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Migrating from a physical to a hosted Data Centre - Experiences of a small University

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A perfect storm of disparate requirements, multi-location institutions, poor network links and DR needs led the UCA to a cloud based solution …

A perfect storm of disparate requirements, multi-location institutions, poor network links and DR needs led the UCA to a cloud based solution

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  • 1. Migra&ng  from  a  physical  to  a  hosted  Data  Centre-­‐  Experiences  of  a  small  University  Peter  Newton  –  UCA  Paul  Hopkins  –  HE-­‐Shared  Services  
  • 2. University  for  the  Crea&ve  Arts  Formed  in  2005  by  merging  2  colleges  of  Art  &  Design  in  Surrey  with    3  colleges  in  Kent.    7,000  students  spread  across  5  campuses  –  130  miles  apart    Turnover  £60million  p.a.    –    IT  Budget  (£4.5M)      Supported  by  an  IT  team  of  28  –  with    •  Technical,  Applica&ons  Team  based  in  Maidstone  •  Business  Development  and  Administra&on  in  Farnham  •  2nd  Line  Support    at  each  other  campus  Technically,  the  Kent  Campuses  are  connected  via  KPSN    and  the    Surrey  Campuses  linked  directly  to  JANET  …  but  all  with  minimal    network  resilience…    
  • 3. UCA  Campuses  2010  Maidstone  Farnham   Canterbury  Rochester  Epsom  
  • 4. UCA  Environment  -­‐  July  2010  Maidstone  Current  DC  Farnham  Canterbury  Rochester  Epsom      JANET    KentMAN  due  to  be  KPSN  in  2012  
  • 5. In  2011,  UCA  agreed  plans  to  vacate  the  Maidstone  campus  by  summer  2014.      Hence  a  need  to  examine      •  where  the  Data  Centre  should  move  to;      •  the  future  of  the  Technical  and    Applica&ons  teams;  and    •  how  to  minimise  risk  to  UCA  during  this  transi&on      …whilst  there  are  seismic  changes  occurring  in  Higher  Educa&on,  IT  technologies  and  student  expecta&ons!    Maidstone  Closure  –    Announced  2011  
  • 6. What  choices  are  realis&c?  And  what  do  we  need  to  do  about  our  network?  • Build  a  new  DC  /  DR  at  Campus  • Implement  Cloud  as  a  solu&on  • Commercial  Datacentre  Solu&on  • H.E.  Datacentre  Solu&on  
  • 7. Technical  Considera&ons  There  was  a  possible  DR  or  DC  loca&on  in  EPSOM    Issue  1  :      Weak  DR  Environment  Issue  2:    No  space  for  a  Data  Centre  Issue  3:  Hidden  higher  expenditure  in  the  Opera&ng  Costs    Build  a  new  Datacentre  on  another  campus  Issue  1:    Disadvantages  at  all  other  sites  Issue  2:    In  a  rapidly  changing  HE  environment,  would  a  future  merger  or  reduc&on  of  another  campus  happen  within  10  years?    Rent  space  in  a  commercial  or  another  university  data  centre?  Issue  1:    Finding  a  cost-­‐effec&ve  data  centre  provider  Issue  2:    What  would  the  ideal  solu&on  be  for  a  DR  centre  –  in-­‐house  or  not?    Cloud  Issue  1:      A  DC  s&ll  required  at  our  Root  Technical  Level  Issue  2:  Timescales  dependent  on  expenditure    …  and  how  do  you  develop  a  low-­‐risk  plan  to  move  everything  from  in-­‐house  to  out-­‐of-­‐house?  
  • 8.  Management  Considera&ons  •  Moving  away  from  Kent  increases  likelihood  of  losing  key  technical  staff    •  Are  we  looking  at  fully  hosted,  IaaS,  PaaS  or  a  mix?  Or  is  there  a  migra&on  route?    •  How  do  you  find  a  commercial  vendor  who  understands  the  HE  culture?    •  If  staying  in  HE  sector,  how  do  you  get  a  good  service?  •  How  do  we  get  our  Board  of  Governors  and  Exec  Board  to  agree  to  our  chosen  route?  
