Governance for Owners (GO) is an independent partnership between major institutional share owners, a long-term financial backer and GO senior executives. They have been a Managed Networks' client since 2005 when we designed and built their initial IT infrastructure.
GO appointed Managed Networks due to its experience within the financial services sector and ability to understand the business requirements needed and how technology would support them.
Managed Networks continues to work with GO to support their growth.
As part of the regular account management review process, Managed Networks and GO discussed the business plans for the coming years and the technology options to support them. From this review the following business objectives were identified:
GO needs the ability to add functionality and complexity quickly and easily and at minimum capital cost
Ensuring room for growth whilst maintaining performance
A need to further improve resilience and reduce exposure to hardware failure
A desire to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT.
With the useful business life of a server infrastructure being three years, there was a need to refresh this infrastructure. Managed Networks had been testing Microsoft Server 2008 with Hyper-V for some time and this technology provided an opportunity to consolidate their servers (6) into a much smaller server footprint.
Managed Networks therefore recommended a virtualisation strategy, based on Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology, to provide a high-availability failover cluster. Managed Networks recommended GO use Dell’s rack mount servers (PowerEdge 2950’s) and their PowerVault MD3000i for a Storage Area Network (SAN). These offered the best performance for cost solution available at the time.
To deliver this, Managed Networks developed a project plan that involved building and testing the infrastructure at Managed Networks’ secure site and then deploying to the GO data room.
Through well thought out, goal orientated tasking and project management, any disruption to GO’s services was limited to a single weekend. An additional weekend was used to move further non-core infrastructure servers into the virtual environment.
ConclusionThe system has been proven to be both reliable and resilient and is regularly tested to ensure this is the case. Additionally, one accidental failover occurred whilst addressing an issue without any disruption to services, demonstrating the effectiveness of the solution to a real world event.
GO’s Finance Director also approves. The initial replacement cost, including the hardware purchase and the labour costs to configure them, was nearly 25% less than had the servers been replaced on a like for like basis. There will be even more significant cost gains for the replacement of the next sets of servers that come to the end of their warranty period. These are anticipated to be nearer a 50% saving.
In addition, there is a significant reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by virtue of the extended life of the new system, which is estimated to be around 4 years against the normal 3 expected from server equipment. This is then further enhanced by the simplified and reduced administrative IT tasks which further reduce ongoing costs. Over the period, it is anticipated that TCO will reduce by over 30%.
The non-financial benefits to GO have included:
The ability to add functionality and applications without having to add additional hardware.
The network configuration allows for rapid re-deployment of guest servers on different host (physical) servers should there be a host or guest server failure; this provides far more resilience than previously possible without significant hardware investment.
Replacement of end of life servers with a system that is not only fit for purpose now but has the potential to expand with the company’s growth plans.
Enhanced resilience and redundancy to minimise downtime – a crucial aspect for GO’s business.
Overall, minimal disruption, maximum availability and simplified management has made a happy client.