The situation: Major technology upgrade post-acquisition
In 2019, Delaware North acquired the Sky City Casino in Darwin in keeping with its strategy to expand its hospitality and gaming portfolio worldwide. As part of its due diligence prior to the acquisition, Delaware North realised it would need to conduct a major technology upgrade once the casino was under its control.
The majority of the existing infrastructure was nearing its end-of-life, and posed a risk in terms of compliance and performance. Delaware North also wanted to bring the casino under its own domain, to ensure consistency with its global operating standards and systems. While the upgrade itself was relatively straightforward, it needed to be done without affecting the casino’s operating hours. For customers, it needed to be business as usual.
The solution: Implementing a robust storage solution
The first part of the casino’s existing infrastructure that required an upgrade was its server storage, and Brennan IT worked with the business to find and procure a suitable solution.
“Our due diligence confirmed that we would require additional storage and compute capability as an immediate priority. Darwin Sky City Casino had, during the takeover period, purchased an HPE HF20 Nimble SAN. While this solution was of a high quality, it wasn’t robust enough for our needs, so we decided to upgrade to an HPE HF40 SAN storage solution instead,” said Witchen.
“From a technology point of view, the HPE HF40 SAN storage solution is also incredibly resilient and high performing, and gives us the compute power we need in a small form factor – with the ability to scale as we need to,” he added. “Plus, in terms of compliance, the HPE solution has the capacity to handle the high load requirements that gaming databases require, and therefore ensures we are meeting necessary regulatory requirements.”
“We recommended the HF40 SAN storage solution because it’s a robust solution that offers speed and efficiency for mixed-workloads, with incredibly rapid responses and better performance than other hybrid arrays,” said Nick Lowther, Business Development Manager at Brennan IT.
“Though the initial HPE HF20 Nimble SAN solution that Sky City had acquired prior to the takeover wasn’t going to be sufficient to meet Delaware North’s ongoing needs, we were still able to use it as a replication target in the new infrastructure, to ensure high availability,” he added.
The entire project also needed to be completed very quickly – to ensure there was no interruption to the casino’s service during the takeover. “We were certainly working to a tight timeframe, so it was important that we had procured and organised everything we needed to in advance,” said Lowther. “Our early involvement helped ensure that everything was ready to go, and there were no issues,” he said.
“Brennan IT really helped by providing expert advice and guidance us as to the amount of storage and compute we required in order to meet our needs, as well as procuring the equipment when it was needed,” said Witchen.
“We have dealt with Brennan IT before and have always been impressed by their level of engagement, as well as their people and experience,” he added.
As a result of Delaware North’s highly organised approach, and Brennan IT’s assistance in defining the blueprint and procuring the required equipment:
- The casino’s infrastructure was transitioned without any impact to customer experience
- 18 separate systems, (including finance, ERP, HR, property management and business intelligence) were transitioned
- The foundation was successfully laid for a future up-lift of other end-of-life infrastructure at the casino (including surveillance networks and phone systems)
- There was no wastage, as existing technology was able to be re-purposed
“This was a very successful project in terms of the solution and our involvement. It certainly cemented our relationship with Delaware North,” said Lowther.
“Brennan IT is a trusted partner of outs, and there is certainly mutual respect and understanding from both organisations. We are both working towards the same outcome. It’s a deep-rooted engagement that will be ongoing.”
About Delaware North
Delaware North is a privately owned business headquartered in Buffalo, New York. What started out as a small business that sold popcorn at carnivals and events is now a $5 billion business that spans multiple areas including sports, retail, hospitality, gaming and entertainment. The business has approximately 55,000 employees worldwide, and is focused on delighting guests by creating the best possible experience today, while re-imagining tomorrow.