Case Study: EBI-EMBL Data Centre Consolidation

EBI-EMBL Data Centre Consolidation 2017-02-27T23:49:05+00:00

THE SITUATION

Sunspeed, one of Europe’s leaders in server transport and IT relocations commissioned JSC to provide complex migration support services and management to its client EBI-EMBL, the organisation responsible for managing the Human Genome project and part of the Wellcome Trust organisation. EBI is responsible for managing the data for the only live, working version of the human genome which consists of over 8PB pf data.

There was a requirement to consolidate two main data centres into a single core data centre. This was to be achieved using JSC’s full auditing and cabling services with Sunspeed managing all aspects of the physical migrations.

The project also required implementation of JSC DCIM tools and practices to assist and plan the new environment to ensure migration activities and ongoing data centre management could be performed effectively. This, together with a requirement for one hundred percent guaranteed like for like cabling accuracy, without failure, provided JSC with an ideal opportunity to fully display its capabilities in a trust assured and totally quality managed situation.

THE ISSUES

– During preliminary audit work, a diverse range of challenging issues quickly became apparent:
– An absence of labelling protocols, which impeded rapid identification of equipment;
– An absence of patching/asset documentation;
– Large quantity of overhead, proprietary SAN cabling;
– Densely populated racks with requirement for zero disruption
– Destination site unfinished and in process of being commissioned (load testing, build etc)

THE SOLUTIONS

A comprehensive site survey was carried out, which included a detailed equipment and complete end-to-end cabling audit. In preparation for the migration and to begin forming part of the infrastructure management information handover, all equipment and cabling was labelled and all details fully documented in accordance with JSC’s infrastructure planning and quality assurance protocols.

Information collected from the audits was provided to the client for analysis and planning to progress using JSC’s established software. JSC’s technical team were engaged to assist in the destination site rack and patch planning in order to assist and enable the client to progress and manage other aspects of the project.

Following client agreement and sign-off of the detailed designs, JSC then progressed to creating the final design and migration documents, including migration equipment and cabling pick lists, source/destination rack plans and full patch schedules.

In order to deliver the main migration within the required timescales and achieve the required migration quality criteria, JSC engineers attended site to complete pre-patching of the environment. Our skilled engineers used specialised techniques and equipment to ensure that the highly populated racks were fully serviceable and that there was no impedance to the re-installation of the equipment.

An initial relocation of equipment was conducted for DR purposes to an existing client owned site, which required us to support the migration of approx. 70 devices and install around 300 data cables.

The main migration was carried out during normal business hours over a three day period, staged for equipment criticality and work flow. JSC engineers attended the source sites to recover proprietary SAN cabling from the overhead containment and also followed behind the relocation engineers to complete the final power and data connections and cable dressing. All final connections were then subjected to our final checking procedures, which confirmed that every single data connection, of which there were over 600, as working correctly; a 100% success rate!

Following successful handover, all infrastructure documents were updated and presented to the client for ongoing use and management of the environment.

THE OUTCOMES AND BENEFITS

This project demonstrated a highly successful migration of extremely business critical equipment within an agreed and challenging timescale.

JSC was able to completely transform a disordered data centre installation into an organised rack configuration, easily manageable and identifiable.

The client was provided with fully documented rack plans, asset schedules and patch schedules for their ongoing system management.

The client now enjoys a consistent, uniform quality standard of equipment identification and documentation, cable specifications/categories etc.

The services provided by JSC far exceeded customer expectations. This has encouraged and stimulated the development of a new level of quality for the provider organisation.

From the client: “Without JSC I would not have come close to achieving such a smooth data centre relocation… JSC’s planning and attention to detail left no stone unturned and raised a number of questions that we hadn’t previously considered” Global Scientific Research Authority

To find out more about JSC’s extensive range of data centre services and solutions, please contact paul.joyce@joycesolutions.com.