Stone Group - Providing digital transformation solutions to organisations across the UK.

Stone are excited to be adding the Stone Equinox, the latest version of our hyper converged virtualization platform and service designed specifically for the evolving needs of the education and corporate sectors, to our broadening range of high quality products available to our Public and Private sector clients.

The Stone Equinox makes use of the latest Intel® technologies and platforms to bring you a hyper-converged cluster-in-a-box solution, at a fraction of the cost of most competing solutions. Plus, with value-added services including but not limited to a 5-year warranty backed by experienced engineers, virtualisation support services and tailored configuration and deployment, you can rest easy knowing you’re receiving the most dedicated package available.

The Equinox platform consists of 3 major components:

  • Stone server hardware – Dual or Tri Node high performance Stone servers directly connected.
  • Windows Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) on Server 2016 architecture.
  • Stone Platform as a Service (PaaS) – from the hardware to the hypervisor,Stone provides all of the service and support you need, from the in-house 5-year next business day managed warranty, to the Equinox focused Virtualisation Support Services (VSS) that are included as standard for 12 months, and expandable up to 5 years.

Each Equinox cluster is comprised of two next generation dual socket Stone Servers. As standard, this includes:

  • Top tier, fully managed, Intel® Enterprise Server platform
  • 384GB RAM
  • Flexible networking solutions
  • Lightning fast NVMe Accelerated Cluster Storage in 8TB, 16TB, 32 TB Versions
  • An 80GBit/s aggregated internode link

Stone’s Equinox solution is powered with Intel® technology inside, making use of the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, reaping a whole selection of benefits, not excluded to:

  • Accelerated critical workloads through sped up data compression and cryptography with integrated Intel® QuickAssist Technology (Intel® QAT).
  • Efficient high-speed Integrated Intel® Ethernet (up to 4x10GbE) helping reduce total system cost. It also lowers power consumption and improves transfer latency of large storage blocks and virtual machine migration.
  • Improved security through deployment of hardware-enhanced security systems to protect data and system operations without compromising performance.
  • Optimised performance with New features such as Intel® Advanced Vector Extension 512 (Intel® AVX-512) improved with workload-optimized performance and throughput increases.

The solution is designed, built and supported entirely in the UK using staff dedicated to providing service to the UK Public Sector. Included as standard with each Equinox platform sold, Stone’s Virtualisation Support Services (VSS), takes care of all day-today virtualisation configuration, management and deployment tasks, freeing up IT
staff to spend more time with users.

Included within Stone’s Virtualisation Support Services:

  • Incident reporting, allowing customers to log and track all requests or incidents on Stone’s Support Portal
  • Monitoring, alerting Stone – and the customer – to any critical events 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Reduced TCO, reducing burden on IT staff
  • Respond and adapt, helping customers to respond to ever changing needs including assistance with the deployment of new virtual machines
  • VSS remote assistance, with customer permission Stone can remotely access the Equinox platform helping to respond to requests quickly and reducing burden on IT staff
  • Optional upgrade to include Stone Standard Remote Support, helping customers to respond to incidents outside of the Equinox platform

Simon Harbridge, CEO at Stone Group commented: “Our previous platform, the Stone Integrum, proved to be a cornerstone of our Stone Infrastructure Services portfolio. However, with the launch of Stone Equinox we are excited to bring to our education customers an improved appliance that will continue to help them manage their critical data.”

“With many schools having to think carefully about how their limited budgets will be spent cloud, services are increasingly being seen as a cost-effective alternative. But, it also means that schools will need to think carefully about how they will manage the infrastructure required to keep data safe and secure. Especially as we approach the deadline for the GDPR legislation in May. This makes Equinox a great choice for any school looking to future proof.”

He adds, “Following customer feedback, we understand that the latest technological improvements often require a large amount of training and investment to make the best use of them. Therefore, the newly introduced Virtualisation Support Services (VSS), offered with each Equinox platform, will help our customers get up to speed quickly, and once up and running, manage their critical infrastructure efficiently, allowing them to focus on user-led tasks.”

Contact one of our account managers today