ISSUE 3 / Autumn 09
SunGard Availability Services Customer Magazine
Keeping people and information connected
SunGard invests in the latest Apple Macs page 8
Itâ€™s a cloud, not a fog! Page 4
Guest article by
Pandemic planning in page 12 practice
Keeping people and information connected
Welcome to the third issue of our customer magazine, AVAIL. Inside we examine the hot topic of cloud computing and I am excited to welcome guest columnist Rod Newing, a respected journalist and the Financial Timesâ€™ writer on management, business and technology issues, whose measured article concludes that behind all the hype lies a real evolution in the use of IT resources. We introduce our own cloud offering to the market this year and our feature on page 6 gives some valuable advice on choosing your cloud computing provider. I hope you enjoy this latest edition and, as always, my team welcome feedback or suggestions on any aspect of AVAIL. Just send your comments to the editor at email@example.com
Keith Tilley Managing Director UK & Executive Vice President
Itâ€™s a cloud, not a fog! p4 Cloud computing: resiliency is the key to success p6 A day in the life of a building services manager p7
SunGard invests in the latest Apple Macs p8
Putting the business into business continuity management p13
How the British Medical Journal continued to publish despite disaster p9
SunGard returns to Socitm! p14
TC2 â€”Your technology centre in the heart of London p10
MySunGard Portal: Extend the power of your managed and recovery services! p16
Pandemic planning in practice p12
Quick fire questions with Simon Withers p18 Win an iPod nano! p19
It’s a cloud, not a fog! Behind the hype lies a very solid reality Rod Newing is a freelance writer and journalist who contributes each month to the Financial Times on management, business and technology issues. For five years he wrote a regular column in IT Week. He has contributed to the Times, Daily Telegraph, The Business and CFO Europe, as well as a wide range of professional and trade magazines.
At a recent trade show 25 top technologists were asked to explain cloud computing. They came up with 25 different explanations! The term ‘Cloud’ is much like ‘business intelligence’. Both terms are gifts to marketing departments, are pretty meaningless and confuse users, distracting them from the underlying solid reality. Gartner defines cloud computing as ‘a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using internet technologies’. Users access the service through their browser, so the underlying technology is invisible to them. Because the service is based upon sharing a high performance infrastructure, it can be automatically increased, allowing the user organisation to pay for its usage, by time or volume, not for the cost of owning the equipment. This is a major shift, much like telecommunications made from switched networks to IP-powered packet networks. The result was greatly reduced costs, more flexibility and a range of powerful new applications. Far from being the latest craze, cloud computing is part of a major shift that started with project Athena at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. This was when thin clients were first developed for use on shared student PCs. It was followed by a whole technology development process through client/ server with fat clients, network computing, application service providers, software-as-a-service, on-demand computing, service oriented architecture and utility computing.
Over the same time period, the business environment has seen competition intensify, causing organisations to concentrate on identifying and exploiting their sources of competitive advantage. Whereas IT can be a source of competitive advantage by enabling powerful business processes, most computing activities are routine and need to be completed at the lowest possible cost. Outsourcing has brought savings, but not on a scale possible with a shared infrastructure.
operate infrastructures for a living. Just as consumers plug in or turn on to get gas, electricity or water, so they log into the service, oblivious of the technology they are using. They expect it to be there 24/7 and pay only for what they use. The main difference is that a modern high performance infrastructure has no single point of failure when somebody digs up the road outside the building!
With the ‘cloud’ model, the service provider’s source of competitive advantage is its ability to build and operate massive high-performance computing infrastructures, including storage and data management. With bigger servers than an organisation could justify for itself, computing is much more available, resilient and secure than any single organisation could afford for itself.
Cloud computing may not work for all sectors or all types of customers and not every organisation will approach it in the same way. The very largest enterprises may have the economies of scale to stay as they are or use virtualisation technology to create their own internal cloud. They may also choose to selectively source a cloud computing service provider for new services, rather than implement new applications internally.
It is maintained by more technicians than it could afford, with better qualifications, skills and experience. Because the infrastructure is shared, it is much more efficient, which is reflected in its charges. Organisations no longer have to bear the cost of an infrastructure they don’t use outside their peak periods.
Cloud computing is attractive to smaller enterprises and medium sized organisations, who are able to benefit from an enterprise scale data centre infrastructure without the associated cost. In contrast, some of the vendors who are making the most noise about ‘the cloud’ are aiming at the low end of the market.
Business continuity and disaster recovery are built into the platform, which is spread across multiple virtual data centres in different geographical locations. Computing power to run the service is always available somewhere in the infrastructure. There is no single point of failure, not even an entire country, whose communications backbone or electricity grid could fail. This is a solution that only the largest global enterprises can afford for themselves.
