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Servers & storage.

I have delivered many projects that involved changing servers and storage.

Migrating servers between data centres, installing new hardware,

decommissioning old hardware, upgrading operating systems.

 

There's not much I haven't done with servers.

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Avaya telephone system migration

January - June 2020, TP ICAP

Part of a larger data centre migration programme to vacate three data centres, bring a new one online and migrate applications to the AWS Cloud.  I was responsible for

  • Lift and Shift of 20 applications from old OnPrem data centres to the new OnPrem. Mixture of physical migrations and vMotioning.

  • Working with the DBA team to upgrade Oracle databases from versions 11 and 12 to 19c and migrating the databases to a new infrastructure.

  • Migration of 80 SQL server databases to a new  SQL farm.

  • Decommissioning 43 applications.

Migration of IT Services from one IT support provider to another

July - December 2018, MS Amlin

MS Amlin wanted to migrate all supported services and users from one outsource partner to another, to save £3m a year.  I worked on four streams of this programme:

  1. Network Changes;

    • New circuits, VLAN stretching, gateway migrations, DMZ, firewall & F5 changes.

  2. Migration of the Citrix environment used by 150 staff

    • Customising the build image into MS Amlin’s Citrix estate

    • System and UAT

    • Cut-over to the new Citrix.

  3. Upgrading user's hardware

    • Upgrading desktops & laptops, remote worker's hardware, replacing WYSE terminals

    • Communicating with users.

  4. Migration of infrastructure servers

    • MS ExchangeEnterprise Vault, domain controllers and file servers.

Removing performance bottlenecks

July - December 2016, MS Amlin

Users were complaining about poor performance of their SAS environment. The root cause was their physical server was no longer fit for purpose. I managed the installation of the new hardware into a datacenter then the VMs were migrated to the new hosts. A cut-over point was agreed and the new server moved from UAT to PROD and the old server was decommissioned.

Data Warehousing

January - July 2016, MS Amlin

Installation and new HP 3PAR storage and a collection of the latest generation HP DL360, DL380 and DL580 servers were installed, for a storage transition and data warehousing project.

Resizing the IT infrastructure for the Grand National in 2012 & 2013

2012 & 2013, Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes wanted their online and mobile platforms to stay operational on Grand National Day - the busiest day of the year for every bookmaker with triple the volume of bets compared to a normal Saturday's racing and football.  Historically, every bookmaker’s IT systems crashed on Grand National day due to volume.

 

I managed the analysis of every aspect of technology to identify weaknesses and resolve them. We created new customer journeys, made better use of existing F5 load balancers, introduced the use of AWS' Content Delivery Network to reduce the volume of data our web servers had to provide, right-sized database resources, all to try and keep the system operational.

 

In 2012, Ladbrokes online presence survived until one hour before the race started, but in 2013, the IT systems stayed up all day for the first time ever.

 

I heard from ex-colleagues they still use the principles we developed in 2012. Based on those experiences, I wrote a book about planning IT Infrastructure for large events (which you can buy on Amazon. Search for “IT Planning for the Grand National”).

Reducing the time taken to refresh non-Production databases

2012, Ladbrokes

I reorganised Ladbrokes database infrastructure and deployed a new app for replicating production and test databases, to eradicate the loss of 5-10 days of testing each month, when Stage databases were refreshed using traditional backup and restore methods. The end-result was non-prod database refreshes took just 5 minutes.

Performance improvement programme

2012, Ladbrokes

I managed a programme of twenty-two projects to improve the performance and resilience of Ladbrokes production web servers, application servers, load balancers, firewalls and backups. The programme was delivered to plan & budget.

Eradicating system bottlenecks in the BI system

2012, Ladbrokes

The BI system was running slowly and failing to produce reports to management on time. I managed analysis of the bottlenecks, deployment of more powerful hardware, OS and software upgrades and memory upgrades. The impact was production of BI reports became problem free and production time reduced by 2 hours.

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Racing

05 FEB: Model 23R   27% profit,  20 of 23 profitable days 

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