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Case Study

Data Centre Migration Services

Strategy and Execution of Complex Data Centre Migrations

Customer Challenge

A global risk, reinsurance and human resources company was seeking to exit a legacy, on premise data centre to a strategic colocation facility.

The migration comprised of a collection of tightly coupled systems. Each system carried significant operational risk as they included customer facing demilitarised zones (DMZs), which consisted of many interdependent components (switches, servers, firewalls etc.) that in aggregate needed to be highly available and secure. The client retained Citihub Consulting to set the migration strategy, engage migration logistics partners, define the migration architecture, build out core and swing infrastructure, control testing and acceptance, and manage the end-to-end project.

How Citihub Consulting Helped

Citihub Consulting began by auditing the current state to form a baseline inventory. A migration strategy was then devised in two parts. Firstly, high risk equipment and applications were identified for remediation or transformation prior to migration. Secondly, a review was conducted to identify opportunities for de-coupling components of the estate so as to simplify migration phasing.

Once the migration strategy, approach and detailed migration phases were defined, an RFP exercise was conducted to select a partner for logistics. Citihub Consulting worked with the customer and vendors to define the finer points of the contracts associated with the migration. This included space/power requirements at the co-lo provider, vendor responsibilities and timescale expectations. Citihub Consulting advised through to the signature of each contract.

Citihub Consulting then managed the execution of the project over multiple weekends. Our team managed customer and vendor resources to install a core network at the target site, build out swing infrastructure and migrate assets through a series of risk mitigated migrations. The Citihub Consulting team was also responsible for all infrastructure and
application testing both pre- and post-migration. Our test manager worked closely with the business to build out UAT tests and to have these executed at each of the required acceptance gates.

Throughout the project, Citihub Consulting ensured that the customer was up to date on the current project risks, timescales and budget and brought the project to a close ahead of time and within budget.

Client Benefits

A Risk-Mitigated Migration
Owing to the tightly coupled nature of the existing estate, the customer’s initial plan was to relocate all assets in one move. This carried a very high risk to service integrity.

Citihub Consulting’s review of the estate revealed several potential units of architecture that could be split, providing pre-migration work de-coupled certain services. This, accompanied by other identified work streams to re-platform and transform high risk items, resulted in a successful migration with no loss of service.

Alignment of Property Strategy
The project was executed against the backdrop of a fixed end-date due to a lease expiry. Over-run would have incurred significant financial penalties. The project also helped the client to realise its DC vision – the consolidation of on-premise data centres into a colocation facility that could support its future growth, reduce operational risk and improve hybrid cloud connectivity.

Commercial Optimisation
End-to-end involvement in the project meant that Citihub Consulting could assist the client in optimising all commercial contracts for the move. Saves were achieved in the areas of co-location, network, and migration logistics. All spend decisions were structured to show the risk-to-cost relationship allowing the client to balance budget and risk as appropriate.