Macquarie Telecom reduces running costs at flagship Intellicentre 2 data centre with server automation

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

Telecoms and managed hosting provider Macquarie Telecom has deployed server and network automation in its new $60 million Intellicentre 2 data centre to manage, and reduce, the costs of rapid ongoing growth.

Macquarie Telecom’s hosting business has grown 20 to 30% per year over the last four years due to rapid acquisition of new customers and infrastructure. The company’s Sydney-based data centres, including its Tier III flagship Intellicentre 2 (IC2), serve enterprise clients from a broad and growing range of industries, Australia wide.

James Mystakidis, General Manager of Hosting Operations, Macquarie Telecom, said that demand for the company’s data and managed hosting services has risen as enterprise customers aim to expand into the cloud.

“We expect business requirements for more intelligent and secure hosting services to accelerate further in the next few years, creating a need for Macquarie Telecom to ensure cost-effective growth management while retaining its top-tier levels of service.”

To ensure this cost-efficiency of growth without compromising the calibre of its services, Macquarie Telecom undertook an audit of its existing operations using a combination of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Cobit frameworks, which formally mapped Macquarie’s IT operations. This allowed the company to identify gaps and clearly articulate to the business what needed to be done to take the company’s hosting operations to the next level.

“The audit process revealed that there were no formal toolsets to manage or automate network and server operations, suggesting Macquarie Telecom needed to automate the management of the network and servers,” said Mystakidis.

The company identified that a management tool “would be necessary to complement the $60m investment in state-of-the-art hardware and software which went into our newest Intellicentre 2 data centre”, he said.

Previously, most of the server and network management was conducted manually with the support of several custom scripts, meaning that growth was accompanied by rising operating costs. Macquarie Telecom’s patch management service was popular with its customers but cumbersome to provide, as it was based on a largely manual process with potential opportunity for error.

To help manage these costs, Macquarie Telecom has deployed BMC’s Atrium Orchestrator and BladeLogic Server and Network Automation.

The solution allowed Macquarie Telecom to entirely automate patch management, freeing up operations’ staff time, no longer requiring personnel for patching, and reducing the opportunity for error. The company is also using BladeLogic to provision services within the cloud for patch and managed services.

According to Mystakidis, the solution “has allowed us to ensure rapid and sustainable growth without significant increases to operational expenditure”.

“The fully automated patching system complements Macquarie Telecom’s existing Management Tools for data and world-class customer service Hub, keeping our quality of service on par with accelerated growth and the technical advances it also entails.

“[The] solution provided a cohesive fit with our investment in bringing other areas of Intellicentre 2 to the highest standard worldwide.”

Macquarie Telecom’s original calculations of a two-year payback period for the solution have already been met, within a shorter time span. Automation has severed that direct link between cost and growth, allowing savings to be achieved as the company prepares for continued acceleration in data centre and hosting growth.

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