Project Delivery

Case Studies

Chinese Branch Office VPN

Our client opened a branch office in Shenzhen, China and wanted employees there to have access to their ERP. Unfortunately, the “great firewall” of China made remote connectivity slow and unreliable. EMKAL worked with a vendor in Hong Kong to implement a new internet connection with an IPSec VPN tunnel on a Cisco router, enabling Chinese operations to reach full production capacity.

Microsoft Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013 Migration

Our client needed to take advantage of new features and higher mailbox size limits in Microsoft Exchange 2013. EMKAL migrated over 50 active mailboxes and public folders from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013 with no downtime to Outlook, OWA, ActiveSync, or SMTP. In addition to meeting their current demands, the client is now ready to create a hybrid deployment with Office 365, and embrace the cloud.

Government of British Columbia E-mail Bouncebacks

We were referred to a client whose mail server was bouncing back messages from the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment. Their existing IT service provider was unable to identify the root cause. We initiated contact with the client, gained access to their systems and services, diagnosed incorrect MX and nameserver records in DNS, and had the solution implemented in less than 48 hours.

Paypal API Troubleshooting

Our client’s Paypal IPN integration built on the ColdFusion platform suddenly stopped processing orders and the client’s programmer could not identify the root issue. We began by inserting debugging statements and traced the execution of the application right down to the line causing the error. We discovered that the hosting provider was using an out-of-date Java certificate store causing SSL negotiation to fail. We worked closely with the provider to release the backlog and restore the online ordering system.

VMWare Virtualization and Scaling

Upon auditing a new client environment we discovered their primary server was operating on workstaition-class hardware in an unventilated service closet with no RAID or redundant power supply. We provisioned, configured, and deployed a Dell R720 server with VMware vSphere, then migrated all critical line of business applications with zero downtime. We were later able to virtualize a Microsoft Domain Controller and a 3CX VoIP Server, while simultaneously deploying a 100 Mbit synchronous fibre optic internet service with SIP trunking and QoS. As a result our client was able to triple the size of their call center operation without adding additional hardware.

Network Infrastructure and Apple iPad Deployment

Our client had a vision to place dozens of iPads in the hands of children in their care. We transformed five disconnected educational centers into a single network managed from the head office using IPSec VPN Tunnels. We set up and installed Netgear PoE switches, Ubiquiti edge routers, and UniFi Wireless AC (IEEE 802.11ac) access points, while project-managing third-party vendors to install enterprise grade 12U rack mount cabinets, faster internet and additional CAT6 network wiring.

Troubleshooting A Deep Software Bug

A third-party vendor needed to install their application on our client’s systems. The software worked on many machines, but a few were generating an error when clicking a certain button. This was a long standing problem for the developer and they had been unable to determine the cause. Using advanced tools like Microsoft Process Monitor, we were able to get to the root of the problem. The third-party vendor implemented our patch, benefiting both our client and users of the software worldwide.

Live RAID Migration and Cache Upgrade on Hewlett-Packard Production Server

Our client was experiencing slow access to their main application server. Using a combination of Windows Resource Monitor and Atto Bench32, we identified the root cause as poor disk performance. We discovered the RAID adapter for the HP DL360 server did not ship with a Flash Backed Write Cache (FBWC) module and 3 of the 5 installed disks were not in use. We sourced and installed the cache module, then flashed the server firmware before performing a live migration from RAID 1 to RAID 1+0 (plus hot-spare). The result was 20x faster disk performance from the same hardware.

Custom Label Printing Software Development

A client with an aging infrastructure depended on a single workstation running Windows 2000 for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHIMS) label printing. We developed custom software, using ASP.Net on IIS, to generate and print labels using the latest version of Windows Server. Migrating to a Virtual server and enabling multi-tenant access to the printers eliminated the single point of failure and increased operating efficiency.