In January 2006, BT established its Openreach business gateways to provide transparent and equal access and services to all of Britainâs communications providers using the local access network. Openreachâs formation was one of the most significant milestones in the history of the UKâs telecommunications industry, ensuring a healthy competitive market for consumers.
To meet Openreachâs goal of providing all of its customers â wholesale, retail and third parties â guaranteed service levels for response times and transaction volumes, BT had to think outside of the box, as it realized it needed a different approach to the challenge of server scalability.
âDespite a significant investment in hardware, our IT infrastructure wasnât sufficiently scalable, which meant we couldnât ensure consistent service levels on a sufficiently large scale without encroaching on the data center,â said Mark OâFlaherty, B2B and integration program manager, BT Design.
BT reached out to Silicon Valleyâs Azul Systems and leveraged Azulâs Compute Appliances to deliver the massive scalability required to run the Openreach Gateway. The Appliances yielded significantly improved performance and increased capacity without compromising hardware redundancy and failover safeguards. BT has already experienced the following business benefits delivered by Azul Systems:
- Significant reduction in hardware data, management, power and cooling costs.
- Improved response time: Reduced the highly variable response times from up to 10 seconds to consistently below two seconds, regardless of transaction volumes.
- Enhanced scalability: Enabled gateways to handle a 600 percent increase in transaction volumes on existing server infrastructure.
- Reduced infrastructure: Lessened the requirement from 10 Sun servers per gateway to two.
- Lower power consumption: Reduced by 59 percent.
- Smaller datacenter space: Reduced from 20 racks to six.
- Lower total cost of ownership: Reduced by 30 percent.
- Ability to meet stringent service levels and deregulation requirements as mandated by Ofcoms.
âOur quality-of-service challenge reflects an increasingly important industry trend â scalability and throughput demands of mission-critical compute infrastructures are outpacing the capabilities of traditional servers,â said Colin Windsor, CIO, Openreach. âWith Azul Compute Appliances, companies facing capacity challenges can achieve the scalability they need while controlling IT costs through greater manageability, flexibility and reduced requirements for real estate and power.â