Next-generation data centres protect Threadneedle’s assets

Communications integrator Affiniti has won a major data centre contract with international asset management company Threadneedle.

Faced with an increasing raft of compliance legislation and tighter legal regulation, Threadneedle decided that it would be prudent to outsource non-core business operations including the management of its data assets and IT business recovery infrastructure. Previously, these operations were spread across Threadneedle’s five UK data centres. Affiniti’s winning proposal recommended a world-class enterprise solution that would not only improve Threadneedle’s risk profile, but which would also consolidate its data centres allowing huge economies of scale.

In collaboration with its partner SunGard, Affiniti has successfully migrated all of Threadneedle’s London based IT to two new data centres, based in the south east of England. These tier 4 data centres are diversely connected, but operate independently, to ensure that in the event of a disaster, Threadneedle’s IT equipment continues running with little or no impact to service.

The rationalisation of property from five to two premises has ensured that Threadneedle immediately benefits from massively reduced operational costs. At the same time, cash flow will also be protected by eliminating the typical issues faced by data centres. Threadneedle’s new data centre solution comes with guaranteed service levels, which enables them the ability to scale plus cost effective facilities management. The consolidation of its technology into two state-of-the-art data centres has ensured that Threadneedle has a highly resilient infrastructure, which is significantly easier to manage.

Affiniti provided a tailored, end-to-end solution, from initial consultancy through to the design, build and ultimately migration to the new data centres. Above and beyond this, an important part of Threadneedle’s requirements were future development and support, and it was Affiniti’s full service offering, including outsourced communications, that helped secure the contract.

The final phase of the project commenced in December and saw Affiniti assist with a storage consolidation evaluation to ascertain the best storage design for Threadneedle’s information assets. One EMC DMX4 storage array has been installed in each of the two data centers to service the business. Each is capable of holding up to 66 TB of data.

Phil Whittock, Head of Infrastructure Architecture at Threadneedle commented: “This is the first time Threadneedle has outsourced its data centre requirements. We needed a trusted partner who could help us develop a reliable, future proof solution. With a strong heritage in data management and a clear focus on unified communications, Affiniti was a natural choice.”

Paul Renucci, Executive Director at Affiniti commented: “In reviewing its data centres and disaster recovery solutions, Threadneedle has demonstrated great pro-activity and foresight. The solution we have agreed will ensure that they immediately benefit from a more robust and simplified data centre architecture and reduced operational costs. It also provides a solid foundation for the business to flexibly protect its information assets and manage the burden of legal and regulatory compliance for years to come.”

Threadneedle is an existing client of Affiniti. It is currently two years into a three year contract for the management of Threadneedle’s Storage Area Network (SAN).