Local integrator MOQdigital has refreshed the ageing IT infrastructure of car insurer and mutual bank the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ), cutting infrastructure provisioning time down to a fifth of what it was previously and helping to uncover $500,000 in savings over the next five years.
The refresh utilises Nutanix technology and, according to RACQ security and shared ICT services general manager Ben Johnston, is set to accelerate the insurer and mutual bank's ability to develop new services five-fold.
“Previously, whenever the developers came to my team and needed to provision new infrastructure, we’d target a turnaround of five days – we’re aiming to drop that to just a day,” he said.
“We absolutely needed to ensure we had no impact on performance, as we’re running core workloads, including insurance and financial systems, as well as membership databases and our CRM [customer relationship management].
“I now have a team who no longer have to run hardware as their primary day job; instead, they’re now providing more value by developing our capabilities in the automation, orchestration, security, and optimisation spaces.”
In addition to the long-term savings and expedited turnaround times, the refresh has also added to RACQ’s cloud capabilities.
“Not only have we greatly reduced infrastructure overheads, we’ve also gained private cloud capabilities so we can apply the same management models we use for public cloud infrastructure to on-premise,” Johnston said.
“We’re currently developing a common API so we can provision wherever we need to, whether that’s on Nutanix, AWS, Azure, or Google – that simply wasn’t possible for us before.”
The whole project started with the planning and design phase in October 2018, while the infrastructure was implemented by MOQdigital during a data centre migration to a colocation facility, which spanned from February 2019 to September 2019.
“We’ve achieved an almost three-fold reduction in our hardware count with Nutanix. We’ve gone from four storage arrays to none, from two data centres full of racks to around four racks per site, and the people hours we’ve saved in maintaining the environment have been significant,” Johnston said.
The primary reason for RACQ to use Nutanix technology was to reduce the footprint of its data centre, which ended up going from four storage arrays and two data centres full of racks to no storage arrays and about four racks per site — a reduction of nearly three times its original size.
In addition to the cutback on hardware, the refresh also brought with it an improvement in performance, as well as providing the insurer and mutual bank a platform for emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robot processes.
The refresh came about as RACQ’s previous IT infrastructure had bogged down its IT team on maintaining the system, Johnston added.
“One of my teams would spend far too much of their time dealing with hardware updates and firmware fixes – now it’s just not an issue,” he said.