64 Gigabit SAN Replication Network Infrastructure

  • Canopius

We provide a diversely routed, resilient, highly secure, high-performance network infrastructure that takes into account all threats to availability, providing long-term stability for the company and flexibility to grow the solution as requirements increase.

Global insurance business Canopius identified serious, unacceptable risks associated with their critical infrastructure being located in a single data centre in the basement of the Lloyds building.

Canopius selected next connex in 2013 to deliver multiple wavelength services linking two data centres to provide the core network for the IT operations of the company. next connex delivered the network services, colocation rack infrastructure, cabling and internet access under a single contract in a few weeks and has supported the operations reliably for the last 4 years. During this time, there have been no outages on the core network. 

Jonathan Hogg

Head of IT Business Liason

Project Background for Canopius

Canopius issued a tender outlining their requirements and Cetus Solutions responded. Cetus’s speciality lies with application layer design, delivery and management. They wanted to find a network infrastructure partner.

Canopius Group’s information strategy required a resilient platform with Active-SAN replication to duplicate identical copies of all data and applications to two separate sites. The solution needed to have over 30 applications running over it, including CRM, record keeping and brokerage systems.

Canopius have a single contract and point of contact with next connex for the network and independent data centre infrastructure which covers the entire solution, including SLA’s at both individual sites. This contract includes a failsafe option to move their racks over to another on-net data centre partner site in the extremely unlikely event of a site repeatedly failing its SLA’s; we would just swing the network over.

Canopius have a single contract and point of contact with next connex for the network and independent data centre infrastructure which covers the entire solution, including SLA’s at both individual sites..

System Details

A number of specialists were contacted by Cetus, some of whose data centres did not meet the levels of resilience and separation required for Canopius’ stringent requirements. Cetus found that next connex's open access partner network of data centres met Canopius’ requirements perfectly.

  • 64 Gigabit Network
  • 3 Data Centres
  • 20 Colocation Racks
  • £2 Million project over 5 years

Numerous on-net pair combinations were put forward, and eventually, Cetus selected Datum in Farnborough and Optimum Hayes as the ideal fit.

Both Datum and Optimum provided 6 racks at each site initially, with contiguous space for another 3 racks in each site over the next 3 years. Two 10 Gigabit Ethernet Wavelengths, One 8 Gigabit Fibre Channel and One 4 Gigabit Fibre Channel connect the two main elements of the solution together diversely, as well as being cross-connected to the wider internet via next connex communications equipment at each facility.

next connex identified a potential user-issue if non-identical rack layouts were used in each data centre. We therefore designed the layout of each rack footprint to be identical in both Optimum and Datum. This ensures that engineers have no cause for confusion and accidentally pull the plug on two feeds at once, for example. Bespoke Twinax cabling was designed and manufactured to link all the racks on each site to provide a neat bespoke solution.

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