Helping a leading UK-based financial services company optimize network traffic | HCLTech

Helping a leading UK-based financial services company optimize network traffic

Data center modernization was key to the successful digital transformation
4 min read
4 min read

Our client is a leading global financial company in the UK providing a suite of financial services across 35 countries worldwide. With over 4,500 employees in 60+ offices, the company provides leading advisory, private wealth, asset management and merchant banking services to large institutions, families, individuals and government worldwide.

The financial major had two on-premises data centers (DCs), hosted in third-party premises, along with 500 workloads and ~3,000 firewalls. They were looking for an experienced technology partner to help them transform their networks and infrastructure by bringing in enhanced security and agility and faster go-to-market capabilities.


The Challenge

With the current and anticipated growth of their global business operations, our client was looking to transform its legacy data center to software-defined data centers

  • Heterogeneity in their network connectivity across their environment was an impeding factor for desired transformation
  • The complex architecture for network and network security, with limited automation, led to inefficient traffic flows for virtualized environments, limiting network observability and scalability
  • A time-consuming network provisioning process caused delays in workload deployments
The Challenge

The Objective

Transform to a future-ready, software-defined data center

  • Perform datacenter exit and migration within stringent timelines
  • Ensure RTO/RPO compliance and meet business requirements
  • Reduce longer provisioning times for new workloads along with ensuring robust security posture

The Solution

Data center migration through HCLTech’s Sensus

  • As part of the engagement, HCLTech performed a data center network assessment exercise, in line with the client’s business objectives and provided a highly reliable and always-on network service that supports a hybrid cloud setup.
  • We utilized , our data center modernization framework, to enable functions of routing, switching, security and inter-DC connectivity. Networking was made actively available on both DC and DR sites to efficiently use the compute and storage resources at both sites (active/active).
  • HCLTech followed a 2-pronged approach of first transition and then transform to ensure business continuity.
  • Transition of in-scope services from incumbent with utmost focus on minimal disruption to delivery of business as usual during transition and then technology transformation post service stabilization.
  • The transformation consisted of software-defined networks using overlay networking provided by VMware NSX tightly integrated via APIs with compute, storage and third-party firewall (Fortinet) for deep inspection, followed by transition of 3,000+ firewall rules to VMWare NSX, using automated scripts.
  • HCLTech provided vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) integration with VMware NSX, Cisco Nexus switches and Fortinet firewalls to bring in capabilities like advanced analytics and end-to-end visibility to provide better network observability.

The Impact

Infrastructure optimization and modernization, security enhancements and disaster recovery and operational continuity.

Infrastructure optimization and modernization

The client's transition to next-generation infrastructure marked a significant reduction in end-of-life assets, concurrently paving the path for forthcoming DevOps endeavors and cloud migrations. This shift curtailed IT operating costs and ensured a seamless zero-touch transition, enhancing operational efficiency even during uncertain times. The adoption of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) played a pivotal role in expediting network provisioning processes, while automated workflows further streamlined network and compute provisioning.

Security enhancement

With an unwavering focus on visibility and security, the solution diminished mean time to repair (MTTR) and adhered to Zero Trust principles, effectively mitigating east-west threat proliferation. Virtual firewall layers were introduced to diminish security hardware footprint without compromising robust protection. Additionally, the solution automated isolation measures of non-compliant OS-/- unpatched VMs, enhancing security posture2 and created logical and scalable high-security zones for mission-critical applications.

Disaster recovery and operational continuity

A fully automated disaster recovery mechanism with near-zero recovery time objective (RTO) for networks ensured seamless operations, underscoring the comprehensive benefits delivered to the client. Furthermore, the streamlined network and compute provisioning processes, facilitated by automated workflows, reinforced the client's operational continuity strategy, enhancing overall resilience.

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