Western Asset Management is one of the world’s leading fixed-income managers. From offices in Pasadena, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, New York, São Paulo, Singapore, Tokyo, and Dubai, the company provides investment services for a wide variety of global clients across an equally wide variety of mandates. As of June 30, 2014, the company had over $468 billion in assets under management.
Red8 is an IT solutions provider that helps corporations create and maintain highly secure, efficient, and effective data center, server, storage, and network virtualization solutions. Red8 partners with industry leaders such as NetApp to deliver integrated IT solutions that transform, connect, and protect enterprise data. As a NetApp Star Partner with Professional Services Certification, Red8 offers NetApp’s full suite of solutions. Together, Red8 and NetApp improve the economics of IT while helping customers manage, process, and store vast amounts of data.
Upgrade technology without compromising reliability, availability, or performance
Technology is key to maintaining a competitive edge in the highly regulated financial services market. With a refresh on the horizon, Western Asset Management’s IT team looked to rearchitect the infrastructure to support business needs for the next three to five years. They had experienced very good reliability with its current Data ONTAP 7-Mode systems. The new solution would have to provide the same or better reliability, availability, and performance.
NetApp clustered Data ONTAP
For over a year, NetApp partner Red8 worked side by side with Western Asset Management to fully understand the company’s business needs and IT requirements. In the process, the two companies developed a strong relationship built on a foundation of trust. When it came time for the tech refresh, Red8 was convinced that clustered Data ONTAP was exactly what the company needed to take its business to the next level.
The operating system offered the nondisruptive operations, quality of service, and seamless scalability that Western Asset Management required to maximize availability, flexibility, and performance—without compromise.
As a NetApp Professional Services Certified partner, Red8 has the strategic knowledge of NetApp products and the technical expertise to execute the solutions. Even with the compelling solutions competitors offered, Western Asset Management trusted Red8 to guide its business down a successful path. The company decided to engage Red8 and its certified clustered Data ONTAP specialists to help transition its Windows and UNIX environments to clustered Data ONTAP.
Alan Hanslik, Operations Manager at Western Asset Management, describes the project as “complex, risky and critical to the business in every regard. Red8 spent countless hours working with my team, or I should say as part of my team, to design and architect the new environment. Red8 was essential to the success of this project.”
Making a smooth transition
In the past, Western Asset Management had always installed and configured its own systems. Knowing the importance of a smooth transition, Red8 wanted to make sure that there were no hiccups before, during, or after the process. By creating a plan that aligned to the NetApp Unified Transition Methodology and leveraging its own clustered Data ONTAP expertise, Red8 helped Western Asset Management make a fast, smooth transition.
The Windows back-office environment was first to be transitioned. Red8 clustered Data ONTAP experts worked closely with Western Asset Management IT staff during the design, sizing, and rollout. After the systems were in production, Red8 continued to work with Western Asset Management admins to help them adopt best practices for a wide range of procedures and ideas. This fine-tuning helped Western Asset Management evolve the systems into exactly what it needed. The end result: an Exchange environment with performance benchmarks that exceeded anything even the Microsoft rep had seen.
With the Windows environment deployed and proven to have equal or better availability and reliability as the previous 7-Mode installation, it was time to focus on the UNIX trading environment. During the design phase, the Red8 team realized that Western Asset Management could consolidate its management down to one team with individuals who focus on each platform. To speed migration without incurring any downtime, Red8 leveraged NetApp SnapMirror® technology to take SnapshotTM copies of the Oracle® database. Over 7TB of data were moved in just two days.Using NetApp Flash PoolTM intelligent caching, a built-in feature of clustered Data ONTAP used for automated storage tiering, the UNIX environment is set to provide consistent and reliable high performance.
Looking Toward a Successful Future Together
The new clustered Data ONTAP architecture is critical to Western Asset Management’s continued efforts to build a private cloud and provide the best economical and efficient storage possible for the business. Today,all of Western Asset Management’s key business applications run on the clustered Data ONTAP platform. This enables the company to provide its business units with services for the foreseeable future.The partnership between Red8 and Western Asset Management is stronger than ever. As Hanslik summarizes, “It would be very hard and certainly undesirable to operate and manage Western’s storage environment without Red8. They truly are a part of our team and provide critical expertise in many areas that allow us to be successful in deploying and running major SAN storage systems.”