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Keystone Group boosts efficiency with PeerGFS software implementation
Mon, 4th Dec 2023

The Keystone Group, recognised as the UK's largest steel lintel manufacturer and Europe's fastest-growing roof window manufacturer, has reported increased efficiency, cost-saving and secure data, thanks to the implementation of the PeerGFS distributed file system solution by Peer Software.

The Group's collaboration efforts among its remote sites have been transformed with the introduction of real-time file synchronisation. The outdated legacy infrastructure was decommissioned without losing data, offering flexibility and protecting users against downtime, thus, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity to essential documents, data files, and business applications.

With a wide area network critical for the smooth flow of services for its workforce spread across four different locations, The Keystone Group, whose main base of operations is at Cookstown in Northern Ireland, was determined to overhaul its outdated virtual desktop infrastructure for its engineers. Ryan Hawkes, IT Infrastructure Manager, elaborated, "we wanted to put effective workstations in front of every engineer and allow them to work with better responsiveness and performance. The challenge was to access user files that were stored in Cookstown, which hampered our productivity."

Such challenges motivated The Keystone Group to adopt PeerGFS. It aimed to give its engineers at remote sites such as Swadlincote and Cwmbran local file access to global data. Its features, like preventing version conflicts through incorporated file locking across mirrored sites and highly efficient data replication, interested The Keystone Group, as it worked towards achieving seamless collaboration among users on identical projects, simultaneously.

The Group was not only able to enhance productivity but also make substantial budgetary savings via the installation of PeerGFS. It facilitated the retirement of The Keystone Group's Citrix desktop infrastructure, thus conserving funds on licensing and infrastructure support. Moreover, it provided high availability and disaster recovery, minimising downtime and reducing the risk of data loss for the entire workforce.

In praise of PeerGFS, Ryan Hawkes said, "It has enabled us to have a business that can work from a very remote site in the Philippines. We were able to deploy our remote file server there and use Peer Software to synchronise the data, allowing our team to work effectively anywhere." The Keystone Group now enjoys enhanced collaboration across teams, smoother operations, and improved data synchronisation.

The implementation of PeerGFS has helped The Keystone Group not only to save significant time but also to optimise its budget. Thanks to these advancements, the company's IT infrastructure has improved dramatically, providing users with quicker access to critical files and documents.