Leading UK Investment Management Company Lowers Operational Costs And Reduces Carbon Footprint By Migrating Legacy Datacentres To Nutanix Cloud Platform
With a clear focus on the provision of high quality investment management services to a diverse client base, JM Finn was keen to embrace cloud computing as part of transformation plans to make the company’s IT more agile, cost effective and easier to manage.
||Operational savings||Improved efficiency|
|Rapid relocation of primary and secondary datacentres, with no impact on availability
||Rack occupancy slashed by 75% with huge savings in terms of power, cooling and staffing overheads||All the performance, scalability and simple management of cloud but with clear security, cost and accountability advantages
Over just two weekends we relocated both our primary and secondary datacentres, but that’s not all. By migrating all of our legacy servers and applications to the Nutanix Cloud Platform we were able to reduce the overall rack footprint by 75% and realise tangible benefits in terms of operational costs and environmental impact.
Since its inception in 1946, JM Finn has grown steadily to boast both a multi-million pound investment portfolio and enviable reputation for individual client-focused financial investment services recognised as amongst the best in the world. Together with the expertise and professionalism of its staff, IT has played a key role in fostering this reputation and Jon Cosson, Head of IT and CISO at JM Finn, was keen to continue the process by taking full advantage of the latest cloud developments as part of wider business reorganisation plans.
“Following a decision to move our HQ to new modern offices in Moorgate and relocating our datacentres outside of London, it made sense to look carefully at what we could do to improve, not only performance, but the scalability, availability and ease of management of our datacentres. Public cloud was an option, and will have a key role in the future, but for now we felt we could get the same benefits from a private cloud with the added benefit of greater certainty when it came to operational costs and our carbon footprint.”
Choosing a suitable platform was relatively straightforward as Cosson and his team had previously used the Nutanix Cloud Platform to, first, replace a key legacy storage resource then rapidly host a company-wide EUC application to support working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Having successfully switched a workforce of over 300 onto remote working in under a week we knew just what the Nutanix Cloud Platform was capable of doing and how easy it was to manage. Added to which it offered us hypervisor neutrality which meant we had the option to simply migrate most of our existing VMware VMs rather than immediately switch everything over to the AHV hypervisor.”
Following an extensive needs analysis, Cosson and the team came up with a design which has enabled JM Finn to slim down its data centre infrastructure from twenty four to just six equipment racks. An impressive 75% reduction with major implications for both power and cooling requirements as well as the company’s long term carbon footprint.
The required equipment was quickly ordered and installed first in a brand new primary datacentre in Bury St Edmunds then at a secondary site in Winchester to provide additional backup and disaster recovery capabilities. Once working, migration was scheduled to take place over successive bank holiday weekends to mitigate against any disruption although, in practice the process proved trouble free.
“It all went remarkably smoothly,” commented Cosson. “There was no loss of service and no complaints which has to be a first for a project like this which could, so easily, have gone off the rails and caused real headaches for the business. It’s hats off to Nutanix and its partners for making it so seamless and we’re very pleased with the results and the high level of support both during and after the process.”
The team has yet to come up with exact facts and figures but performance gains have been widely reported and running costs significantly lowered which, according to Cosson has made the CFO very happy. He has also been able to halve the number of staff needed to support the new infrastructure with those displaced moved into other roles to find ways of better exploiting the new technology.
Looking ahead, Cosson is keen to take full advantage of the company’s new private cloud to further drive down operational costs and maximise the value of the company’s investment. Alongside ongoing work to identify workloads suitable for moving to the Nutanix AHV hypervisor several projects are planned, including the migration of legacy IBM systems over the next few months.
“We’re still running a lot of older IBM kit and will be virtualising applications hosted on these systems to run on AHV in Q1 next year,” he explained. “We’re also bringing a cloud-based customer portal in-house as well as looking at other ways of leveraging our private cloud as part of our ongoing digital transformation programme.”