Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Cloud Ventures, Pat Romanski, Michelle Drolet

Blog Feed Post

Hosted Cloud infrastructure from Phoenix helps global leader Cape work even more industriously

In the UK, Cape employs 4,000 people and is the largest access and insulation employer in UK industrial services. It helps maintain over two-thirds of the UK's coal and oil-fired power generation facilities and 87 per cent of its nuclear capacity. As you would expect, IT plays a key role in its operations. When the company decided to relocate its UK headquarters, this was an opportunity to refresh and update the IT infrastructure: Cape's UK data centre was also located in its former Wakefield offices, from where the entire centralised infrastructure ran on 35 servers.

"IT is critical to how we operate as a business," says Dave Jones, Head of IT - UK Region, responsible for a user population of 700 across 60 sites. "It's absolutely essential in areas like payroll: we have to pay 4,000 people every week and it's critical we get it right. We can't risk people walking off-site because they haven't been paid!"

In his role, he says that IT has to be seen as a true enabler in delivering against business strategy and helping achieve corporate objectives: "The challenge for me, as Head of IT, is working closely with the business to ensure we're properly aligned - so I can prioritise IT projects and resources accordingly".

'Lift and shift' - or embrace the Cloud?
When the time came to move offices, Cape carefully reviewed the options available. "These included 'lifting and shifting' the whole IT Infrastructure to new purpose-built facilities at other UK sites - although there were no obvious sites and a significant cost would be involved," Jones says.

Jones continues "Second, we could lift and shift to a third party hosted data centre. But we needed around eight racks, so there'd also be a significant cost. The third option was a complete migration from on- premise physical infrastructures to a hosted Cloud solution.

Why Phoenix?
Phoenix already had a relationship with Cape, providing Business Continuity services and hardware break/fix maintenance for a number of years. "However, we did go out with a formal tendering process, initially looking at seven suppliers," Jones says. "But we knew from the outset that Phoenix had the resources and infrastructure in place to provide what we wanted. We also knew Phoenix people had the right skills around our critical SAP environment - the only aspect of our previous set-up that we wanted to physically migrate into the new facility, including a HP server." From a shortlist of two, Phoenix was awarded a three-year contract to host and deliver Cape's IT, in no small part based on the quality of its people. "Only three of the original seven suppliers believed they had the technical ability to support our SAP environment," Jones says.

A smooth transition
Cape's fully hosted solution is, Jones says, "based on best-of-breed technologies that include VMware for virtualisation and NetApp data storage. It's located in Tier 3 data centres that provide us with far greater security, redundancy and resilience than we could ever have afforded in-house." Cape now has a future-proofed IT Infrastructure that's extremely flexible and can be easily expanded to meet changing demand: "We can easily flex up if we require additional computing resources," Jones adds. "The great thing is, we can do this on-demand and at a monthly incremental operational cost, so we don't need to worry about Cape ex constraints. I suppose we have more of a 'hybrid' Cloud approach. It's clear Cloud computing is working out for us, and was the right choice for Cape."

"Phoenix provided us with a highly competent team throughout, from initial bid through the Solution Architects who designed our solution to the Project Manager and technical teams who delivered it. As with any large and complex project, you run into a few difficulties and learn lessons. But I've been extremely happy with the collaboration between Phoenix and my teams in getting issues resolved quickly, with minimum disruption. In fact, I did set expectations with the business of some disruption and, to be honest, we experienced far less than you'd normally associate with a project of this nature." Critically, not one payroll deadline was missed, despite the added complications of migrating over the SAP legacy system.

"It's clear that Phoenix attached all the right resources to deliver the solution we wanted. And the project did not overspend." Another positive outcome, he says, is this project helped drive improved change control in Cape's own IT team. "I knew we needed to tighten this up, and working with Phoenix - with its ISO accreditations, governance and change control processes - really helped us improve our culture internally. That's another win."

We knew from the outset that Phoenix had the resources and infrastructure in place to provide what we wanted. We also knew Phoenix people had the right skills around our critical SAP environment.
Dave Jones, Head of IT Cape

- ENDS -

Overview

Client
With 19,000 employees worldwide, Cape is an international leader providing industrial services to a wide range of clients, including access, insulation, fireproofing, coatings and cleanings.

Challenge
Relocate, update and enhance - at controlled cost - business-critical centralised IT services in advance of an office move. This included migrating and retaining an essential SAP legacy system into any new environment.

Solution
Cloud-based IT infrastructure services designed by Phoenix and hosted/delivered from a secure Phoenix data centre, including VMware virtualisation technology and NetApp storage. Phoenix also monitors and manages the environment 24/7.

Benefits
A more secure, resilient and flexible high performance IT infrastructure than Cape could have provisioned in-house, using the latest technology and delivering measurable technical and financial benefits. Phoenix expertise also guarantees support for a mission-critical SAP legacy platform, Cape's internal change control culture has improved significantly, and IT services can now flex on-demand.

About Phoenix
We are UK leaders in providing IT infrastructure services to help businesses innovate and grow while cutting costs and risk. We can host your services in the cloud or in the data centre, simplify desktop management, and build secure, reliable networks. Our business availability services can keep you working at all times. Whatever your needs, our professional experts can advise, plan and deploy, while our nationwide network of engineers are easily available for your support. For more information, please see: http://www.phoenix.co.uk/

Press contacts:
Nick Bird,
Spreckley Partners Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)207 388 9988
Email: phoenix@spreckley.co.uk

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

Cloud Expo Breaking News
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Are you interested in accelerating innovation, simplifying deployments, reducing complexity, and lowering development costs? The cloud is changing the face of application development and deployment, with enterprise-grade infrastructure and platform services making it possible for you to build and rapidly scale enterprise applications. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Gene Eun, Sr. Director, Oracle Cloud at Oracle, will discuss the latest solutions and strategies for application developers and enterprise IT organizations to leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to build and deploy modern business applications in the cloud.
Hybrid cloud refers to the federation of a public and private cloud environment for the purpose of extending the elastic and flexibility of compute, storage and network capabilities, in an on-demand, pay-as-you go basis. The hybrid approach allows a business to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness that a public cloud computing environment offers without exposing mission-critical applications and data to third-party vulnerabilities. Hybrid cloud environments involve complex management challenges. First, organizations struggle to maintain control over the resources that lie outside of their managed IT scope. They also need greater infrastructure visibility to help reduce maintenance costs and ensure that their company data and resources are properly handled and secured.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise), cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. At NuoDB we're involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc., will cover experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.