Case Studies / Hallmark Building Supplies

More than Product Placement

About Hallmark Building Supplies

For more than 40 years, Hallmark Building Supplies has provided builders and homeowners with products that make structures shine: kitchen and bathroom countertops, vanity tops and other surface and construction materials.

The Waukesha, Wis., business makes its name by ensuring on-time delivery. Hallmark Building Supplies stays on top of what is being shipped from factories using real-time information and data from distributors. They offer customers quick and convenient Web access to information regarding installation, product use, maintenance and warranties.

The Needs

As Hallmark’s business operations became increasingly dependent on digital processes, it was apparent that the company would need a new SAN to continue providing high-speed block-level access to its email server, database and file servers. The single Fibre Channel connections that the Compellent system used to connect to Hallmark’s servers weren’t going to be sufficient anymore.

“Sixty percent of our computing was going through that Compellent,” Lienke said. “The only thing not going through the Compellent that wasn’t vital was ERP data.”

After five years of use, it was clear that the Compellent system wouldn’t be able to keep pace with Hallmark’s increasing digital demands. Upgrading to a new SAN with better performance and increased speed was a clear next step. Ready to make a big investment, Hallmark reached out to Cyber Advisors, a Minnesota-based IT solution provider and a Dell Premier Partner.

The Project

Cyber Advisors’ thorough analysis of Hallmark’s IT infrastructure and several strategic discussions led the building supply company to select the Dell Compellent SC4020 System Controller for its SAN needs. After choosing the Compellent SC4020 System Controller, Hallmark sat back and let Cyber Advisors get to work. Data replication can be an arduous task, but with the help of Cyber Advisors, the transition to the new SAN went smoothly. “It was a seamless project,” Lienke said. “Working with Cyber Advisors made it easy. We shut everything down on a Friday, pointed toward the new Compellent and got it done.”

Outfitted with a storage center operating system with 64-bit support, the Dell Compellent SC4020 System Controller almost instantly provided Hallmark with improved scalability and performance. To Lienke’s relief, it uses dual Fibre Channel connections to ensure uptime and business continuity. In short, the company’s workforce is benefiting from faster speeds and Lienke has a new SAN that’s easy to manage.

Project Highlights

Compellent Storage

Being the nimble partner that can react to their fast pace needs.

Project Management

Providing support throughout the entire project.