The cloud isn’t something ephemeral and organisations shouldn’t be deterred by the fog of hype that surrounds it. It has been evolving for over a quarter of a century and will continue to advance rapidly. Some technology is already in use and some is still incomplete. ‘Cloud nirvana’ is not yet a reality and most organisations don’t need to put everything into the cloud now.
The other important aspect of cloud computing is the financial impact of no longer having to pay the full cost of hardware and software licences in advance. Usage payments are an operating cost.
However, cloud computing offers a solid, sensible and secure route towards a more efficient use of computing resources with a more flexible infrastructure. Most of all, it offers competitive advantage through concentrating on core competencies. Organisations that plan now to implement the full vision over a period of years won’t get lost in the fog.
Computing is set to become like a utility. Organisations will stop building the IT equivalent of power stations, gas plants and reservoirs and leave it to organisations that build and
Cloud computing: resiliency is the key to success
Attracted by its numerous benefits, you may now be considering adopting a cloud-based model to provide, manage and protect your organisational IT. But how to choose the provider that’s right for you— one that is large enough to have longevity yet has the agility to tailor its services around your business needs? As a company with a track record of providing highly resilient IT services for decades, SunGard Availability Services is a natural choice. SunGard was an early adopter of the virtualisation technology on which cloud computing is based. Today it underpins our Disaster Recovery, Electronic Vaulting and Managed Services relied on by thousands of customers. Now we are at the forefront of the next evolution in IT when resilience will be critical to success. With SunGard as your partner you can avoid the pitfalls and reap the considerable benefits offered by cloud computing. SunGard’s cloud offering, which launches this month, offers: Flexibility – unlike some of the larger players, rather than take a ‘one size fits all’ approach that does not suit all companies, SunGard’s cloud service is designed around the customer.
Click here to download the white paper
Click here to download the white paper Expertise – SunGard’s experience of hosting customers on every conceivable platform gives us unrivalled technical know-how. Reliability – security and resilience are inherent features of all SunGard solutions. Support – SunGard provides both start-up and ongoing help and support, with all cloud offerings provided as managed services. Read our white paper for an in-depth look at cloud computing; benefits, challenges and recommendations.
A day in the life of a building services manager With nearly 7 years experience working for SunGard, Warren Kriek has expert knowledge of SunGard’s building portfolio. Warren currently works as the building services manager for SunGard’s London Technology Centre (LTC) and Technology Centres 2 and 3. Warren is responsible for the entire infrastructure—UPS, air conditioning and building fabric—of three of SunGard’s highly resilient data centres. Warren is always conscious of the responsibility on his shoulders, knowing that a single piece of customer equipment can handle transactions worth billions of pounds a day. 7.15am
LTC is a 24 hour operation so on arrival I meet with the building management system engineer and site engineer for a debrief on the night shift’s activities.
After grabbing a coffee I run through the install tickets—customer requests for new equipment installations - logging them and starting the intricate calculation process. To make one single decision I need to examine seven different databases including the contract, clamp testing, power calculator and capacity tracker for the building and cross reference these with the power draw of the kit.
It’s important to make sure all the figures are correct as I’m often called to substantiate them. My priority is always to keep the environment safe and ensure all the kit on the floor remains resilient by not overloading the power and cooling.
I head out to the building site at the back of the building, which I’ve dubbed ‘Power Station 2’. We’re nearing completion of a major project to massively upgrade our power capacity. I then run my daily briefing with the extended team, to cover scheduled works, deliveries and any equipment that needs isolating. I’ll also carry out spot checks throughout the day to keep everyone on their toes.
It’s time to oversee the Planned Preventative Maintenance of all our assets on-site from water testing through to generator and UPS maintenance. I run through what needs doing with the maintenance team and ensure any maintenance matters are passed to the relevant specialist firm for action.
10.30am I join a meeting with the project team and one of our customers to discuss their installation of 20 new cabinets in detail. As the day goes on I will oversee the installation of numerous items of kit such as blade servers, disk arrays and firewalls. My aim is to make any change impact-free—we carry out a huge amount of new equipment and heavy plant installs without customers being disturbed. 12.00am Time for the weekly meeting of all contractors involved in building Power Station 2. My definition of success will be ensuring we expand the building, integrating the new power upgrade, without any impact whatsoever on our clients, and increase data centre space within the site. 2.00pm
I take the opportunity to check the 60 or so emails that have come in during the morning, responding to issues raised.
I escort a customer who wants to carry out their own audit of the facility. Some clients like to see for themselves that the building is as resilient as we say it is – they always leave satisfied.
