ITAG Industry Awards 2009
Uilig Technologies have won Project of the Year at the Information
Technology Association Galway (ITAG) 2009 Industry awards.
The prize was in the companies with less than 60 employees
category. The annual ITAG awards were announced at a Gala
dinner on Friday 20 November in the Meyrick hotel in Galway.
The award was in recognition of our work implementing server
virtualisation at the Connacht Tribune offices.
The Uilig Technologies team with their award
Front row L-R – Sinead Curran, Mali Coyne, Teresa Ray
Back row L-R – Paul Curran, Eamon Walsh, Dave Ray, Peter Coyne
The Connacht Tribune is the longest-established newspaper
in Galway. The desktop publishing system at the newspaper
was slow and prone to down-time. This was extremely frustrating
for the editorial management and a constant source of pain
for the IT support staff. The solution chosen was server virtualisation
allowing multiple virtual servers run on a single physical
server. This solution provides a high performance and high
availability computing environment. The company has gone from
a situation where performance of IT systems was poor and down-time
was expected, to a situation now where the system runs smoothly
all the time and productivity and efficiency has increased
Uilig Technologies Ltd. is an Irish company based in Galway
city which offers a range of information technology services
to small and medium sized (SME) customers in the West of Ireland.
Established in 2003, the name comes from the Gaelic word ‘uilig’
meaning ‘all’ or ‘everything’. Uilig Technologies work closely
with the customer to provide a tailor made, flexible and scalable
The Connacht Tribune is the longest-established newspaper
circulating throughout Galway county and city. First hitting
the news stands on 22nd May 1909, the newspaper has charted
the commercial, cultural and social life of the region and
its people for over a century.
The Tribune was a founder shareholder in Galway Bay FM in
1989 and gradually grew its interest in the radio station
as the fledgling station incurred heavy losses and demanded
extra cash in its early years. In 2006 the remaining shares
were purchased making Galway Bay FM a full part of the Tribune
In May 2007 www.galwaynews.ie
was launched to provide daily news updates on Galway to a
wider audience. Combining the strengths of the radio and newspaper
editorial teams it provides daily breaking news from Galway
Bay FM and more in depth news and photos from the Tribune’s
Quark Publishing System (QPS) lets design and editorial teams
use a single workflow system to improve collaboration, streamline
newspaper workflow, and achieve cost savings. It provides
tools for teams of writers, designers, and editors to collaborate,
integrate their tasks and produce content for publication
across mixed media.
QPS integrates and connects easily to business systems and
complementary publishing solutions. It lets workgroup managers
set up automated workflows to route files to the next person
or step in the workflow, eliminating errors and expediting
the overall production process.
QPS relieves pressure and increases productivity, maximizing
existing resources, and delivers flexibility to a dispersed
newspaper workforce using today’s standard publishing tools.
Newspapers are faced with the dual challenges of declining
advertising revenues and unrelenting deadlines, where you
cannot afford inefficient, unreliable, or costly processes.
The QPS system was slow and prone to down-time. This was
extremely frustrating for the editorial management and a constant
source of pain for the IT support staff
The Connacht Tribune needed an infrastructure solution that
met three main criteria
- High performance – the system needed to run faster
- High Availability – the system had to be available all
- Redundancy – the system had to have “real-time” failover
in case of hardware failure
The solution chosen was a server virtualisation solution
from a company called VMWare. Today’s powerful computer hardware
was designed to run a single operating system and a single
application. This leaves most machines vastly under-utilized.
Virtualisation lets you run multiple virtual machines on a
single physical machine, sharing the resources of that single
computer across multiple environments. VMware is the market
leader in virtualisation.
The QPS system runs on two servers, a front-end server which
serves client connections and a backend server running a database.
The system was virtualised onto a single server.
QPS had not used virtualisation technologies before so this
was a World first for them. The results were excellent if
not a little surprising. The QPS system actually ran much
faster in a virtualised environment! Not only was the system
meeting its high availability and redundancy requirements
but it was working much quicker!
The virtual environment provides superior disaster recovery
capabilities. There are two main recovery scenarios
- Real-time recovery – This is useful if one of the virtual
machines has a software problem e.g. if a Windows Server
- Replication – The virtual machines are replicated in
real-time to an identical backup server. This is used if
the primary physical server develops a hardware problem.
The Connacht Tribune has undergone a transformation of its
IT environment. It has gone from a situation where performance
of IT systems was poor and down-time was expected, to a situation
now where the system runs smoothly all the time and productivity
and efficiency has increased dramatically. This now ensures
that the paper goes out on-time every time and has freed up
IT and other resources to perform other much needed additional
tasks. The project has been such a success that more virtualisation
projects are planned. Uilig Technologies project implementation
was well planned and they dealt with issues smoothly and quickly.
They really go that extra mile and their post-installation
support is second-to-none. Now, virtually anything