SwiftTech Solutions Moves Data Center for National Title and Settlement Company

 

Data center migration follows acquirement by prominent real estate firm


April 15, 2015: <Anonymous>, a National title and settlement company in the commercial and residential markets, was acquired by the largest real estate firm and title agency in the United States. The company headquarters was located in the Houston, Texas, with offices around the U.S. The company information technology (IT) infrastructure and all data were stored in a secure Houston-based Verizon data center. The parent company is located in Orange County, Calif. Following the purchase, the company decided to move the headquarters Orange County, Calif., where the company principals primarily worked. This move was performed leaving behind a smaller office in Houston and the servers in the data center. All other remote offices stayed in place. The operational function of data center housing does not depend on the geographical location, as long as you are on the same piece of land.


There were other cost factors to consider, such as:
• Costly non-standard connectivity lines from the remote office to the servers.
• The current data center monthly cost of $18,000 per month for optimal servicing. In other areas, the costs for the same services were much lower.
• If hardware needed to be added or replaced, such as a new server or hard drive, a technician listed on the data center access list had to be flown out or untrained staff had to assist.
• In the event of an emergency, the entire company operation was a four hour flight away.

Fortunately, after the purchase took place, SwiftTech Solutions took over the IT management and day-to-day operations. When SwiftTech was employed for the services, the goal by the new principals were clear - they wanted to cut IT costs, improve service greatly, consolidate resources, and ensure they were secure and compliant with regulations governing their industry. SwiftTech designed a project plan to fit the requirements, submitted it to the principles, and got to work. In order for the parent company to make their new purchase a success, they would need to move fast. As said by the CEO of the company, “We have a unique opportunity here to make $30 million a year within the first 18 months, but revamping our IT is critical to making this a success.” SwiftTech Solutions of Orange County, CA recommended in the initial 18 month plan that the servers eventually be migrated to California. This would allow the company to save an estimated $348,000 annually by moving into a more cost effective facility, consolidate, and redesign the network, eliminating additional cost points in the topology. The principals focused on other more pressing areas of the business while approving everything proposed by SwiftTech Solutions. This includes the final step of moving the data center.


SwiftTech Solutions, a Managed Service Provider and IT support company in Orange County, CA, was assigned to perform this move and migration. It was determined that the network in Houston would be shut down on a Friday at 5 p.m. (CST) and restart operations at 10 p.m. (PST) Sunday evening. As said by CTO Joshua Ross, “It’s always a little nerve racking doing a big move across a long distance in such a small time window. We have it all planned out I am confident this will be added to the list of SwiftTech Solutions success stories.”


The major areas of concern to the company were:
• All locations needed to be connected to the new data center.
• Remote users on Virtual Private Network (VPN) need to be connected to the new data center.
• Not losing data from any system.
• Not experiencing any additional downtime than agreed to.
• The backup plan is maintained at new location.
• Compliance is maintained at new location.
• All equipment must be transported at the same time in order to terminate contract with the data center.
• Costs reduction benefits must meet or exceed as initially planned.


SwiftTech put together a project team of five technicians with the appropriate skill sets for the technology used and got started. An extensive project guide was created and shared by the project team, addressed and recognized all possible scenarios. When the day of the move came, everything was planned and prepared for. A comment prior to leaving for the airport by one of the engineers was, “This is an exciting move for me. We’ll be basically moving 57 servers within the span of a few hours. Very exciting stuff.” The project team designated one engineer, one project manager and one specialist to Houston, while the other two team members remained at the new site. Contact was made between the two groups during the initial review, then again during testing.


The systems were taken offline on Friday at 5 p.m. (CST) as planned, diagrams were made, inventory recorded. Then, two of the Houston team members began disassembling and packaging the equipment. Meanwhile, the designated worked with the Orange County team to get the systems operating again and update all publicly held records. The systems were online again by 10 p.m. Friday night, greatly exceeding the planned outage. At this point, the Orange County team completed the work of connecting the new offices and VPN users to the new locations, then testing thoroughly. The Houston team completed loading of the equipment within six hours and prepared for their departure at 2 p.m. (CST) Saturday. In order to ensure the safety of the equipment worth over $500,000, it was decided the specialist and the project manager would transport the equipment back by road. Meanwhile, the Engineer was flown back to assist with the Orange County group. The equipment arrived at 11a.m. (PST) Sunday morning and the entire team unloaded into the existing racks, restoring additional non-critical archive systems. The following Monday at 5 a.m., employees went online and worked as they normally did.


The Accounts Receivable clerk stated, “I actually didn’t even know we moved, so I suppose that means it went great!” Also talking to <Anonymous>, the COO of the Company, we were told, “This was the smoothest IT move I’ve ever experienced. I was told to not expect email or anything until Monday morning. When I opened my email Saturday morning, I was delighted to find everything was working already.” Once the move was completed, SwiftTech Solutions began the process of terminating services the company no longer needed.


Using cutting edge technology, time proven best practices, and the experience of expert IT professionals, the data center move was a complete success. The company saw an immediate $31000 per month savings by proceeding with the recommendations made, making this a clear SwiftTech Solutions success story. The cost of the move paid for itself in savings in under a month. We caught up with the CEO after the move and he commented, “SwiftTech achieved the very strict goal I set for them and I couldn’t be more pleased. The money we are saving is a very substantial amount and the system is faster than ever.”

 

ABOUT SWIFTTECH TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
SwiftTech Solutions offers comprehensive, effective, proven, reliable, and affordable IT services to small, medium, enterprise businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. SwiftTech provides our clients with peace of mind the job will be done correctly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. We use only proven and stable methods to secure the future of our clients' integrity and security. SwiftTech Solutions is a certified partner of Dell, Microsoft, VMware, HP, Veeam, and Citrix.

 

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