I leave for home. I might be called out at night or over the weekend but because I’ve got such a good maintenance team that’s rarely necessary.
SunGard invests in the latest Apple Macs Apple Macs are often overlooked when it comes to business continuity (BC) provisioning â€“ regardless of the fact that Apple sales rose by 18% in the quarter ending 30 June. This oversight is generally due to their proven reliability. However, firms tend to forget that users of Apple Macs are just
as likely to be hit by a denial of access scenario as users of other business applications and for this reason they need to be an integral part of the organisationâ€™s BC plans.
Our in-house Apple specialists have undergone intensive training to ensure customers in time-critical sectors need never miss a deadline during recovery.
SunGard has worked directly with Apple to improve its Mac recovery offering to create what is believed to be the first full recovery service specifically for Macs in the UK.
We have recently taken delivery of 70 new iMacs, which can be shipped to any SunGard Workplace Recovery centre in the London area in the event of an invocation.
To see a real life example of the value of Apple Mac recovery, view the British Medical Journalâ€™s case study.
The British Medical Journal continue to publish despite disaster On 7 July 2005, the British Medical Journal (BMJ), based at the British Medical Association’s headquarters in Tavistock Square, London, found itself at the centre of the terrorist attacks on the capital. At 9.47am a suicide bomber on the number 30 bus exploded his device directly outside the offices of the BMJ in a series of events that brought a shocked London to a standstill. The bus bomb resulted in denial of access to the BMJ’s offices and in the hours, days and weeks that followed, the BMJ worked with SunGard Availability Services to ensure that the business continued to function. During its 160 years of production, the BMJ had never failed to produce a weekly journal, despite two world wars and did not intend to break its proud record now. Many of the journal’s production team were in a meeting, unaware that there had been three other explosions around London in the previous hour. On hearing the explosion and seeing the devastation outside, the team evacuated to safety through the rear of the building. Despite subscribing to Workplace Recovery services and electronic data vaulting solutions with SunGard, the BMJ did not have a formal management procedure for business continuity. Instead, its contingency plan was to convene a crisis management team and decide actions at the time of disaster. But when Colin Davis, the BMJ’s group production manager and business continuity co-ordinator, tried to convene the rest of the crisis management team, he discovered he was unable to contact any of them. Mobile phone networks were out of action and the informal nature of the evacuation meant he could not
physically locate team members. After fruitlessly searching for the operations director/business continuity programme manager, Colin placed SunGard on standby. Having subscribed to SunGard’s Workplace Recovery service, the BMJ had 27 seats, including provision for the use of Apple computers vital to the production process, at SunGard’s City Recovery Campus. These workplace positions were designated specifically for production of the journal and BMJ Careers, its classified advertising supplement.
Recovering from a nightmare scenario At midday the decision was made to invoke SunGard’s recovery service. Preparations were made at SunGard’s Recovery Centre for resumption of business the next day. By Friday morning recovery was well underway, with six members of the core BMJ team on site at SunGard’s City Recovery Campus. With an immovable print deadline of Tuesday 12 July and editorial staff reluctant to reduce the number of pages, it was decided to extend the recovery team and to work throughout the weekend. Monday came and the journal production teams were now fully up to speed. The journal was ready for press only 20 minutes later than the usual deadline and ready to be distributed on time to its 120,000 readers in the UK and abroad - a tremendous achievement given the difficulties and pressures faced.
As Fiona Godlee, the editor of The BMJ, wrote in her editorial column in the issue following the bombing,
“The fact that you are reading this is a small but significant victory. When the bomb exploded last Thursday morning, ripping apart the number 30 bus outside BMA House, killing 13 people and injuring many more, we were two days into work on this week’s journal. The fact that the journal has come out on time is trivial in the face of what happened on 7 July. But it is our best answer to those who would tear our world apart.”
The majority of the BMJ team remained at the SunGard site for 12 days, even publishing a second issue of the journal on-site before a wellplanned migration back to BMA House.
Your Technology Centre in the heart of London A report by independent research firm Tier1 Research* shows that global demand for data centre services is currently growing at twice the rate of supply, confirming what the industry has long known: quality data centre space is running out. In the UK, the problem is particularly acute in London and the South East. But data centre availability is not a problem for SunGard Availability Services customers who have the benefit of not one but three fully-resilient interconnected data centres within the M25, plus a fourth in the Leeds/Manchester conurbation, which serves the North of the country. This network gives SunGard customers total flexibility, enabling them to run multiple data centres, virtual data centres or even operate a private cloud.
