GENEVA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 25, 2009-- Brocade® (Nasdaq:BRCD), today announced that Insight Investment, part of the HBoS group and a specialist asset manager at the forefront of designing investment solutions specifically intended to meet clients’ needs, has selected Brocade to provide its entire business network. With Brocade DCX Backbones in the storage fabric and Brocade BigIron RX and FastIron SX switches in a dual core-edge design, the company has been able to reduce overnight back-up times by almost a third whilst also reducing power consumption and heat production. This has allowed much better efficiencies to be gained from the machine rooms, resulting in an overall reduction of operating costs and providing further capacity for growth.
Insight Investment manages funds for institutional and retail clients across a range of asset types including equities, bonds, derivatives and alternatives, with the aim of providing precise investment solutions for investment needs. Launched in 2002, Insight Investment has grown to be one of the largest asset managers in the UK.
In early 2008, Insight Investment conducted a holistic review of its IT infrastructure examining every aspect from design through to bandwidth performance. The resulting SWOT analysis identified a number of areas for improvement across the architecture.
“Bandwidth, particularly overnight is very important,” stated Peter Lethbridge , Head of IT at Insight Investment. “Throughput bottlenecks across the network were impacting performance, and our existing infrastructure was no longer coping with demand and this was causing unnecessary strain on our support colleagues. Similarly, our storage fabric had organically evolved to such an extent that we were facing a growing performance challenge. We had to make the necessary changes that we believe would allow our infrastructure to be future proof and keep pace with the growth and complexity of our business.”
Insight Investment chose to address the network and storage fabric simultaneously. Through systems integrator, Vanix, Insight Investment engaged with Brocade and, following a rigorous evaluation process, it became clear that Brocade’s BigIron RX and Brocade FastIron SX were the most suitable technology choices for Insight.
Lethbridge added: “Brocade [at the time Foundry Networks] had tangible references and an impressive track record, but limited exposure in the financial market place. However, given Brocade’s market leading SAN position within the financial industry, and the favourable feedback from its LAN references, we felt that trusting our network to Brocade would be a low risk option. Combining Brocade’s vision for converged IP networks over the long-term with its superior price performance in the short-term made it an ideal partner.”
The decision to replace the existing network with Brocade was made in October 2008 and the phased deployment began with the core in early December 2008; initially, edge switch links were tested before fully integrating the two cores. The full production environment was live by Christmas 2008, with the remaining POE edge solutions (including a legacy disaster recovery environment) due to be replaced as part of a trade-in agreement in spring 2009. Insight Investment immediately saw improvements.
“Since the dual core-edge infrastructure went live, we’ve seen significant performance and improved stability in our overnight batch processing,” said Lethbridge. “The deployment process was seamless and non-intrusive. We experienced zero outages during the transition, which was quite impressive give the scale of change. This change delivered a vast improvement in throughput. For example, Brocade BigIron RX delivers a 10GbE link between cores, compared to the previous 1GbE link, thus eliminating all bottlenecks within the network. We have already seen a 30 per cent reduction in back up times, and are committed to extending the project to replace our remaining POE edge solutions with Brocade switching.”
Within the storage environment, Insight Investment had been working with Brocade for a number of years. As the company’s appetite for bandwidth had evolved, so too had its need for storage capacity. The existing infrastructure, incorporating Hitachi Data Systems’ (HDS) 9585 disk arrays and Brocade 4100, 3900 and 3800 fibre channel switches, was performing adequately but we were starting to reach the limits of the HDS 9585 in terms of performance and scale. Insight Investment saw this as the perfect time to re-engineer the architecture (working with Solid State Solutions (S3)) to tackle some of the capacity issues it was facing.
The Brocade DCX Backbone was the obvious choice at the heart of the fabric. This Brocade DCX Backbone provided the investment firm with a low-risk way to transform its data centre infrastructure for maximum performance (up to 8Gbps), flexibility, and investment protection, while enabling important industry trends such as greater server virtualisation and greener data centres. The solution also features an in-built upgrade path to developing technology standards such as Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) or Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Complementing the Brocade DCX Backbone at the core, a HDS Universal Storage Platform (USP) V high performance disk array enabled batch times to be cut by 30%. The new storage environment has also enabled Insight Investment to consolidate its server estate to a 50% reduction in physical servers. Thereby reducing power consumption and heat production by 45-50kW.
“Conducting both the network and storage re-designs simultaneously was a big challenge, but Brocade worked tirelessly with our team and other partners to ensure that the migrations were seamless,” Lethbridge concluded. “Our infrastructure is now optimised to support the needs of the business today and in the future, and we have a true business partner in place to help us evolve with the needs of our clients and the market at large.”
About Insight Investment
Insight Investment manages funds for institutional and retail clients across a range of asset types including equities, bonds, derivatives and alternatives, with the aim of providing precise investment solutions for investment needs. Insight’s assets under management totalled £119.2 billion as at 31 December 2008. For more information, visit www.insightinvestment.com.
Brocade® (Nasdaq:BRCD) develops extraordinary networking solutions that enable today’s complex, data-intensive businesses to optimize information connectivity and maximize the business value of their data. For more information, visit www.brocade.com.
Brocade, the B-wing symbol, BigIron, DCX, Fabric OS, FastIron, IronPoint, IronShield, IronView, IronWare, JetCore, NetIron, SecureIron, ServerIron, StorageX, and TurboIron are registered trademarks, and DCFM, Extraordinary Networks, and SAN Health are trademarks of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. All other brands, products, or service names are or may be trademarks or service marks of, and are used to identify, products or services of their respective owners.
© 2009 Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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