World Vision revamps M'sian-based global data centre with Brocade
By Digital News Asia July 17, 2013
- Reduces cost with increased virtualisation, streamlined administration and smaller equipment footprint
- New infra based on open standards and provides pathway to software-defined networking (SDN)
GLOBAL relief, development and advocacy organisation World Vision International has succeeded in cutting its data centre network operating costs by 40% following the implementation of an Ethernet fabric-based network infrastructure from Brocade.
The new network infrastructure was deployed to support the non-governmental organisation’s increased server virtualization, Brocade said in a statement.
The deployment of Brocade VDX switches at a new hosted data centre has enabled the NGO to reduce its network cost of ownership through streamlined administration, space savings and lower power consumption, while providing an open standard platform and a pathway to software-defined networking (SDN), Brocade claimed.
World Vision functions as a partnership of interdependent national offices in nearly 100 countries – bound together by a common mission and shared core values – running more than 2,500 projects that impact the lives of over 100 million people.
Its Shared Services, Infrastructure Services and Service Centre, based in Malaysia, supports 45,000 staff worldwide with systems for programme management, sponsorship and donor management, financial management and a corporate intranet.
“World Vision is heavily dependent on IT as an enabler of activity, bringing transparency, accountability and transformation in the work that we do while reducing the ‘distance’ between the donor/ sponsor, and the sponsored child,” said Nick Goh, director of Service Centres, Global ICT, World Vision International.
“Lowering the total cost of infrastructure ownership, while increasing its capability, enables us to free up more funds for World Vision’s ministry work and, at the same time, increase our operational effectiveness,” he said.
With its existing data centre network infrastructure approaching end-of-life and its hosting contract coming up for renewal, World Vision International had the opportunity to migrate its servers to a new state-of-the-art hosting facility while upgrading its network to be more scalable, flexible, cost-effective and standards-based.
“It was important for World Vision International, as the IT centre for the organisation, to evaluate the impact of technology change on cost reduction and the possibility of pay-as-you-grow scalability – in terms of a lower cost of technology acquisition, lowered maintenance costs and infrastructure that is operationally more efficient,” said Goh.
One of the NGO’s key objectives in upgrading its data centre infrastructure was to increase the use of server virtualization, Brocade said.
The company’s VCS Fabric technology, based on open standards, offered a high level of virtual machine awareness and automation.
In contrast, the solution proposed by other network vendors, although similar to some extent, was based on proprietary protocols, Brocade claimed.
“We went through a round of different proposals and made an evaluation from the top three network vendors,” Goh said in the statement released by Brocade.
“We selected Brocade Ethernet fabric technology for several reasons: It is designed for growth with the ability to interconnect up to 24 switches into a unified network fabric while the ports-on-demand licence means we don’t have to pay for the full system capacity upfront.
“It also meets our goal of having a flatter, more economical and manageable network based on open standards, which gives us investment security and also provides an onramp to software-defined networking,” he added.
Within World Vision International’s new data centre, the Brocade VDX 6710 switches and VDX 6720 switches running VCS Fabric technology form a single, low-latency Ethernet fabric that supports more than 300 physical and virtual servers – along with 70 terabytes of data storage capacity.
According to Goh, approximately 80% of the organisation’s application servers have now been virtualised.
The flexibility and embedded intelligence of VCS Fabric technology support dynamic virtual machine mobility without network reconfiguration, and enable highly efficient and automated management of the entire fabric as a single logical switch, Brocade claimed.
The elastic, self-healing capabilities of the fabric create a highly resilient foundation for World Vision International’s operations around the globe, the company added.
“Working closely with World Vision International has once again validated our foremost capacity in delivering a purpose-built network infrastructure for highly virtualised and cloud computing environments,” said Sean Ong (pic), Brocade country manager for Malaysia.
“We are excited to be working closely with World Vision International to not just address its network challenges today, but also to transform its network for decades ahead,” he added.
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