Case Study:
Global Banking Corporation

Headquartered in London and one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. Their international network comprises around 7,200 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With listings on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges.

They provide a comprehensive range of financial services to nearly 90 million customers through Retail Banking, Commercial Banking and Global Banking.

The IT department maintains and operates the network infrastructure across Europe. They have invested in a new Data Centre and need to ensure that secure remote access connectivity is migrated successfully from the old Data Centre.

“Given the fact that DCM has been a significant challenge and drain on our resource (here’s where I add my thanks to our Engage ESM resources), it’s incredible that we have also delivered significant projects, infrastructures as well as cost savings initiatives.”

Senior Manager, Global Banking Corporation

What was needed

Migration of over 1000 IT services from existing to new Data Centres in the UK over a period of 14 months. Migration of internet facing banking services and other remote access connectivity to the new Data Centre. Ensure that all IP addresses and Domain Name System (DNS) connectivity remained post Data Centre migration.

Firewall, load balancing and routing connectivity should be maintained to all services during the migrations. The solution should involve minimum cost, utilising existing equipment wherever possible. DNS should be correctly managed and updated successfully for all contingency, development, UAT and production services. There should be minimum impact and disruption to business critical activities, increased automation, reduced administrative time and a reduction in IP licence costs.

How we tackled it

Engage ESM provided expertise to plan, implement and test the migration of external services, including migration of DNS, and also additional resource to maintain the progress of new and existing projects.

Engage ESM was able to provide resource at appropriate levels of expertise, thus delivering cost efficiency to the bank whilst maintaining a full service to its customers. Our approach included:

  • A dedicated team that would be responsible for the planning and support of over 55 weekly migration cycles managed by each individual
  • To “lift and shift” existing physical hardware such as servers, to a new network infrastructure, with appropriate configuration changes at the time of each migration
  • Use of IP management software, scripting using VBA with Excel and Perl, allowing querying and updating of the DNS database to be automated

Business outcomes

Migration costs were minimised by efficient use of resources, and downtime minimised with careful planning of migrations. Many UK and global services (hosted in UK) were migrated with no downtime to customers.

The solution allowed for automation of bulk DNS changes (although a partially automated solution was adopted, requiring user intervention to reduce the levels of risk) resulting in decreased execution time; 1500 DNS changes could be carried out in under 90 minutes (to deploy and push out to all the DNS servers) which manually could take up to one minute per item (approx 25 hours).

Full visibility of DNS changes post migration could be seen for verification purposes. Reduction in downtime (where servers are inaccessible using DNS) allows for OAT to be carried out quicker. DNS entries that are no longer being referenced are identified, allowing them to be demised reducing the business incurring unnecessary licensing costs.

“Engage ESM have provided consultancy working with the DNS team carrying out over 40,000 DNS changes often at times outside of normal hours offering continual support. This has resulted assisting with the successful migration of around 4,000 physical and 5,600 logical servers, without any DNS connectivity problems post migration.

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