  • 9. Our  solu&on  and  route-­‐map  1.  Standardize  applica&ons  to  support  virtualisa&on  backup,  removing  hardware  dependence.  2.  Re-­‐design  the  data  network  so  that  there  is  sufficient  bandwidth  and  diverse  rou&ngs  into  each  campus  3.  Iden&fy  possible  Commercial  and  in-­‐sector  service  suppliers  4.  Brief  Execu&ve  and  also  Governors  early  to  get  their  advice  and  commitment  to  the  route  forward  5.  Prepare  an  environment  to  ENABLE  a  route  map  that  moves  from  the  historic  physical  applica&on/server  environment;  using  virtualisa&on  prepare  capability  for  migra&on  to  external  IaaS,  to  PaaS  and  even  to  SaaS  
  • 10. UCA  Planned  IT  Provision  -­‐  July  2014  Maidstone  Studios  Disaster  Recovery  KPSN  JANET  Farnham  Canterbury  Rochester  Epsom  ULCC    Datacentre  
  • 11. From  Physical  through  to  SaaS…  Any-­‐Shore  Virtualiza&on  Unlinks  Hosted  Racks  Located  in  Vendor  DC  Near-­‐Shore  Applica&on  in  Vender  Server  &  DC  Far-­‐Shore    Our  Loca&on,  Rack,    Server,  Applica&on  
  • 12. Progress  to  date  1.  Exec  Board  and  Governors  are  fully  on  board  with  the  route  forward  2.  We  have  virtualised  90%  of  our  applica&ons  –  except  for  Agresso      and  Blackboard–  because  these  vendors  have  not  yet  agreed    that  they  can  support  fully  virtualised  applica&ons    3.  We  have  developed  a  detailed  plan  –  and  contracted  with  ULCC  for  the      hosted  Data  Centre  and  Maidstone  Studios  for  the  DR  centre  4.  We  have  worked  with  JANET  to  ensure  that  ALL  of  our  network  connec&ons      and  upgrades  will  be  available  on  &me    5.  We  are  working  with  HP  to  deliver  the    required  HP  hardware        …  and  are  busy  execu&ng  the  plan  …  So  how  did  we  select  our  partners?    What  is  our  view  of  the  state  of  the  market?      
  • 13. Finding  an  In-­‐sector  Hos&ng  partner  1.  We  wrote  to  all  UCISA  Directors  in  November  2012  to  ask  who  had      recently  built  a  Data  Centre,  who  was  planning  to  do  so?    2.  We  found  several  HEIs  who  were  keen  to  discuss  whether  we      would  hire  racks  in  their  exis&ng  Data  Centres    3.  We  discussed  some  anrac&ve  prices  (under  £12k  per  rack  per  year)      but  we  were  worried  about  their  experience  of  providing  a      hosted  service  etc.    5.  We  looked  at  ULCC  –  and  were  very  impressed  by  their  set-­‐up.  They  •    Matched  commercial  vendors  in  environment    •    Understood  the  HE  culture  •    Very  cost-­‐efficient  •    Future  benefits  for  IaaS,  PaaS  •    Poten&al  for  managed  services  (Unit4  Finances,  Moodle  etc.)  
