Case Study

Planning and executing a critical data centre relocation for leading trading firm DRW

Overview

Techary have an ongoing relationship with DRW after successfully completing several desktop infrastructure projects in London. When the DRW team needed a trusted partner to deliver on a complex, business critical project, they turned to Techary.


DRW is a diversified trading firm that utilizes their own capital and trades at their own risk. They bring sophisticated technology and exceptional people together to solve complex problems in markets around the world and across many asset classes.
Client www.drw.com
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Requirements

Our solution

DRW required support across project planning for a data centre migration project. Taking advantage of the opportunity to deploy new infrastructure whilst ensuring critical infrastructure was migrated without interference to BAU operations required a co-ordinated approach between internal teams, based predominately in the US, and Techary’s Project Services team.
With the internal team predominantly located in the US, and with the logistical challenges presented by travel restrictions and global product constraint, communication and co-ordination was key throughout the project.

The Techary Project Services team engaged directly through several project co-ordination calls with the client stakeholders.

Communication was handled by building direct slack channels for consistent communication between DRW’s various internal teams across different geographic regions, Techary’s Project Management team and the Techary engineers working directly on the project. This level of interaction enabled constant feedback to all parties and allowed conversations to flow seamlessly.

The project involved input from multiple Techary teams, including:

– Projects team: to discuss the relocation and installation aspects – Technical team: to plan and discuss network and infrastructure setup requirements – Commercial team: to discuss the best vendor solutions and finance arrangements
The initial phase of the project involved Techary working with the client team to prepare the new environment. Consisting of twenty-one dedicated cabinets, our engineers followed pre-agreed cable schematics to ensure all connections were in place to mitigate risk during migration windows. All cabling was accurately labelled and audited as part of the deployment, providing the team with up-to-date documentation for the environment.

We also used the preparation time to install and test Power Distribution Units (PDUs), new server and networking infrastructure. Every connection was pre-ran during this phase to ensure the seamless transition of infrastructure during migration phases. Internal cabling was installed using cable-combs and cable management devices to maintain a neat and professional environment. A range of cabling technologies were deployed (Cat 6, SM Fibre, MM Fibre) on which light testing was performed prior to migration phases.

The new equipment also required Techary engineers to fit and test additional physical components (such as Network Cards). Completing these works before the migration phase helped the project run smoothly with minimal delays.
The phased migration was completed over a 6 week period, moving 75 servers and 15 network devices in total. We worked closely with DRW server engineers in Chicago on each phase, via the established dedicated communication links, ensuring each device was visible on the internal network post-migration.

The physical migrations had to be completed out of hours when the infrastructure was not required for BAU operations. Each week we would have a call with the client team to discuss the next migration phase, considering the new location for each move to ensure all cabling was correct and that the new U position was available in the rack.

We completed this check prior to the move to mitigate any risks as we had a four-hour window to get the devices relocated, racked and online for each phase.

Due to the DRW team being based in Chicago, our teams worked from 10:30pm to 5am local time each weekend to ensure the safe delivery of this project.

Results:

I wanted to take the time to reach out to you and thank you for the incredible work you have given us with the support of the move. We can safely conclude that the move was successful!

– Project Lead / Data Centre Engineer

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