CDS helps major bank slash support costs for 400 NetApp filers on global network

CDS have become the world’s first third party support and maintenance provider for EMC, allowing them to extend NetApp support to their clients.

A critical choice – upgrade or third party maintenance

With operations in 30 countries and an annual turnover in excess of $37 billion, this major investment bank has a diverse collection of storage platforms from multiple vendors to support local services. Realising that much of 400 of their NetApp filers were rapidly approaching end of service life (EoSL), they began to assess their options moving forward.

Matters were further complicated by the use of storage systems from EMC and NetApp at the various datacentres operated across the world. A strategic decision was taken to begin the process of migrating to a homogenous EMC environment to simplify administration and management, reducing the number of OEMs in play.

However, the size complexity and individual operating environments meant that the timing of the migration would be crucial to its success. With official support ending at various times for their NetApp assets, the bank needed a solution that would allow them to keep each system operational until the transition was complete.

These concerns about support coverage led the bank to investigate the possibility of using a third party post warranty service that would extend the lifespan of the NetApp filers until they could be replaced by EMC’s equivalent storage products, increasing standardization in their storage environment.

Because of the global strategic importance of the storage infrastructure, discussions were held at C level about how best to move forward. With just four months to decide between upgrading hardware or finding a way to extend the lifespan of their existing NetApp filers, the pressure was on to find a partner who could maintain hardware in many sites over 30 countries and deliver OEM class hardware and software services to support its users.

A world-first helps the bank move forwards

Seeing an opportunity to extend their relationship with the bank, EMC approached CDS with a view to taking over the support and maintenance of the existing NetApp estate. As the only provider capable of offering on-the-ground support in each of the bank’s international locations, CDS was the logical partner.

The first stages of the migration project began in mid-2015, but at that time it was still unclear how many NetApp systems would need to be migrated over to EMC’s equivalent storage products. The actual timeframe for completion of the global migration was equally unclear.

For reasons of cost and efficiency, it was decided that the bank would move support and maintenance services away from NetApp.

In what was to become a world-first for EMC, their proposal was accepted and CDS took over management of the NetApp estate. Moving forward, CDS would provide support, maintenance and spares for all NetApp storage systems – even units that had not been identified for retirement or migration.

The transfer of service took less than a week to complete across all 30 territories without any downtime, outages or other bottlenecks that would affect banking operations. Monitoring and maintenance for the first 200 NetApp filers was implemented in just seven days, with a further 200 NetApp filers added to the contract within the initial 12 month period.

It was only through CDS’s flexibility that the bank was able to properly plan the project. Even as the project progressed, CDS, EMC and the bank were adjusting contract terms to ensure that the customer was getting the service and coverage they needed for a successful migration.

Impressed by the service, costs and experience of CDS engineers, the bank is already planning to outsource maintenance responsibility for even more of their assets.

CDS provides 24x7x4 global support for less

Despite being officially EoSL, the bank’s NetApp filers continue to provide a stable platform for their computing needs. All of the NetApp systems now meet the service level agreement required by the client.

By the end of 2016 one third of the bank’s NetApp storage systems will have been migrated to EMC – the remaining two-thirds will eventually be supported and maintained by CDS for the long term. CDS has already assumed responsibility for over 50% of the bank’s global NetApp estate – a figure that continues to grow.

The reduction in the number of support providers required, coupled with the new efficiencies provided by CDS, has resulted in “healthy” cost savings. The new contract represents a significant reduction on the projected upgrade costs supplied by NetApp.

Impressed by the service, costs and experience of CDS engineers, the bank is already planning to outsource maintenance responsibility for even more of their assets; the eventual plan is to have EMC and CDS take over all of their NetApp production systems. This will allow the bank to recognize significant value on their Total Cost of Ownership while building a single vendor data storage infrastructure for all of their locations across the world. The savings made on support and maintenance costs will help to fund their planned technology refresh.


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