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Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom, 2008/04/10 - Standard Chartered Jersey moves to a virtual environment to reduce physical and carbon footprint using VirtualizeIT for consultancy and support - VirtualizeIT.com.
VirtualizeIT, one of Europe’s leading virtualisation consultancies, has assisted Standard Chartered Bank in Jersey to implement a virtualised framework that protects legacy applications and data whilst significantly decreasing space and energy consumption.
As one of the world’s truly international banking organisations, Standard Chartered faced an interesting dilemma. They needed to capture an aging system that was loaded with historical data and to seamlessly move it from the front line into a readily accessible virtual state in order to gain reliability and efficiencies in space and energy reduction. The age of both the operating system and hardware configurations made the application vulnerable, difficult to support and inefficient to run.
With limited data centre capacity and growing environmental concerns, the Bank was keen to understand how a move to a virtual environment could help to reduce both their physical and their carbon footprint; “We needed to mothball the application but retain access and support. VMware ESX allowed us to “freeze” the application and therefore migrate the support burden from application specialists to infrastructure support providing both cost savings and reducing the risks of maintaining legacy applications.” noted Rob Barton, Head of Technology, Standard Chartered Jersey. “With rack space at a premium and power and cooling for lightly used servers both contributing unnecessarily to our carbon footprint, we recognised that server virtualisation offered us the opportunity to address our environmental concerns at the same time as meeting critical business needs.”
Standard Chartered Jersey had been taking a keen interest in the growth of server virtualisation and in particular VMware ESX Server and felt that this could possibly offer an ideal solution. “The prospect of being able to capture a system that was still required and remove its core vulnerabilities seemed to offer us the ideal solution. VMware’s prevalence in the market was a commanding argument, but the solution had to be right for us.” said Trevor Buesnel, Technical Manager, Standard Chartered Jersey.
One of the major drawbacks to pursuing this technology seemed to be the lack of expertise to implement the solution in line with strategic aims: “We needed to partner with a supplier who could not only supply and install VMware but one who had experience of the whole process of change and how this would affect our environment and who would ensure the project was a total success.” stated Rob Barton. He added “Equally we were well aware that this represented the opportunity to introduce a new technology that could have significant strategic importance, therefore we also required a partner who would work with us to maximise the potential it presented.”
After thorough evaluation, Standard Chartered Jersey selected VirtualizeIT as the partner of choice appreciating their demonstrable expertise implementing complex virtualised solutions. Consultancy commenced with a Virtual Infrastructure Implementation Strategy (VIIS) leading to a coherent design and roadmap and the project coincided with the implementation of a new Storage Area Network solution utilising VMware ESX Server.
The VirtualizeIT technical solution comprised of four VMware ESX Host systems based on IBM x3850 servers and VMware Virtual Center server to provide the systems management. Two were dedicated to front line duties and two for disaster recovery. The existing system was converted from its physical presentation into a virtual equivalent (P2V) and was contained within the SAN platform. The ability of Vmotion (dynamic placement of the virtual machine from one host to another) enabled high availability of the application. The second phase captured the fringe services that were not running on enterprise class hardware and to move them into the virtualisation platform, offering high availability built into the underlying solution rather than needing point solutions and doubling of hardware resources. This was quickly followed by “middleware” servers operating on the Windows 2003 Server platform. One area that Standard Chartered was anxious to exploit was the additional benefits that VMware offered in testing and development. Rob explained “The need to test changes to systems and infrastructure carries significant importance within the financial sector but this can be a lengthy and complex process to complete. VMware offers us the ability to more accurately simulate our live services and complete testing more reliably and in greatly reduced times. The end result is significantly improved IT delivery”.
Summarising the benefits, Standard Chartered is now able to take advantage of high availability delivered at an infrastructure level; containment area for new servers; rapid deployment for services; high function development and testing platform; productivity gains; protection of aging but critical systems and reduced physical and carbon footprint. On the project as a whole Rob concludes “From the very beginning of the engagement, VirtualizeIT’s enthusiasm was infectious but this did not dilute their professionalism or attention to detail. Our immediate requirement was quickly met but it was the partnering that for us delivered the most benefits. We now have a team internally who understand the technology and are pioneering its productive use within the Bank. The solution really delivers the virtual infrastructure that VirtualizeIT presented at the first conceptual meetings between the two companies.”
VirtualizeIT (onyourcase.co.uk) is the premier consultancy practice dedicated to the advancement and adoption of virtualisation technologies within today's businesses, encompassing strategic solutions from the data centre to the desktop. Having been providing virtualisation solutions for more than 7 years, we have an unrivalled track record through our experience and services that cover all areas of virtualisation. This approach of combining virtualisation technologies into a coherent virtual infrastructure strategy is unique within the market place. Offering a comprehensive geographical coverage including offices throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland VirtualizeIT represents the ideal combination of locally available expertise.
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