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Resolute Mining Ltd. is a successful gold miner with more than 30 years of experience as an explorer, developer, and operator of gold mines in Australia and Africa, which have produced more than 8 million ounces of gold. The Company trades on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the ticker RSG. For more information, visit rml.com.au.
Customer Name: Resolute Mining Ltd.
Location: Perth, Australia
Number of Employees: 1200
● Remotely monitor and manage IT systems from another continent
● Improve infrastructure redundancy and availability
● Overcome connectivity and power variability
● Cisco® HyperFlex™ Edge
● Cisco Intersight™ SaaS Systems Management Platform
● Reduced unplanned downtime from weeks to minutes
● Dramatically reduced systems maintenance tasks
● Improved IT and business resiliency
Supporting the IT needs of remote mining operations is hard enough. It’s even harder when you’re doing it from a different continent. Such is the case for Perth-based Resolute Mining Ltd., which has a number of mines and satellite offices spread across the globe – including the world-class Syama Gold Mine in Mali and an administrative office in the capital city of Bamako.
“We have limited IT resources and skillsets in Bamako,” says Simon Duncalf, IT Manager of Resolute. “So we need IT infrastructure that is reliable and easy to manage.”
That became abundantly clear when a Bamako power outage resulted in several days of downtime.
“The power outage destroyed our network-attached storage (NAS) environment,” says Peter Ta, systems administrator at Resolute, who struggled to help remediate the situation from Perth. “The software failed, the disks were corrupted, and it took a week to get our virtual machines back up.”
Seeking to avoid a similar situation in the future, Resolute started evaluating modern infrastructure solutions that are tailored to edge environments.
“We didn’t want the complexity of a traditional, three-tier infrastructure,” Duncalf says, “so we looked into hyperconverged options that can be managed remotely.”
Resolute chose the combination of Cisco HyperFlex Edge and Cisco Intersight.
Resolute’s new IT infrastructure in Bamako is fully monitored and managed from Perth using Cisco Intersight. The cloud-based systems management platform has dramatically reduced the need for onsite IT skills and intervention.
“It’s completely hands-off,” says Duncalf.
In addition to enabling remote management, Cisco Intersight continuously monitors the environment and provides a bridge to Cisco technical support. If problems are detected, an event is automatically created and reviewed by specialists at the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC), who often provide guidance or remediation before a company’s IT staff has noticed an issue.
“We got a call from Cisco TAC saying one of our drives was failing and they were sending us a new one,” Ta notes. “The system had identified the bad drive and proactively took it offline so the array could continue to function. Users weren’t affected, and a new drive arrived the next day.”
“Cisco HyperFlex is totally self-sufficient. It logs its own tickets, connects us with tech support, and heals itself until a permanent fix can be implemented”
-Simon Duncalf, IT Manager, Resolute Mining
“Cisco HyperFlex is totally self-sufficient,” Duncalf adds. “It logs its own tickets, connects us with tech support, and heals itself until a permanent fix can be implemented.”
That’s a far cry from the past, when IT problems in Mali turned into troubleshooting nightmares in Perth.
“We don’t have the technical skills in Bamako to dig in and solve those problems, it was always a struggle to access the servers and logs remotely, and there were often hurdles – like firmware updates – that would get in the way,” Ta says. “Now it’s all taken care of. Firmware updates are automated, we can easily see the health of the environment from anywhere, and if there’s a problem, Cisco TAC fixes it. We don’t have to do a thing.”
“Cisco Intersight shows the load on the CPU and memory, available capacity, and when more will be needed,” Duncalf adds. “It’s really helpful for budgeting and capacity planning in addition to infrastructure monitoring and management.”
With two HyperFlex Edge nodes and two backup power supplies in its Bamako office, Resolute has full redundancy and much better IT resiliency in Mali. If one node experiences a fault, the system automatically fails over to the other. And Cisco Intersight is able to keep the nodes synchronized despite unstable, low-bandwidth connectivity.
“In the past, we had to get someone onsite to help troubleshoot problems, and it would take countless hours getting the servers back up to an operational state. Today, problems are solved in 30 minutes, tops,” Ta says. “We’re now in a mode of proactive monitoring instead of reactive remediation.”
Resolute is currently exploring the possibility of using Cisco Intersight to remotely monitor the Cisco UCS servers at its Syama Gold Mine. And the company may eventually install Cisco HyperFlex Edge systems at its satellite offices in Dakar and London.
“We’ve regained confidence in our edge environment in Bamako,” says Duncalf, “and that allows us to move on to other priorities.”
Explore more Cisco Data Center Compute customer success stories at cs.co/dccstories.