Data Center Strategy for an Asian Bank

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JP Reis helped an Asian banking subsidiary devise its data center strategy.

The bank was looking to present the business case for the phased 5-year upgrade of its data center provisions. They were starting with the head office building, 2 separate colocated facilities with different contract terms and an existing DR facility all within a relatively tight radius.

Our role was to present relevant trends within financial services, make an appraisal of our client’s situation, help to create the proposed strategy and to present it both as a full report and as a lightweight executive overview with costings included where possible.

The key trending topic was the level of outsourcing that would take place on the continuum between in-house server rooms, colocated data centers and public Cloud computing. This was negotiated through a series of workshops and roundtable discussions.

The JP Reis team inspected the current sites before presenting every conceivable option from extending the current contracts, through the most expensive and secure solutions to the most flexible and affordable. This allowed us to achieve a defensible strategy where all ideas had been considered. The eventual findings, once costed out, had one unusual recommendation:

  • Migrate suitable applications to The Public Cloud
  • Polarize application distribution between data centers to an Active/Passive topology.
  • Use much higher density servers at new sites.
  • Perform rationalization of servers and apps before migrating the older colo facility to a more geographically separated one over 35km away.
  • Migrate the newer colo to an in-house facility at the head office.
  • Go to market for a new DR facility.

Proposing an in-house DC was not expected by our team at the outset but the eventual case was compelling and accepted by the parent company. This demonstrates the need to consider all options carefully without making assumptions. This case also demonstrates that there generally needs to be some level of hybridization to achieve the optimum, contemporary computing solution.

The next steps would be to audit and prepare apps and servers for effective migrations.

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