Consolidation set to cut number of datacentres from nine to two

Abbey is on track to reduce its datacentres from nine to two by the end of 2005.

Abbey is on track to reduce its datacentres from nine to two by the end of 2005.

Over the past two years Abbey has shut down four datacentres in an effort to consolidate its Intel-based hardware using Unisys ES7000 servers and blade servers, which take up less space in the datacentre.

The consolidation will allow Abbey to reduce by 35% the number of Intel-based servers it operates.

"The consolidation is partly to reflect best industry practice. It also allows us to streamline our IT support model," said Bill Gibbons, director of technology services and support at the bank.

However, the consolidation was also driven by non-technical requirements, including a desire to reduce the bank's property portfolio, added Gibbons, whose remit also includes procurement and facilities management.

Abbey benchmarked suppliers and carried out risk analysis of the datacentre consolidation - considering the possibility of lower-quality support to the business in the event of any data loss - against the project's benefits.

Abbey is using dark fibre technology - unused fibre optic cables in its metropolitan area network - to copy data between datacentres.

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