running the server operating system (OS) running Windows Server 2012 R2, Lifting Gear and Safety (LGS) was among these companies.

Their server is central to their business operations, storing critical data and facilitating software usage. Managing Director of LGS, Tim Wilson, understood the benefits of migrating onto a new server setup and so the project was agreed to involve a complete refresh of their server infrastructure. We would update the aging physical server hardware hosting their three virtual machines which would also upgrade their Windows server OS to the latest OS, following the impending end-of-life status of Windows Server 2012 R2. This update aimed to enhance security, reliability, and overall performance.

Migrating to a new server

Once we received the green light to proceed, our Project Engineer, Tom, conducted a comprehensive assessment of LGS’ existing server setup. This included identifying current file shares, applications running on the remote server which were used daily, and ultimately determining what needed to be migrated.

A specific decommissioning date was set for the old server, which made it necessary that the data was all migrated in a timely manner, ensuring that all staff could seamlessly transition to the new server.

After the new server hardware was installed, Tom created the virtual machines to replicate the existing setup. A detailed plan was devised to transfer file shares, software, and specific roles to the new server.

Throughout the project, Tom maintained weekly communication with MD Tim, addressing any queries, providing updates, and ensuring everyone was satisfied with the progress.

During the migration process, Tom worked with select staff members to test their access to data on the new server, this involved testing access to day-to-day files and software, particularly on the remote server due to its heavy usage, ensuring a smooth transition.

Once testing was successfully completed, and all staff were operating from the new server, the old server was decommissioned.

Tom ensured a seamless transition, with no data loss. Backups of the old server were retained as a precautionary measure.

The benefits of a refreshed server setup

The reliance on an aging server has been removed, with a fresh modern server setup bolstering defences against cyber-attacks, the project provided a refresh, offering LGS the assurance of an up-to-date, secure server infrastructure.

With their new server setup, LGS now enjoy all the benefits of the most up-to-date functionality of the latest Windows Server OS, benefitting from any necessary updates, fixes, or support from Microsoft.

The upgrade also came with the added benefits of improved hardware performance; The new setup delivered a noticeable increase in speed and efficiency, further enhancing LGS’ overall IT experience.

“From start to finish I was impressed by the way the Geeks team organised and coordinated their efforts, I was concerned at the outset that we were undertaking significant changes to both the hardware and the software which is critical to the running of our business but I needn’t have worried.

Tom was an excellent project manager and we always felt he was in control, ably supported by other knowledgeable members of the Geeks team, communication was excellent and the project was completed with very little downtime, to budget and on time.

Tim Wilson, Managing Director, LGS