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Financial providers need secure and reliable networks in order to transfer sensitive financial data around the world. They rely on service providers that have the necessary infrastructure and experience.


The company
D+H Global Transaction Banking Solutions is one of the world’s largest companies for SWIFT transactions. Nearly 8,000 banks and financial providers with more than 33 million transfers per month rely on the technology and services of D+H. The company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and maintains data centers in the USA, Great Britain, and in Switzerland. 

D+H has been active in Switzerland for more than thirty years. The local service portfolio includes access to different networks such as SWIFT, SIC, and euroSIC, direct connection to core banking solutions such as Avaloq, Finnova, and SAP using proprietary systems as well as help desk support for applications. Some 70 employees in Baden take care of more than 300 customers. Most of these customers are in Switzerland, including the Aargauische Kantonalbank and ABB. Not just banks and financial providers, but increasingly companies and other industries delegate the processing of payment transactions to D+H.

The challenge
It goes without saying that payment transactions between financial providers require an absolutely secure IT environment. D+H maintained a data center in Zurich city and another as part of a colocation cooperation with SIX. When SIX moved to Green Datacenter Zurich West, thereby ending the contract with D+H, D+H began to evaluate other data centers.

The evaluation
D+H looked at possibilities in Zurich as well as in the Geneva region. For efficiency reasons, they ultimately focused on the Zurich region and shortlisted five providers. The highest priority was given to intrusion protection and operational reliability. Another key aspect was the distance to the still existing location in Zurich city. Ideally, the new data center would be in a different geographical area but not too far away. After careful evaluation, D+H came to the same decision as its previous colocation partner SIX – and moved into a data center owned and operated by Green.

The implementation
Raymond Lambot, Head of System Engineering at D+H, was in charge of the evaluation and migration of the data center. He said that ensuring availability was especially challenging. It was necessary to keep operative business running as usual while planning and implementing the complicated migration. Raymond Lambot decided to form metro clusters and to move the virtual servers in stages.

On top of complexity came time pressure. The previous data center had to be cleared out in December 2016. The contract with Green was signed at the end of 2015. Starting in April 2016, D+H had access to the data center in Lupfig and could start building up the server and storage environment. Some of the equipment was already up and running in May, and the migration was completely finished in October 2016.

The two D+H data centers are now about the same distance from company headquarters and offer equivalent resources. Both could independently manage the complete daily business load that is usually distributed equally among the two data centers.

About the project::

Task/Challenge: Migrate the data center during ongoing operation, the financial industry’s compliance requirements
Scope: 60 servers, 80 Terabyte of data and 300 customer connections
Software/Hardware: Financial messaging products on the HP Blade system with 3PAR storage technology and Adva fiber encryption
Time frameJanuary 2016 (migration kickoff) to October 2016 (migration complete)
Achieved goal: Physical servers replaced with VMs plus the associated gain in flexibility and cost savings 

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