Uptime Institute Shares Client Case Study: Consolidation Improving Security

Oct 11, 2017
by Josh Anderson

DENVER, CO — At our Denver Data Center Summit in August, Keith Klesner, Senior Vice President for North America at the Uptime Institute, shared with CapRE some insights from an industry report that surveyed 2,000 data center professionals across the country. Below, he shares with us some riveting client profiles for a peak into what’s really happening out there on the ground in the data center industry.

“These anecdotes illustrate the very large companies he’s working with in trying to solve some of the challenges in hybrid IT architecture in a changing data center world,” he began. “What are they actually dealing with? These tell some good stories.”

First up, Klesner spoke of a large U.S. financial firm with a significant number of data centers under a dispersed model. “They had 200+ companies as acquisitions, with no control over their IT. In the early 2010s, they stared working on a consolidation program,” he recalled. “They were working on it, but then they were forced to speed that up by a large merger in their wholesale banking business. So as you can see, it’s not just cost and the sprawl of IT that’s driving this.”

In fact, depending on your industry, according to Klesner, it can certainly be regulators or issues of compliance within your team. “Basically the regulator said to them, this merger isn’t going to happen unless you consolidate your IT, and get some control land compliance around your IT infrastructure,” he continued. “Now that they have it in one place, they’re on a better path. They ended up closing 234 data centers – an incredible number. Some of those may really be considered server closets, but nevertheless they’ve consolidated down to 10 data centers. They’re at the 20, 30, or 40 rack level. But nonetheless this is a significant foot print that was consolidated down to only 10 data centers. The moral of the story is that, In about 10 years, they virtualized their workload 10x. They went from 1,000,000 square feet to 700,000.”

Klesner says that this is somewhat typical of what he’s seeing out there in the financial services industry. “They have significant, excess capacity and it’s being shrunken down into more resilient data centers,” he curtly clarified. “Some other points of interest – this client was not comfortable with the public cloud. They’re building a private cloud and that’s going into these crown-jewel data centers. This is very typical – we’re talking about security. They have a security concern about leaving their own on-premise data centers and putting that into the Cloud. They get 15,000 attacks daily. They’re now using AI to improve security measures.”

Next, Klesner segued into his next client case study. “I’ll describe it as a large logistics organization,” he said. “There’s not too many of those, so I’ll try to keep from poking someone in the eye. But there are some good lessons here. Now it’s good to look at costs. But an operator from this organization described their former CIO as “penny-pinching.”

Reading from that operator’s description, Klesner continued. “They knew they were sitting on a legacy asset, and kept running it out, sweating it out, he read. “Even after seeking recommendations and analysis from others, including the Uptime Institute, they didn’t act on those needs to either replace or move to a better data center,” he remembered. “A major outage forced that action. That outage was as multi-million dollar event. It basically was impactful to the board and forced the executive team.”

Stay tuned for a follow-up Insider Report from CapRE to hear the result of this firm’s outage, as well as about a third client case study.

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