Optimizing cost and performance with Mainline Server, VM Software and Storage Solution

With the motto, “The job is the boss,” Ralph Korte founded The Korte Company in 1958, and grew it into one of the country’s leading commercial construction management companies. By incorporating new building methods such as Design-Build delivery as early as the ‘60s, Korte was able to maximize project efficiency without compromising design performance or the quality of the project outcome. The Korte Company has retained its ranking in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) list of the top 100 Design-Build firms in the United States every year since 1996. 

Since its founding, The Korte Company has completed more than 2,000 projects in 42 states. Korte’s impressive list of clients from the public and private sectors include the Boeing Company, the Department of Defense, the US Army Corps of Engineers, NASA, Walgreens, the Wall Street Journal and the United States Postal Service. The Korte Company Headquarters is located in St Louis, Missouri, with satellite offices in Highland, Illinois and Las Vegas, Nevada.



Barry Kauhl, Director of IT, manages the critical IT infrastructure provided in 2007 by Mainline Information Systems, an IBM Premier Business Partner. Their server farm ran almost all the software applications for the company—Citrix, print and file servers, domain controllers, accounting software, marketing software, estimating software, database server, Web server, and SharePoint service. The warranty on the equipment was running out, and because of the economy, Kauhl was under tight budget constraints and needed to optimize cost and performance. He asked Mainline to perform an analysis of the current system and requirements. 

“The Mainline team presented a detailed report on Korte’s current system that included the services that were most utilized, and offered alternative solutions,” Kauhl stated.  “It proved to be very useful in helping us choose the best solution for the lowest price.”    

The Solution

Mainline recommended a tailored server, storage and VM software solution that met Korte’s current and future requirements for performance, flexibility, stability and cost efficiency. It included IMB System x3650, an IBM System Storage EXP3500 Express, VM vSphere 5.0 Software and Mainline Professional Services.

IBM System x3650 M4

IBM System x3650 M4 is designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized businesses, blending outstanding uptime, performance and I/O flexibility for cost efficiency and rock-solid reliability. The powerful server offers an energy-smart, affordable and easy-to-use rack solution to help lower costs and manage risks. The IBM x3650 offers more computing power per watt and the latest Intel Xeon E5-2600 series processors, advanced memory support and greater disk capacity. Predictive Failure analysis and light path diagnostics provide advanced warning on power supplies, fans, VRMs, disks, processors and memory. It is easy to deploy, integrate, service and manage. 

IBMR System StorageR EXP3500 Express

The IBM System Storage EXP3500 provides a highly available storage system by supporting attachment to the IBM DS3500 Express storage system. It consists of two models, EXP3512 and EXP3524 expansion units, which are designed to affordably meet current and future demanding data requirements by building on more than 30 years of design expertise. The IBM legacy in enterprise storage systems enables the System Storage EXP3500 expansion units to deliver best-of-breed technology, reliability and performance.

VMWare vSphereR 5.0 Software

VMware vSphereR 5.0 is a distributed software system that continues to transform the x series IT infrastructures into the most efficient, shared, on-demand utility. It offers built-in availability, scalability, and security services for all applications and simple proactive, automated management. vSphere 5.0 provides enhanced features in the areas of installation and deployment, storage, network, availability and scalability, management, platform enhancements and security.

Mainline Professional Services

Mainline Professional Services provided the design, configuration and implementation, as well as testing and maintenance of the new solution. 

The Results

“Mainline worked with our schedule to get the cutover to the new system done, completing it in two weekends,” Kauhl recounted. “There was no down time, and that was important to us.  Many people in the company didn’t even notice.” 

“The performance increase was huge. For example, the speed for system backups increased by 75 percent,” commented Kauhl.  “We also increased our data capacity by two terabytes, improving the availability, scalability and flexibility of the system.” 

“Korte got a great deal on the solution.  And, just as important,” Kauhl concluded, “our IT team enjoyed working with Mainline’s knowledgeable professionals. I would recommend them to anyone.”

Let's talk

Get Build-Smart guidance from our experienced Design-Build team.

Let's talk

Get started