Westcon merges to virtualised datacentre

The global distributor will consolidate its three datacentres to one as it turns to a fully virtualised IT model using Cisco UCS

Westcon Group is on track to centralise its datacentre operations using the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and EMC SAN.

The distributor previously had 175 physical servers globally for its network operations. That figure has dwindled to 24 Cisco UCS servers, which now run in a centralised datacentre environment.

The mass project has been two years in the making and when fully deployed, it will be operating its entire IT infrastructure in a virtualised environment. It previously had an HP environment.

Executive vice-president for Asia Pacific, Wendy O’Keeffe, said it was one of the first companies globally, to change its datacentre strategy using Cisco UCS.

Westcon is a global Cisco distributor.

“We are supporting our relationship with Cisco through this and believing in the product and technology,” O’Keeffe said. “We also did it because of the massive improvements we can leverage out of it from a cost and performance perspective.” “It’s been a significant impact on our bottom line.”

Westcon has three datacentres globally, one each in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The consolidation eliminates the strain of managing multiple disparate physical servers and provides redundancy, and real-time replication capabilities.

It also has the ability to run applications on a virtualised architecture across the business.

“We’re going from two datacentres to one. Phase three will include how we take our Asia-Pacific datacentre and move that to the US as well so we have one global datacentre fully virtualised,” she said.

O’Keeffe said the move to UCS would provide Westcon with the ability to process customer transactions twice as fast.

“We know that we can do that based on the sheer computing features,” she said. “We also expect to be able to get more efficiency from having a single, global ERP.”

O’Keeffe said the move to a single virtual datacentre was also about reducing power consumption and shrinking its server footprint. Westcon has a presence in about 57 countries and about 2000 employees.

“Our systems are able to grow at 100 per cent over the next few years and we’ll be able to grow with customers as their business grows and as the transactions grow,” she said.

The distributor recently formed a new organisation to help combat logistical issues caused by multinational sales.