Technology Centre 2 – or TC2, as it is commonly known – is located in London’s Docklands, the capital of the UK’s fibre optic network that gives companies connectivity to the rest of the world. As well as being close to key parts of the UK’s internet infrastructure; including ISP peering points and international backbone links, the 62,501 sq ft data centre is within easy reach of City financial institutions. Like all SunGard Technology Centres, TC2 is highly resilient with multiple access points for diverse communications links and two separate mains feeds for power supply. Technical specialists man the on-site SunGard Control Centre 24/7 for the ultimate peace of mind.
Download the full specification *’International Datacenter Supply Report 2009’ – Tier1 Research: 3/11/08
Pandemic planning in practice In July the UK was recorded as the country worst hit by the swine flu epidemic in Europe and the World Health Organisation continues to warn that in the worst-case scenario 30% of the population could be infected this winter*. The outbreak of an epidemic can have serious affects on business and the economy, with the government recommending that organisations plan for 12% of the workforce to be absent for up to ten days—rising to 27% in the event of term time school closures+. So what can your
Pandemic planning should include: Distinguishing essential from non-essential services. Determining dependencies within the organisation and through the supply chain.
business do to prepare? Equipping employees with the new skills and knowledge Our experts maintain that standard business continuity principles must be applied to pandemic scenarios to keep your organisation running. The key difference is that instead of approaching plans from a technology perspective,
necessary to keep critical services running. Calculating the minimum number of staff necessary to keep a service running before it has to be shut down.
employers need to plan for loss of staff who will inevitably
Putting procedures and technology in place to enable
require longer recovery timescales—while a server can be
remote working—remembering to allow for vastly
recovered in a few hours, an individual may take five days or
increased numbers using the facility, which will raise
more to recover from infection.
licensing, bandwidth, hardware, data protection and even health and safety issues.
For expert pandemic planning guidance from SunGard’s business continuity consultants register your interest in one of our forthcoming workshops by clicking here or call 0800 143 413.
For more information on this subject and other practical insights, request our report ‘From Adversity to Availability?’.
* Local Government Association, 4th September 2009 http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=3650392 +
Cabinet Office: UK Planning Assumptions—16 July 2009
Putting the business into business continuity management Business Continuity Management (BCM) is increasingly recognised as being of fundamental importance to an organisation, which is a step change from its traditional IT department routes. A recent poll* by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and SunGard (ICEAW, 2009) showed that six out of ten businesses consider operational risk prevention and resilience planning to be a C-level responsibility. Our new white paper examines the many drivers for these changed perceptions, explores the new challenges that increased visibility brings and as businesses place greater emphasis on resilience provides an expert view on the value of BCM Software as an enabler of this continued evolution.
Download the whitepaper
November Events On 3 and 4 November we will attend Public Sector IT, a two day event dedicated to powering modernisation, efficiency and creating value for money public services through technology. The cutting edge forum is designed for senior decision-makers in public sector ICT and e-government and takes place at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire.
For further information
On 11 and 12 November SunGard will exhibit and present at the inaugural BCM World Conference and Exhibition organised by the Business Continuity Institute at the Novotel Hammersmith. SunGard product and services manager Chris Higgins will talk about ‘The Data Growth and Recovery Challenge’ on day one of the programme.
For further information
SunGard returns to socitm! In mid October, SunGard Availability Services exhibited at Socitm, the Society for Information Technology Management’s annual conference.
This year’s leading event for public sector IT was hosted in Edinburgh and SunGard experts were on hand to discuss the theme of the conference; the impact of the recession on public spending and the need to...
“...think radical at a time of relentlessly growing demand on public services”.
MySunGard Portal Extend the power of your managed and recovery services!
The SunGard Availability Services online customer portal MySunGard.co.uk gives you the ability to remotely manage and monitor your SunGard estate by seamlessly co-ordinating business processes and administration. Registration for the secure portal is quick and easy and enables you to access SunGard services with a single user name and password.
Raise your incident or request tickets online! With the MySunGard Portal you can submit tickets at any time of the day or night to alert our Service Desk/Network Operations Centre of any incidents or requests for change. By raising your tickets online you reduce administration time and ensure that all relevant information is available to our technicians and support teams, ensuring that they deal with your requests promptly and effectively. You can also update existing tickets and review your ticket history, making it possible to track trends and monitor reoccurring issues.
Reporting and monitoring
The MySunGard Portal also doubles as a monitoring system for reporting on the use of IT systems managed on SunGard premises.
Document library – Access one centralised document library for all your service needs including site guides, site procedures, training and much more.
