Learn how Trustco partnered with Saunderson House to deliver an integrated storage and backup solution to improve manageability and treble performance whilst meeting strict regulatory compliance.
Saunderson House is a leading firm of independent wealth managers based in the City of London providing award-winning advice to busy professionals and other high net worth individuals. They have a single-minded focus on helping clients grow, preserve and pass on their wealth. This is coupled with the highest standards of client care and a commitment to shoulder the administrative burden. They have won multiple awards including ‘Best Advisory Firm’ at the 2012 and 2013 Investment Week Fund Manager of the Year awards and ‘Adviser Firm of the Year’ at the 2014 Money Marketing awards.
Saunderson House continues to go from strength to strength as client acquisition grows and the firm expands. This growth strategy is supported by investment in a robust and reliable IT infrastructure. Trustco have developed a strong partnership with Saunderson House since first working together in 2011, and so when Saunderson House were looking to update their IT infrastructure, Trustco were the first number they dialled.
Project 1: Innovative storage solution to support high performance VDI
Saunderson House prides itself on innovation and has an open approach to researching and implementing cutting edge technology. In 2012 the company commissioned a project to virtualise desktops for its 125 employees to improve user experience and help reduce support issues.
Having kept his eye on emerging solutions within the marketplace, Dave Pritt, IT Business Services Manager for Saunderson House approached Trustco to find a suitable storage system to support the high performance required to support a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution.
Pritt commented, “I love researching different technologies and discussing products with manufacturers but I don’t always have time to do this justice. I knew Trustco understood the marketplace and would provide us with objective technical advice and guidance.”
Trustco constantly monitor the industry for new products from both established and new vendors to provide their customers with the most appropriate solution. The pre-sales team worked with Pritt to clearly define his requirement from the outset. Once the project drivers were established, Trustco suggested multiple vendor options and undertook an appraisal process with Pritt. After the individual technologies were discussed it was agreed that Nimble Storage, a recent new vendor to UK, was an attractive solution to investigate further.
Trustco were able to bring Nimble Storage and Saunderson House together to help demonstrate Nimble’s storage and management technologies. Trustco’s technical specialists then arranged a proof of concept; sanity checked the design and ensured that the support arrangements were in place with UK based engineers. Finally Trustco provided references so Saunderson House could have full confidence in the solution being presented.
Based on this appraisal Saunderson House opted for two Nimble Storage CS210 arrays. With the solution agreed, using its ‘authorised reseller’ status with Nimble Storage, Trustco were able to negotiate a competitive price for Saunderson House. By using the experienced project management team from Trustco, the installation was completed in just over two hours, on time and within budget.
Management and monitoring solution to improve visibility
Parallel to this project Saunderson House’s existing storage management tools provided raw performance and usage data only; creating reports involved manual and time-consuming processes and analysing performance over time was not easy.
A major feature of all Nimble Storage systems is InfoSight. This gives Pritt an insight into the health of all Nimble Storage arrays, and enables his team to accurately capacity plan and forecast through intuitive, comprehensive dashboards.
In addition to this, its proactive monitoring sends regular ‘heart beats’ to Nimble Storage’s automated monitoring system. This allows engineers to pick up possible issues quickly, and lets them to diagnose and rectify issues before Saunderson House’s IT team arrive in the office in the morning. Pritt comments, “It is reassuring to know that our storage infrastructure is being monitored whilst I am asleep, and all this comes as standard with every system I buy.”
Backup disaster recovery to ensure compliance
Due to the sensitive nature of the highly regulated financial industry, compliance is of great importance and so a secure backup disaster recovery solution is fundamental. To ensure that critical systems are replicated, tested and available when required, Trustco worked with Pritt to integrate Nimble Storage with PHD Virtual’sReliableDR now Unitrends.
ReliableDR provides Pritt with a daily report showing that each system has been tested in the disaster recovery site so any issues can be dealt with immediately, and not only identified when a fail-over has occurred.
Pritt commented, “Compliance with stringent legislation is not just a legal obligation, it also preserves the reputation of the firm. Providing access to secure applications at all times allows our Financial Advisors to provide the highest levels of service to our clients and the integrated solution implemented and supported by Trustco allows this.”
Project 2: Further expansion – 2013 – 2014
Saunderson House had previously hosted their IT infrastructure at two secure data centres; one located at their headquarters in London and second at a colocation facility in Docklands. When the decision was made to migrate more of their IT infrastructure to a 2nd colocation facility outside the M25, the move prompted a further review of their storage needs.
Separate to the VDI project, to get the required performance and efficiency out of their existing non-Nimble Storage solution, Saunderson House would have had to add costly expansion trays on both site’s systems with an additional sixty drives. Rack space within colocation facilities can prove costly so there was a need to maintain the same footprint whilst ensuring the new solution would be as secure and flexible as possible.
Based on the success of the VDI project, Nimble Storage was a major contender for the storage refresh, but Trustco were asked to look at alternatives to ensure Saunderson House obtained the correct solution for their expanding business.
After further appraisal, Pritt nominated Trustco to deliver two CS260 replicated Nimble Storage systems as its scalable nature allows Saunderson House the ability to upgrade in small steps and expand as required. Also due to performance improvement against the existing solution; Saunderson House were able to avoid renting additional rack space. The Nimble Storage arrays also consume a quarter of the energy compared to the previous units whilst delivering a better performance – 3-5 milliseconds latency compared with 50-100 milliseconds.
Trustco’s focused pre-sales and project management team partnered with Saunderson House to deliver:
- A scalable, efficient and resilient storage solution which delivers increase performance and improved latency without increasing colocation footprint
- An intuitive management and monitoring solution to help with IT planning whilst reducing downtime
- A disaster recovery solution to ensure critical systems and data is available when required
Trustco is increasingly becoming the partner of choice for delivering industry-leading IT technology solutions. When asked how Trustco performed against his expectations, Pritt replied, “Our partnership means we have been able to take advantage of their strong track record in delivering intelligent IT solutions. Their sound pre-sales technical advice, first class account management, installation and post-sales support are big factors in why we continue to choose them.”
Michelle Cope, Sales Manager for Trustco commented, “There is an established understanding between Trustco and Saunderson House as both organisations look to embrace new technologies to improve IT performance. We look forward to developing our relationship with Saunderson House further by exploring other innovative solutions in the future.”