  • 14. Finding  a  Commercial    Hos&ng  partner  1.  We  did  not  wish  to  write  or  conduct  a  full  OJEU  Tender  –  hence  we  were      restricted  to  using  Government  frameworks  or  the  JANET  Brokerage      framework  if  we  wanted    a  full  Data  Centre,  mul&-­‐year  Agreement    2.  The  G-­‐Cloud  had  very  many  poten&al  vendors  but  the  focus  was  on  virtualiza&on      but  our  priority  was  having  no  physical  hardware  at  Maidstone  by  July  2014.      3.  We  began  discussions  with  a  company  on  the  JANET  Brokerage  but  found  that  their      costs  were  way  in  excess  of  what  we  could  afford  (>£20k/year  per  rack)    Overall,  we  were  not  happy  with  the  choice  of  Commercial  vendors  –  and  felt  that  we  did  not  have  the  experience  (or  inclina&on!)  to  teach  them  how  to  work  within  HE    4.  Finally  we  found  a  poten&al  vendor  (Maidstone  Studios)  close  to  our  home,  who    •    already  had  a  business  rela&onship  with  UCA  –    •    have  an  Award  wining  Data  Centre  •    Understood  the  HE  culture  (-­‐  already  hos&ng  UCA  Broadcast  Media  Courses)  •    are  very  cost-­‐efficient  
  • 15. So…  Who  did  we  choose…  and  why?  1.  JANET  to  provide  our  Data  Network  –  cost  effec&ve  and  responsive  2.  HP  to  provide  the  servers  for  our  DR  site  –  they  already  provide  the  servers  for    our  current  environment,  worked  closely  with  us  reviewing  our  server  and  SAN  technical  solu&on  and  offering  to  support  during  installa&on.    3.  Maidstone  Studios  to  provide  our  DR  environment    4.  ULCC  to  provide  us  with  a  cost-­‐effec&ve  Data  Centre  racks  (5+  racks)    5.  SYSPRO  to  support  and  implement  the  sorware  DR  solu&on      6.  Addi&onal  contractors  to  backfill  2  technical  roles  so  that  we  can  dedicate  our    key  technical  staff  to  focus  almost  solely  on  this  project    We  have  kept  our  contracts  to  no  more  than  2  years  because  we  that  technology  is  changing  con&nually.    There  could  be  alterna&ves  in  the  near  future  and….  we  might  want  to  move  from  IaaS  to  PaaS  (and  SaaS)  within  the  next  2-­‐3  years…  
  • 16. So…How  are  we  doing  it?  1.  Upgrade  our  network  environment    &  implement  resilient  routes  for  all  campuses  2.  Setup  HP  3PAR  SAN  &  Server  in  ULCC  (-­‐  Downsizing  to  an  es&mated  3  Racks)  3.  Move  virtualised  systems  to  ULCC  shutng  down  Maidstone  servers  as  we  migrate    4.  We  will  install  the  DR  facility  in  Maidstone  Studios  and  test  thoroughly  5.  We  will  select  a  ‘long  weekend’  and  fail  over  DR  6.  We  will  physically  transport  our  remaining  servers  up  to  ULCC  (the  new  Data      Centre),  bed  them  in  and  test  thoroughly    5.  We  will  ‘fail  back’  our  services  from  DR  (Maidstone  Studios)  to  produc&on  (ULCC)    6.  We  will  setup  a  de-­‐duplica&on  environment  at  Epsom  using  Tape  and  Cloud  as  Backup    Cri&cally  we  have,  from  the  start,  involved  our  Execu&ve  Team,  Heads  of  Schools      and  Deptment  Heads  to  understand  and  manage  their    expecta&ons  on      &me  to  restore,  data  recovery,  data  reten&on  and  all  things  OLAs  (SLAs)  
  • 17. Cloud  Applica&on  as  Service  /  Infrastructure  Cloud  Backup  UCA  Poten&al  IT  Progress  Post  2014  JANET  Maidstone  Studios  Disaster  Recovery  ULCC    Datacentre  Core  Epsom  Tape  Management  
  • 18. Cloud  Applica&on  as  Service  /  Infrastructure  Cloud  Backup  UCA  Cost  Reduc&on  Downsizing  ULCC    Datacentre  Core  Epsom  Tape  Management  On-­‐going  Cost  Analysis    into  Migra&on  Reduce  tape  management  
  • 19. Any  Ques&ons?