GTSG was asked to support a challenging development project. We were asked to provide critical infrastructure implementation, modernization and managed services as the client optimized their AIX, x86, and mainframe environments. Milestones were missed, and costs were well above budget for both the development effort and a concurrent upgrade of the AIX version.
GTSG provided a diverse team of project management, systems administration and programming resources, and L2/3 Technical Assistance Center (TAC) personnel. Services were service-level based and provided on a predictable fixed-fee basis.
Our responsibilities included the following services for over 400 AIX LPARs:
- Proactive system monitoring
- Systems programming support including:
- Proactive administration
- Systems patching and configuration management
- Support for hardware incidents from problem determination and analysis through resolution
- Capacity planning and tuning services as required
- Assist application teams with diagnostic services, performance management and other advisory services
- 24 x 7 on-call support for all platform-based incidents, for a primarily India-based development organization
- AIX 5.3 upgrade to AIX 6.1 across the enterprise
- Help desk services
Client undertook a project to move workload hosted on virtual infrastructure in their various private hosting environments as well as their existing VMware‐based private cloud into a new cloud built on OpenStack. The solution: GTSG leveraged the components of our Data Center Strategy and Migration offering to
- Over 2,900 images were migrated without significant business impact
- Alignment on migration scope as well as approval of Cloud Computing strategy, and execution
- Completed cloud infrastructure build
- Migration methods designed, developed and proven on 100 pilot migrations
- End‐to‐end infrastructure testing of migration tool process
- Completed backup/restore and basic DR services
- The ability to capitalize on free OpenStack software, replacing a substantial VMWare footprint, as well as moving away from the technologies and environments noted above
- The cost benefit of insourcing from third party hosting organizations into a private cloud environment with growing economies of scale
- The control benefit of managing its own environments in its cloud.
- The agility benefit of reduced server provisioning lead time from 14 weeks to one day
- The control and support cost benefits of dramatically improved adherence to the reference architecture. As images move, they are converted to JBOSS where applicable, must run on the current operating system or commit to a short‐runway migration, and the client is consolidating messaging, monitoring and automation offerings.
A major financial services firm had to relocate its primary production data center due to space constraints, power needs and the stability of its power grid, while making a lease decision at its disaster recovery site. The client was deeply concerned with the continuity of its many consumer-facing applications, and had zero tolerance for downtime or latency.
The organization had grown over thirty years with no consideration for the application dependency issues created by a move. There was also a massive need for application remediation.
The painless outcome: when you move a data center, the best thing your business users can say about you is…absolutely nothing. This move encompassed multiple mainframes, thousands of servers, thousands of applications, over a petabyte of storage, and the reaction of the business was “thanks for telling us you moved—we hadn’t noticed.”
What GTSG brought was a deep understanding of the technology, and the requisite tools and experience. Most importantly, we brought an experience-based methodology, known as “T-32”, which planned the move, anticipating issues to the finest detail. As a result, our firm continues to serve this client years later, in four separate workstreams, including the design of its private cloud and the divestiture of a business unit.
The client decides to insource its IT infrastructure environment after being outsourced for decades. Initially seen as an 18-20 month project, the timeline is reduced to six months. Lacking staff and anxious to realize the benefits, the client turns to a select number of strategic partners.
GTSG Provided leadership and technical direction to the client’s Mainframe Support migration:
- Assumed leadership of a multi-vendor services team and the client’s IT support team.
- Developed a component-based cutover methodology providing instant eyes-on status visibility
- Worked hand in hand with the technology partners to collectively mitigate the numerous gaps in the customer’s plan
The team: included two principal architects with over 30 years of experience, twelve consulting SMEs, twelve technical SMEs with significant relocation and consolidation expertise, and a technical program manager to manage the multi-vendor technical and project management team.
- Achieved migration dates per plan and without fallback
- Reduced the planned outage window from 48 to under 4 hours, enabling continuity of automotive plant operations
- Support at a higher level of service than was provided previously by the outsourcer
- Demonstrated how a multivendor team could deliver near-impossible results with a great relationship
The client decided to insource its IT infrastructure environment to transform it over thirty months. The environments were housed at an outsourcer in Texas and Pennsylvania and a company owned data center in Staten Island NY.
As would be expected, the client had very little hands‐on technical talent within their organization. Our role was focused on three transformation towers: Mainframe Transition, Reference Architecture Definition, and Storage Optimization.
We leveraged components of our Data Center Strategy and Migration, Infrastructure Transformation and IT Optimization offerings to define approaches and solutions for each tower. Our solution included program leadership, strategy and design, and technical skills to accomplish the insourcing of the various data centers in a rolling manner.
- Developed a Sysplex “split and merge” implementation roadmap to iterate through the process of splitting Production and non‐Production workloads in a single Sysplex into a Production Sysplex and non‐Production Sysplex. These split Sysplexes were then merged in with their peer Production or non‐Production Sysplexes yielded significant operational and financial efficiencies
- Developed a Storage Optimization Plan based upon a thorough assessment and strategy that was aligned with the Reference Architecture.
- Developed a service catalog-driven Reference Architecture that was subsequently utilized for provisioning as new workloads were absorbed as part of the data center consolidation.
- Transformed and optimized the mainframe and storage environments and achieved Production isolation via the Sysplex merge phase.
- Deployed a Service Catalog approach to IT resource provisioning that was aligned with their requirements
- Achieved significant software savings due to consolidation and Parallel Sysplex licensing.
- Achieved improvements in efficiencies for server and storage platforms with which future growth and acquisitions could be built upon
Our client is redefining and redesigning their disaster recovery solution. They are consolidating 4 disaster recovery centers to a single mega center. The application run books, drawings and recovery procedures were years out of date and needed to be re‐tooled prior to establishment of the new mega center. The client has approximately 500 applications that need to be recovered, and all 500 applications need process documentation updates.
GTSG leveraged the components of our Infrastructure Optimization and Infrastructure Transformation solution offerings to create an “Application Design Factory” that enabled:
- Development of a Reference Architecture for each recovery scenario
- Application Recovery Design (ARD)
- Development of repeatable procedures for recovering applications.
- Application Recovery Procedures (ARP)
Develop repeatable migration plans for moving the applications from the old centers to the mega center. Migration plans include application and infrastructure modification requirements to align with the solution design.
For each application, our teams:
- Gather details of the application design and components using proprietary tools, templates and interviews with application and infrastructure owners and create Work Products documenting findings.
- Provide infrastructure optimization recommendations to meet requirements of each application based on the ARD reference architecture.
- Customize a standard ARP to address the unique characteristics of each application and underlying infrastructure.
- Create a detailed Project Plan for the migration of the application to the new mega center, leveraging the migration plans from the Application Design Factory.
- Built a consistent, repeatable process for establishing application DR requirements and deploying the infrastructure and processes required to support each application design.
- The Application Design Factory has accelerated their DR consolidation initiative and yields significant, associated financial and operational benefits.