Brit Insurance boosts storage efficiency by 80%

Brit Insurance has improved its server efficiency by 80%, as it enters the final stages of a two-year storage revamp, which has seen it cut its servers from 300 down to 90.

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Brit Insurance has improved its server efficiency by 80%, as it enters the final stages of a two-year storage revamp, which has seen it cut its servers from 300 down to 90.

The insurance firm has completed two of three phases of the programme, which is using EMC hardware and software to simplify its storage array, speed backup times and enable it to better manage sensitive data.

An array of disparate legacy IT systems meant Brit Insurance had been facing challenges in managing data to support business growth and meet regulatory rules. Employees were also beginning to face application performance issues.

Ben Dingley, infrastructure storage manager at the firm, said: “Our storage infrastructure was reaching the end of its life and ability to scale up to meet the company’s growing storage needs. We recognised that understanding how much data was being stored, and where, was becoming increasingly challenging.

“We also knew that our capacity requirement was growing at a rate of up to 50% year on year."

In June last year, the company decided to take action and began implementing a three phase storage management and centralised backup project, using EMC's archive solutions.

The first phase was completed in January this year, with the firm migrating its data onto a new EMC Symmetrix storage platform. After structuring the data, the company realised it had been storing nearly six terabytes more information than expected, at 14TB.

In the second phase, completed two months later, Brit Insurance concentrated on business insurance and disaster recovery. It installed the Symmetrix platform at a business continuity site, ensuring enough capacity to support key systems.

The last phase, which is ongoing, sees the company implementing a tiered storage architecture, and business continuity design for Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and VMWare ESX server.

As a result of the project, the insurance firm has been able set up a single point of data reference, enabling it to better understand IT requirements as it expands as a business. It has also reduced backup time from a day to eight hours, and ensured better business continuity, compliance with regulations and faster storage and backup processes.

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