It gives Managed Services customers the ability to review the performance trends of devices within their hosted environment, allowing them to check resource utilisation within specified timescales and analyse any issues.
Availability News – The latest SunGard information including new product information and special offers.
Environments – Grouping assets for simplicity of monitoring Maintenance Windows – Assets can have tickets suppressed during routine maintenance or downtime.
Recovery Services Customers Hosted Customers Vaulting Customers
ca ti Se t My No
rin g nit o Mo
Inc id Tic ent k Re etin po g rti ng
g rti n po Re
Tic ke ts ise Ra
ts ss e Al lA Vie w
Managed Services Customers
A range of detailed up-to-the-minute reports will help you keep track of bandwidth traffic, performance trends and availability (depending on subscriptions). These reports give you a comprehensive picture of your bandwidth usage and traffic patterns, essential when planning your current and future capacity needs.
ITIL standards – The MySunGard Portal adheres to ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) standards ensuring that we adopt best practices and communicate with you in standardised, consistent terminology where appropriate.
Quick fire questions
Product & Services Development Manager Simon joined SunGard in 1998 as a Disaster Recovery Analyst working on the Sun Microsystems platform after a nine-year career in computing. Simon has been described as someone with “the vision and ability to make things happen”. He has been promoted several times and has worked in Pre Sales, Product Management and as a Solutions Architect, building on his extensive technical knowledge and honing his leadership skills along the way.
What does your job involve? My responsibilities include the ongoing development of SunGard’s services to ensure we’re always ahead of the curve. This involves making the business case for new products and services that will help us maintain our position as a market leading services provider. Currently, I’m focusing on our cloud computing, virtualisation and storage strategy.
How would you describe cloud computing as there seems to be some confusion in the marketplace? Cloud computing is the orchestration of three IT trends – Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service, all available as part of an on demand model. Infrastructure as a Service provides an infrastructure capability through multiple interlinked data centres, which utilise end-to-end virtualisation, via networks, servers and storage, in a commercial “buy by the unit” utility model. Platform as a Service provides an integrated single sign-on workspace environment in the cloud; this allows you to access a suite of integrated software applications through a common interface. Platform as a Service provides the facilities to support the complete life cycle of building and delivering web applications and services. It also creates an opportunity for Service Orientated Architecture (SOA), business processing management and application integration. Through this single common interface you can subscribe to many applications on a pay as you go model. This provides the Software as a Service capability.
Read more about the cloud proposition that Simon has been helping to bring to market at www.sungardasaservice.co.uk
What achievement are you most proud of? That would be working with a large dedicated, specialist team to develop and bring to market our cloud computing proposition. The new service showcases the fact that you can now procure all the services that comprise the cloud; Infrastructure, Platform and Software as a Service, from a single provider - SunGard! Effectively the service makes all SunGard products and services available to any SunGard customer globally.
What are the benefits to customers of SunGard’s cloud computing services? Where do I start? In the current economic climate cost savings are a driving factor for customers considering cloud adoption. SunGard’s cloud computing services give you the flexibility to ‘pay as you grow’ which avoids upfront capital investment. As always, SunGard customers can rest assured that their services are hosted in high availability data centre environments. SunGard will continue to do what we do best; provide SunGard as a Service!
What qualities does a good product development manager need? A product development manager needs many different skills and aptitudes. You need strong commercial awareness as all SunGard developments are driven by the business benefits they can deliver for our customers but that must be underpinned by solid technical knowledge. You also need creativity as there’s a lot of innovative thinking involved. It’s vital to keep abreast of trends and technological developments so I’m a member of lots of professional associations. I’m a SNIA (Storage Network Industry Association) Certified Professional and Architect, as well as holding numerous other vendor accreditations.
Win an iPOD nano Click here and tell us your views on cloud computing to be in with a chance to win a sought-after 8GB iPod nano-chromatic. Whether you’re a novice or a technical whiz, we’re interested in your opinion so submit your views by 14th November 2009. Thanks to everyone who entered last issue’s competition and congratulations to David Weston of Oxford University Press who told us about his use of social media to win an iconic 8GB iPod nano-chromatic in our prize draw.
Good luck! Terms and conditions apply, see submission form for details.
It feels good to be prepared By developing faster, more advanced techniques to meet the challenges of business continuity, SunGard can give you that peace of mind you only get when you know you’re prepared. Combine that with 13,000 end-user positions across the UK and a 100% invocation success rate and you’ll be prepared too when you’re with SunGard.
Making the everyday happen. Keeping people and information connected
t: 0800 143 413 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.sungard.co.uk
United Kingdom & European Head Office 12-13 Bracknell Beeches, Old Bracknell Lane West, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 7BW