Broker switches to blades running Windows 2003

Financial services company EasyBroker has migrated its hosted Windows 2000 servers to blade servers running Windows 2003, which it hopes will improve provisioning of new applications.

Financial services company EasyBroker has migrated its hosted Windows 2000 servers to blade servers running Windows 2003, which it hopes will improve provisioning of new applications.

The company has been running its trading applications from a datacentre in Reading operated by hosting company Savvis since 2003. The datacentre had been run by Intel, but was taken over by Savvis when the chip manufacturer pulled out of the hosting business.

Alexis Michaelides, CIO at EasyBroker, said, "Eight months ago we did a feasibility study of migrating from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003."

The study showed the migration would be relatively straightforward since the broker's applications used SQL Server 2000 and the .net framework, both of which ran on Windows 2003. "Our tests showed that no work would be required on our code," Michaelides said.

The migration took just a weekend to complete. Previously, it would have taken two weeks just to install the new servers in the hosted datacentre, said Michaelides.

The move to a hosted blade server infrastructure has allowed the company to add and remove servers more quickly than in the past. Whenever EasyBroker requires a new blade, Savvis allocates virtual storage configured with an image of the operating system.

EasyBroker is using Savvis to provide servers and storage hosting, leased line and internet access.

Michaelides said, "Hosting is 40% cheaper than doing it ourselves." The savings arise from not having to pay for three shifts of IT staff required for 24x7 support, and not having to pay for routers and firewalls.

Hosting allows EasyBroker to add several new applications a year. Servers can also be taken offline if the new functionality is no longer required.

The switch-over took place at the end of May. The infrastructure uses discless dual Xeon processor blade servers configured with up to 2 Gbytes of memory, connected to a 3Par storage area network.

l Reuters has selected Savvis to provide network delivery of its market data services, which it supplies to companies in the financial sector.

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