Datacentre solution improves resilience

Secure, reliable and disaster-proof IT systems

The Client

Summit Therapeutics is a NASDAQ listed company leading in antibiotic innovation towards the creation of a new generation of treatments in the field of infectious diseases. The need for improved data security, reliability and business continuity across locations in both the UK and the USA stimulated a review by Syplex of their on-premise IT systems.

The Scenario

Like many SME’s, Summit had evolved IT systems on an internal server platform based in their Oxford HQ. With the expansion of their East coast office in Cambridge, MA, reliable connectivity to the head office became increasingly critical, and their dependency on the Oxford office-based servers for business continuity was also a serious concern.  

At that time, the requirement for highly resilient on-premise systems could only be met by hosting servers in a dedicated datacentre facility, as investing in a rented office to provide adequate failover, which was the only alternative, isn’t usually viable. To meet these needs and support the future expansion of the company, Syplex planned the migration from office-based servers to using Syplex’s secure datacentre and an implementation of private WAN circuits to connect Summit’s offices.

The Solution

Resilient Datacentre

Syplex offer their clients the option of hosting server infrastructure in a highly resilient, high availability secure datacentre.  This is based in a purpose built facility in the UK with full duplication of both power supply and data services to guarantee uptime.

For this solution Syplex also designed a new high availability server infrastructure platform in the datacentre, supported by redundant network switches and firewalls, as well as providing Internet connectivity to support remote access.

Server infrastructure

Although the existing on-premise servers were operating reliably they supported minimal hardware redundancy.  For the datacentre Syplex re-designed a new server architecture based around an iSCSI SAN and a Hyper-V server cluster.  This solution uses multiple layers of hardware redundancy to provide resilience to any single failure, from power supplies up to a whole server.  

The datacentre hardware is connected via a network switch cluster which also provides redundancy in the event of a device failure, and the datacentre systems have access to the Internet via redundant firewalls.  The virtual servers hosted in the datacentre are operating on a high availability server platform within the high availability environment, minimising the prospect of any unplanned downtime.

Private WAN connectivity

Syplex had previously established a virtual WAN between the Summit offices using Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels over the Internet.  However, the planned re-location of systems to the datacentre would put greater emphasis on the reliability and performance of these connections.  

In order to satisfy the high availability requirement Syplex provisioned new private network circuits connecting the UK & USA office locations with the Datacentre.  These circuits offer high-speed and low latency to connect staff efficiently and securely to the datacentre based systems internally, i.e. without going over the Internet.  Internet traffic is separately routed to the firewalls locally in the offices or in the datacentre.

The Conclusion

Summit are now benefiting from a resilient server and secure network connectivity platform which isn’t dependent on their office premises.  By removing the single points of failure that are inherent in typical SME infrastructure and migrating to a secure datacentre environment the risk of an incident or hardware failure affecting the business are significantly reduced.  

Staff at Summit can feel confident using their business systems, with secure and reliable connectivity to their colleagues in the USA and everything they need to accomplish their work, without costly delays or disruption. Their Syplex consultant, Carl Tedman has been working with Summit for over a decade, through relocation, acquisition, international expansion, staff changes and more, and is both familiar with their needs and experienced in the solutions they require. We’re proud of the long relationships we build with our clients, and the proactive effort we make to ensure their IT systems always meet their changing needs.