15.03.17

telent takes the headache out of data centre migration for Mourant

Background

telent have been delivering enterprise data centre relocation services for over 20 years, utilising some of the highest qualified and experienced vendor-accredited engineers along with a pragmatic, can-do attitude to project management. 

Mourant is an international, multi-disciplinary, professional services group specialising in fund and corporate administration, offshore law. Head quartered in Jersey, the organisation has over 1,000 employees worldwide and has offices in Guernsey, Dublin, London, Cayman, Hong Kong, New York and Singapore. Its clients include global financial institutions, multi-national corporations, and leading fund promoters.

The challenge

Most of the company’s IT infrastructure was hosted in two rooms in a primary hosting facility in Jersey. However, space was restricted at this facility and as a fastgrowing organisation Mourant needed more space to accommodate its expanding IT infrastructure. The organisation also wanted to consolidate its IT environment from two rooms to one to make management of its systems easier, so decided to move to a larger, purpose-built data centre that could offer more space and better facilities.

The primary offshore hosting facility which was selected by Mourant is situated on the outskirts of St.Helier and plays host to a number of international banking and online retailers. Mourant decided this best-of-breed facility would be the ideal environment to host the second half of its mission-critical systems.

Relocating to a new data centre without losing any data or damaging hardware is no easy task and Mourant’s Infrastructure Manager was under no illusions as to the enormity of the challenge which lay ahead. Alun Toombs, Infrastructure Manager, Mourant explains: “It was imperative that our business data was not put at risk during the move, and although our mission-critical data was fully backed up at our second data centre, we were still concerned about the robustness of the hardware. Ultimately, many of these systems are not designed to be moved once installed.” 

The solution

telent has worked with Mourant for several years, providing technical support services for its storage and server environment, so is extremely familiar with its IT infrastructure. The data centre consolidation experts were the obvious choice to help design, plan and facilitate the relocation of its blade servers and storage, both integral parts of Mourant’s IT infrastructure, to the new data centre.

The physical move had to take place over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend when the majority of Mourant’s UK and offshore offices were shut down for a four day period. However, Mourant had to keep its mission-critical systems available for its non-European based businesses, so it failed over all of its capabilities to its other data centre in Jersey.

All support services were transitioned to enable the existing services to be powered down which meant that telent could disconnect the equipment, break it down to its component parts and move it.

Due the high-value worth of the equipment being moved between facilities, telent worked closely with Mourant to ensure all eventualities were prepared for. A staff rota was devised to ensure a hands-on team was constantly available and the necessary packaging to ensure the safe transit of the equipment was sourced. telent also organised insurance for the move and hired a specialist truck to safely transport the equipment.

The telent and Mourant team worked around the clock to ensure the seamless transition of Mourant’s Blade and Storage infrastructure from its existing location to the new facility. This was a meticulous and complex job and Storage Area Networks (SANS) are particularly complicated pieces of kit, so Mourant would only entrust this to telent due to its specialist expertise. The team worked overnight to shut the equipment down and it was then carefully dismantled. The Blade and SANs were then successfully transported to the new facility where they were meticulously rebuilt. telent remained on the island for a short period after the move to ensure that there were no issues once the infrastructure was back up and running.

The results

Now fully integrated in the new data centre, Mourant is reaping the benefits of a facility offering greater capacity for growth. “The move went extremely well and all of our initial concerns were quickly dispelled thanks to the skill and expertise brought by the telent team,” said St. John Cabot, IT Director, Mourant.

“We see telent as an extension of our own technical team. We were planning this move with them for the best part of 12 months and they were able to offer advice at both a strategic and tactical level."

“IT infrastructures aren’t designed to be moved, so this was a hugely expensive and complex exercise. However, thanks to the diligence and hands-on assistance of the telent team our mission critical systems were seamlessly moved to a new environment.”

Mourant is now planning for the next major change to its infrastructure which will see the business split into two separate organisations, and Mourant will once again call upon the expertise of telent as a trusted IT partner to assist its technical staff to effect this change.

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