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Seamless Data Center Migration: CIC's Strategic Move with TierPoint

Discover how CIC successfully migrated its data center with TierPoint, ensuring business continuity and setting the stage for future growth. Read now!

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Introduction

Crédit Industriel et Commercial (CIC) is a multinational, French-based financial services group with U.S. headquarters in New York. The firm provides hands-on commercial lending to large French customers in the United States, mainly in the aviation industry. For CIC, hands-on service and availability are critical elements of their business.

Challenges

Following a strategic decision to prioritize business continuity, CIC's leadership team actively began evaluating potential locations for their recovery environment. They aimed to find a data center geographically separate from their headquarters to effectively mitigate disaster-related risks. During this search, CIC considered TierPoint, their incumbent vendor, and other providers, looking for a partner who could not only provide business continuity seating and data center hosting but also meet specific logistical requirements. They sought a vendor located within a reasonable driving distance from their headquarters — close enough for easy access yet far enough to maintain safety in a disaster scenario. Additionally, CIC looked for a partner who could offer the flexibility and capacity to grow and evolve with their expanding business needs over time.

During this evaluation period, CIC’s previous vendor experienced Chapter 11 and stopped offering certain services. One of the reasons CIC walked away from their previous provider was because of how hard it was to get a hold of anyone, including during test events. “It made us think,” said Jacob Mogray, Vice President of CIC, “if you can’t do it on a Saturday in June, what happens if there’s a hurricane and 200 businesses are knocking on your door?”

As their original vendor was degrading, CIC decided to move forward with TierPoint based on the detailed answers provided about security of the data center and the migration process, as well as the breadth of services offered that can lend to a more extensive roadmap down the line.

Solution

When TierPoint stepped in to assist with the migration process, they worked closely with CIC to meticulously plan every detail and provide the necessary resources for the physical move. The extent of TierPoint's involvement varied based on CIC's support needs. For this migration from the original site in New Jersey to the new location in Pennsylvania, the process included full replication, a complete shutdown, disassembly, failover, and reconstruction at the new data center. This was followed by extensive testing to ensure zero data loss. TierPoint and CIC managed to accomplish all these tasks over a single weekend, ensuring that CIC's operations resumed smoothly at the start of the new work week.

Improving the documentation and preparation for the move can significantly reduce risks and facilitate a smooth transition. Including detailed elevation and network diagrams, along with photographs, provides invaluable visual aids. These diagrams should be clearly labeled with each component's origin rack name, destination rack name, and elevation. Such meticulous labeling greatly minimizes the risk of errors during the relocation process.

Jacob Mogray commented, “Partnering with TierPoint was a strategic move, as they offered comprehensive services in labeling, diagramming, and photography, alongside managing the physical relocation of all components. Their expertise not only streamlined the process but also bolstered confidence for our team in the successful outcome of the migration.

Once TierPoint securely positioned the components at the new data center, they initiated the power-up sequence, established network connections, and conducted thorough tests to ensure all servers booted up correctly. Following this, CIC tested all critical applications to verify data accuracy.

This proactive approach and meticulous attention to detail confirmed the migration's success, demonstrating that all systems were operational and free of data loss in the new environment.

One major benefit clients have when working with TierPoint stems from the deep expertise of our teams, as well as partnerships we have with other organizations. This physical migration was possible thanks to a partnership with Silverback Data Center Solutions. “We use a carefully defined process developed over decades of doing thousands of relocations to deploy best practices, many of which are proprietary, and we’ve developed, to minimize risk and maximize efficiency for the migration for the client,” said Al Nichols, Executive Consultant at Silverback.

When prepping for a data center migration, companies need to figure out what’s physically moving, where it’s moving to, determine device sizing, and any other necessary details to ensure the process can be executed smoothly. CIC collaborated with TierPoint and Silverback to learn more about the internal processes necessary to pull off a successful migration. Together, they developed key diagrams and documentation to support the weekend move and keep for future reference.

Businesses also need to consider the needs of legacy components in data center migrations. CIC had some legacy equipment that needed to be moved over, including EMC SAN storage and IBM equipment. Legacy equipment can require extra steps to take down and bring back up, so it’s important to plan for unforeseen complications.

Before initiating the migration, CIC replicated all necessary data for backup and confirmed the integrity and synchronization of the copies. The client greatly valued the detailed structure of TierPoint's process. This level of thoroughness enabled them to adopt a structured approach in developing robust internal documentation, which will be incredibly beneficial for future migrations or projects.

Results

CIC currently has a complete secondary colocation location in TierPoint’s Valley Forge, PA data center, as well as business continuity seating in Hawthorne, NY. In April, the client used this space to perform a large-scale recovery exercise. CIC deployed 50 people to the off-site location, plus remote users, to simulate the day’s transactions and how the firm would fare with a full-day outage of the primary production work environment. By failing everything over to their secondary environment, the client was able to observe how their business processes flowed thru each department.

International regulators, along with internal mandates, have established testing as a standard corporate practice. With this test, they aimed to confirm their recovery time from the declaration of a disaster to meeting their recovery time objective (RTO) of 4 hours for getting business-critical systems up and running. They were successful in achieving this goal.

As CIC looks ahead, they are confident that partnering with a provider with extensive knowledge in data center hosting, along with a range of complementary services, will align seamlessly with their future IT endeavors. Jacob Mogray emphasizes, "It's the little things that matter, and the TierPoint team's responsiveness, expertise, and flexibility have fostered a strong partnership set for growth. Their deep knowledge and experience in data center hosting, combined with their commitment to service excellence, assure us that we're on the right path for our IT journey."

At A Glance

Industry
Financial Services and Banking

Technology
Physical Data Center Migration, Colocation, Business Continuity Seating, Smart Hands

Challenges
CIC sought a data center provider in a geographically separate location from their main NYC office. Their primary objectives were to achieve minimal downtime and eliminate data loss throughout the physical migration and testing at this new facility. This strategy was aimed at guaranteeing a smooth and uninterrupted experience for all users, both internal and external.

Solution
Leveraging TierPoint's specialized data center migration services, CIC was able to customize every aspect of their transition, from meticulous planning and comprehensive documentation to the execution of the physical relocation. By tapping into TierPoint's deep well of expertise, CIC successfully orchestrated a seamless migration of their new data center in just one weekend, ensuring minimal disruption and maximum efficiency.

Results
CIC successfully relocated their secondary recovery site to the new location with TierPoint seamlessly. While CIC manages many tasks in-house, the comprehensive and high-quality services offered by TierPoint and their partner, Silverback, have significantly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the migration process. Additionally, with TierPoint's extensive range of services, CIC is enthusiastic about the possibility of expanding their support in the future.

Website
https://www.cic.fr/

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