Migrating from a physical to a hosted Data Centre - Experiences of a small University
Migra&ng from a physical to a hosted Data Centre-‐ Experiences of a small University Peter Newton – UCA Paul Hopkins – HE-‐Shared Services
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…
UCA Campuses 2010 Maidstone Farnham Canterbury Rochester Epsom
UCA Environment -‐ July 2010 Maidstone Current DC Farnham Canterbury Rochester Epsom JANET KentMAN due to be KPSN in 2012
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
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
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?
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?
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
UCA Planned IT Provision -‐ July 2014 Maidstone Studios Disaster Recovery KPSN JANET Farnham Canterbury Rochester Epsom ULCC Datacentre
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
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?
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.)
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
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…
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)
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
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