Norwich Union to virtualise datacentre

UK insurer Norwich Union has...

UK insurer Norwich Union has rolled out software to help reduce the number of physical servers it needs for processing data.

Steve Houghton, infrastructure solutions architect at Norwich Union, said that having 2,500 physical machines running in the datacentre was consuming a lot of power.

Houghton and his team of 30 IT professionals wanted a system that would allow them to move critical processing jobs between physical and virtual machines during peak times.

"This is a huge undertaking, and we knew that it was essential to deploy a workload migration solution that was up to the task," said Houghton.

Norwich Union installed Platespin software to move jobs between virtual and real services.

The insurer encountered issues with drivers, ageing hardware and networking that slowed down the deployment process, but overcame the problems.

"We have seen a improvement in the performance of the data centre with over 1,000 virtual machines in operation," said Houghton.

Hougton said the software has saved his team 2,200 hours of configuration time and effort. "That's a savings of 300 work days or almost 17 months of labour for our IT team," he said.

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