HOW GLOBAL REAL ESTATE FIRM REDUCED DATA CENTER FOOTPRINT THROUGH THE CLOUD

Industry Other
Solution Type Global Cloud Hosting Strategy
Needs This global real estate organization needed to reduce IT spend, their data center footprint, adopt additional cloud services, and gain robust collaboration capabilities.

Support
As this real estate and property management organization continued to expand through strategic mergers and acquisitions (M&A), their data center footprint also inflated. Their core infrastructure became much more complex, and through the natural M&A process, they also lost key staff with critical corporate infrastructure knowledge.

The client prioritized a consolidation and standardization of their data center facilities and a migration to a cloud-hosted environment. The global real estate organization wanted to achieve several key business objectives by moving to the cloud, including adding compute and storage capacity, and reducing their overall dependencies on their homegrown data centers.
TUV Rheinland OpenSky entered the picture in 2015 when the client initially identified cloud providers who could help consolidate applications and improve global operational efficiencies. The TUV Rheinland OpenSky team put together an assessment and migration plan geared to do the following:
  • Reduce cost by consolidating infrastructure and implementing a cloud-first strategy
  • Reduce application portfolios through rationalization
  • Provide Azure direct connection for O365, backup, and to host disaster recovery infrastructure
  • Provide legacy applications with improved disaster recovery capabilities
  • Utilize cloud exchange for high-speed, low latency cloud access
  • Align infrastructure with CIO essentials and other known compliance deficiencies
  • Build a platform that will enable shifting CapEx to OpEx
Over the course of four years, the client and TUV Rheinland OpenSky collaborated on a cloud migration that resulted in the decommissioning of six data center facilities and rehosting for four strategic regions -- EMEA, ANZ, China, and USA. In addition, the TUV Rheinland OpenSky cloud team implemented cloud disaster recovery and capacity where appropriate.
2015
TUV Rheinland OpenSky created an application hosting strategy and a data center consolidation program. We then designed and built a new data center in the Americas and migrated production applications. A dedicated disaster recovery data center was also constructed in an existing M&A data center and disaster recovery functions were cut over.
2016
A new site was selected in the UK. All European applications were successfully designed, built, and migrated to a new London data center. Citrix farms were rebuilt and standardized, database farms were consolidated, and network services optimized. In preparation of a Q1 2017 shutdown of an aging data center facility, an increase in capacity was prioritized in the primary Americas data center.
2017
TUV Rheinland OpenSky completed a migration of a production data center in the Americas and shutdown two additional sites. We also increased the capacity in the Americas data center. Moreover, the TUV Rheinland OpenSky team designed and built a new EMEA disaster recovery data centerin EU.
2018
In preparation for the migration of two legacy data centers, TUV Rheinland OpenSky worked with the client to migrate archaic storage and compute environments to meet new architectural standards. In addition, cloud connectivity and hosting architecture was further developed, while Citrix farms in the Americas and domain controllers were optimized.
2019
Client goals for 2019: Take advantage of 2018 cloud migration experiences to migrate additional compute and storage to the cloud. Also continue reducing dependency on hosted data centers.
At the end of the day
Through a comprehensive data center hosting strategy, TUV Rheinland OpenSky helped this global company significantly reduce its data center footprint and over-reliance on physical infrastructure. As a result, they were able to do the following:
  • Minimize and consolidate physical data center space from 11 locations down to 5 locations
  • Achieve an annual run rate savings of $1.6 M
  • Deliver overall cost savings (over three years) of $2.5 M
  • Standardize global infrastructure through improved business continuity capabilities
  • Create a cloud hosting framework to support future cloud initiatives
Of the critical problems that the global real estate organization was facing, TUV Rheinland OpenSky was able to take the client through a three-phased approach to stabilize, rationalize, and ultimately consolidate their data center environments.

By carefully executing this long-term plan, the client re-gained control over a sprawling infrastructure that was weighing down their organizational efficiency. With a more agile cloud backbone, this global real estate company is positioned to focus on innovation and maintain scalability, so they can integrate future clients and businesses. Now their talented team of technologists, business analysts, and project managers can focus on delivering new solutions and increasing their value to their clients.

Company Profile:

This leading global real estate organization provides commercial real estate services globally. It offers integrated facilities management, project and development, portfolio administration, transaction management, and property management services.


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