London Capital Group (LCG) provides financial services like spread betting and employs about 100 staff, with 35 in the UK’s IT team. It also has offices in Cyprus, Israel and Poland.
When CIO Blair Wright joined the company, LCG’s entire infrastructure was at the end-of-life stage, and was a mish-mash of traditional architecture – leading to an unnecessary level of complexity. So Wright instigated a project to replace everything from the ground up, so that the firm was able to maintain its existing setup while building fresh systems with Nutanix at the same time.
The company decided that they’d commit fully to Nutanix’s hyperconverged Xtreme Computing Platform for the enterprise, which is designed to consolidate compute, virtualisation and storage into one product, with the ability to scale easily.
In the 12 months since LCG decided to make the switch, the business has been able to place its entire architecture on the Nutanix platform. It also has new trading platforms running on Nutanix, and even did a building move in the middle of the deployment.
This, plus a reduced data centre footprint of 60 percent, has been “phenomenal”, according to Wright.
“Originally we were looking at Cisco equipment – Cisco servers backed with NAS or SAN behind it,” Wright says, speaking with Computerworld UK. “Then we met the guys from Nutanix and had a chat with them, which for me was a different view on what we wanted to do.”
“It’s not something we could have considered doing had we gone for a traditional architecture,” he explains. “Even half of that time would have probably been lost in the original installation and setup phase.”
“I needed one system to manage rather than having multiple systems,” Wright says. Now, in just over a year, the business’ infrastructure is all running Nutanix and fully operational. “As of last week they cleared the last cage of old equipment.”
LCG knew its systems needed re-hauling and so did discuss other vendors – but the simplicity of both installation and management that Nutanix offered won out.
“What made a massive difference for me was that I didn’t have to have a specialised storage team just to run our storage solution,” Wright says. “The core thing for us has been not having to deal with a separate storage solution – having it all in one product, with support from Nutanix, has made our lives a lot easier.”
“The fact that as a provider they understand virtualisation and understand VMware very well – they look at the virtualised world and how it interacts with everything – for us that support is invaluable.”
LCG is also running VMware NSX, which enables the microsegmentation of each system, providing a firewall around every server. “I haven’t worked anywhere else where we have the security we have today,” Wright says.
Wright says that initially, because Nutanix is a fairly new provider, he needed convincing. But when LCG looked at the traditional architecture, it all would have taken more time to deploy – plus the time to hire skilled staff.
“We were in a hurry to get the project done so we could get on with building the rest of the business,” he says.”The more we looked at it, the more we thought about it, the more it became a clear decision – if we do go with the technology, it will save us six months over going with something older.”