Data centre power consumption and cooling were generating extra costs for Brisbane-based wagering and lottery firm ,Tatts Group, until it rolled out data centre monitoring software.
The organisation runs two data centres in Brisbane located within 30 kilometres of each other. On Melbourne Cup Day 2014, one of the busiest racing days of the year, the company processed 2,500 transactions per second with one data centre handling all bets.
In 2013, Tatts Group identified the need to classify its data centre infrastructure between revenue generation, business critical and business important across both data centres.
Previously, the only way this could be achieved was to have someone walk through the data centres and check which racks were being used for which business purpose.
Realising that this was not efficient or cost effective, Tatts Group CTO, Matthew Maw, started looking for a software tool that would provide insight into the data centre’s daily operations while avoiding inefficiencies resulting from manual monitoring.
The organisation also needed to gain insight into its IT power consumption and utilisation to increase efficiency and decrease costs.
After going to market, it chose Schneider Electric’s StuxureWare for Data Centres software. The solution allows data centre owners to plan, monitor and operate their sites. The software was rolled out in early 2014.
“The single biggest improvement has been visibility. We have a very good understanding of where everything is in the data centre. Before, we would have two primary servers end up in the same rack on the same power feed,” said Maw.
Because IT staff now know where everything is in the data centre it can start to play what Maw referred to as “data centre Tetris”, fitting in servers and other hardware easily.
While Melbourne Cup Day may generate thousands of bets, this pales in comparison with the lotteries Tatts Group runs in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.
According to Maw, a weekly $50 million lotto draw is equivalent to the takings from Melbourne Cup. If the organisation’s network went down during a wagering or lottery event, it would lose millions of dollars in revenue.
“It would be very difficult to find the right commercial contract and the right risk profile from a third party provider that can support our revenue generating functions,” he said. “Finding someone who is prepared to stand behind those from a risk or liability side of things, is at this point, impossible.” However, the organisation migrated some non-core processing applications into the cloud in late 2013.
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