Full to the brim

Full to the brim

When Investec ran out of room in its datacentre, the banking house had to look at a new design that would be able to keep up with its expanding international business.

Trimming the fat

The new design included replacing Investec’s servers with one Intel-based ES7000 machine running a VMware environment and an EMC storage system utilising the OpenScale utility model.

“We virtualised a lot of those servers using VMware technology,” Robinson said. “As we were going along we made sure that there was a sense of team work with real knowledge sharing and transfer, so that Investec’s internal staff was comfortable with maintaining, operating and managing that centralised and virtualised environment.”

Server consolidation will not only help improve Investec’s utilisation rate, it also reduces the amount of space and prevents physical server sprawl. It also gives Investec the ability to adjust its computing requirements up or down and reconfigure infrastructure to meet changing needs as the organisation expands its international network.

“With the new scale-up system, Investec can add new and move virtual machines and has greater flexibility,” Robinson said. “As the business recognises new opportunities to generate revenue, the IT environment can rapidly change and adapt to provide whatever the business needs to be successful.”

The new production environment took about seven months to put in place and Investec is progressively migrating applications across.

“There are things that are still to be completed. We’re doing a lot of the documentation around operational processes that need to be set-up and customised around managing a virtualised environment,” Unisys real-time infrastructure services director Asia-Pacific, Jim Esmonde, said.

Previously, Investec’s commodity servers were running at a utilisation rate of roughly 10 per cent, Esmonde said.

“This is typical of most datacentre environments,” he said. “What we’ve been able to give them is a scale-up environment where the utilisation rate is plus 50 per cent.”

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