The Oslo Stock Exchange is trade and industry’s most vital tool when it comes to obtaining capital. Billions of Norwegian Kroner are traded via the Oslo Stock Exchange every day, and every day vast numbers of transactions take place with these trading systems. Extremely fast trades have also become the order of the day over the past few years. The trading systems need storage offering performance, uptime and security. After investing millions in a new IT infrastructure in 2009, Proact is now the stock exchange’s “insurance” in respect of storage and backup.
The Oslo Stock Exchange has undergone strong growth over the past few years and has gradually also become an internationally renowned stock exchange, particularly in sectors such as oil, energy, shipping and seafood. Foreign investors dominate trade, and more than half the brokers are foreign.
“Naturally, this enormous growth led to constant IT related challenges as we gradually had to increase our server and storage capacity,” explains Tommy Nygren, manager of operations and infrastructure at the Oslo Stock Exchange. “We had well over 200 physical servers which required a lot of maintenance and almost constant replacement of server equipment. The ‘service life’ for this type of equipment is usually just three years. As this also required a lot of system administration and there were limitations in the network, and given the fact that the tape backup solution took an excessively large amount of time to execute, it became more and more urgent for the IT management team at the stock exchange to start thinking along new lines.”
However, for a modern stock exchange always seeking to remain at the cutting edge in terms of technology, staying abreast of technical developments is not only expedient; being at the forefront of developments is also a competitive advantage. So once the Oslo Stock Exchange had decided to procure a new IT infrastructure in late 2008, the IT management team had clear ideas of what they were looking for. “There was absolutely no question of a crisis. But we thought the time was right to ‘set up’ a new infrastructure for future growth,” continues Tommy Nygren. “Just virtualising our systems in order to reduce the number of physical servers, thereby saving on power and administration, were important requirements.”
“Hence we wanted to redesign our data centre using mainly virtual servers so that we could simplify system maintenance and keep it to a minimum.” And the effects of that virtualisation were not long in appearing; this measure actually resulted in massive reduction of the number of physical servers, from around 230 to 110!
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