Attacks bring home the importance of BCM strategy
- Managed Services – Managed Hosting, Vaulting Solutions, Email Availability Services
- Consulting – Data Profiling
Before working with Sungard AS, LSE’s IT department spent an increasing amount of time maintaining the older of its two data centres. A number of outages were caused from the failure of key infrastructure (e.g. air-conditioning) within the facility. This had a knock on impact in delivering more strategic projects. LSE needed to find a cost-effective way to secure and store its data going forward. In addition to this, LSE was keen to build resilience into its data centre operations. This meant finding a co-location strategy that mitigated the risks associated with its location in central London.
For LSE, it was the July 7 attacks in London of 2005 that really brought home the importance of having alternative backup sites away from its campus in the heart of the Capital. Its location in the heart of London and next to the Royal Courts of Justice puts the university in an area at risk in terms of terrorist threat.
Therefore, when considering how best to run its data centre operations, Sungard AS was the obvious choice due to its extensive network of fully resilient and secure Technology Centres, which enjoy tri-angulated high bandwidth connectivity for heightened flexibility and robustness. The infrastructure allowed LSE to confidently co-locate its data centre operations and backup data away from its own on-site centre.
Another key factor in LSE’s decision to work with Sungard AS was the high level of resilience offered in comparison with other industry players and its 30 years’ heritage of providing live production support during system recoveries, and experience of protecting organisations’ data.
With data at the centre of everything that LSE does, any interruption or loss of information could cripple the organisation and those that work and study there.
Initially, there had been reluctance amongst the LSE board to outsource its data centre operations as handing over critical data to a third party was understandably perceived to be a big risk. However, Sungard AS was able to overcome this by agreeing to stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Sungard AS also arranged for senior LSE staff to visit Technology Centre 2 (TC2), Sungard AS’s highly resilient facility in Docklands, to see the quality of the location where LSE’s data would reside. This convinced LSE’s senior people that Sungard AS was a trusted and expert partner, and more than capable of storing and backing up its critical data.
Using Sungard AS’s electronic Vaulting Solutions, all of LSE’s critical systems and data, which totals over 40 terabytes of data held on 97 servers, remains available to all students and staff, even in the most severe cases of disruption.
The level of professionalism and expertise we receive from Sungard is outstanding. From the initial consultation and planning stages, through to the migration of our data centre and the day-to-day running of our IT systems, Sungard’s people have gone out of their way to understand our organisation, identify our needs and listen to our concerns.
Assistant Director in IT Services, London School of Economics