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Case Studies

Global Investment Firm

Market Segment: Hedge Fund Company

Problem/Opportunity

Their environment was running SQL Server 2005 on HP DL 380s. They had 43 SQL server 2005 instances across 23 physical servers utilizing approximately 12 TB. There were more than 610 production databases and another 100 Sybase production databases. The Sybase environment had 9 instances consuming 20TB. The scope of this effort focused on the 13 MS SQL databases, spread over 2 SQL 2005 data servers plus 1 SQL 2005 Cluster, and 8 Sybase databases on a single data server.

SE Completed a Three Phased Approach to Migrate and Standardize the Environment

Scalability Experts completed a three phased approach to determine needed design and platform changes. SE completed the following activities:

Phase I: (Performance Data Collection and Analysis)

  • Collected performance data on selected back office SQL servers: included OS performance data related to server memory and processor utilization, I/O workload, SQL Server workload and meta data
  • Analyzed data for Tier one and Tier two servers
  • Developed reference architecture and hardware recommendations
  • Recommended need to upgrade to SQL Server 2008

Phase II: (Design and Reference Architecture)

  • Defined reference architecture tiers (based on need for availability, security, performance, scalability, reporting, storage and monitoring)
  • Developed an “operational framework” with regard to upgrading to SQL Server 2008, features of SQL Server 2008 and integration of Sybase workload
  • Provided database Change Management framework
  • Provide HA/DR solutions
  • Include Read-Only replicas for workload segregation

Phase III (Migration and Implementation)

  • Implemented new three-tiered reference architecture
  • Migrated applications to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition
  • Trained the team on MS SQL Server and Monitoring Administration
  • Trained the team on extending and administering the solution
  • Replicated Sybase databases on MS SQL Server 2008 including benchmarking the performance numbers before and after replication and profile the impact with various workloads.
  • Full standardization of database operations and platform

Solution/Capabilities

SE implemented a high performing homogeneous computing environment by re-architecting and standardizing the company on Microsoft’s SQL 2088 Enterprise platform. The company has benefited by:

  • Cost avoidance: Using SE’s three tiered reference architecture and framework has maximized performance and availability while at the same time reduced infrastructure costs. Standardizing on the Microsoft platform has lowered management and maintenance costs.
  • Improved application manageability: Migrating to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 has reduced the complexity of their environment and created a more stable and responsive computing environment. It has also allowed them to maximize the use of internal resources.
  • Increased Performance: Response time is up, throughput is faster and the company has benefited from a homogeneous environment that has driven higher levels of productivity. Their systems are more available, scalable and performing at higher levels of efficiency.

The migration and platform standardization work completed by Scalability Experts was viewed by the company as very critical to their mission-critical applications and the performance of their overall financial transaction business. SE after every engagement surveys their customers to gain important customer satisfaction feedback on the quality of their services. Multiple questions are asked related to the quality of our consultants, architects, deliverables, final results and other elements of the project. On a five point scale, this company rated SE’s overall quality of work at the highest level of 5.0.