Global financial corporation entrusts its IT infrastructure for Europe in Beyond.pl

Beyond.pl’s Fortune 500 customer is one of the largest global financial companies consistently listed among others in key Forbes’ rankings, such as “The Most Valuable Brands in the World 2020”, “Global 2000: The World’s Best Employers 2019”, “The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2018”.

In 2017, the company decided to consolidate its IT infrastructure which had been previously spread out across Europe. Untill that date, the company had collocated its IT infrastructure in several dispersed locations across Central and Western Europe. The company had clear business objectives associated to this project targeted to increase data security levels, align data storage standards, increase availability, and reduce maintenance costs through centralization in a single, external data center. The strategy was to select a facility to act as the main production facility, similar to a primary data center located in one of the European capitals, where the company has its regional headquarters. The client considered different locations, both in Western and Central Europe. Eventually the financial conglomerate selected Beyond.pl’s Data Center Campus in Poznan, Poland.

The search for a new colocation service provider was led by a team appointed in the company’s US global headquarters in cooperation with a support team from the European regional headquarters. Due to the nature of the operations, the customer placed the utmost importance on ensuring adequate security levels while concurrently aiming to optimize infrastructure management costs. Prior to commencing cooperation, Beyond.pl underwent a 2-month comprehensive audit of its physical and infrastructural security measures.

Beyond.pl’s key competitive advantage during the RFP process turned out to be its Data Center 2 facility, the only building in the EU to have received the International Rated 4 Certificate provided in accordance with the American National Standards Institute requirements. As a result the client identified that it could secure continuity of service availability of up to 99.9999%, where the potential downtime would be limited to a maximum of 31 seconds per year. In the financial sector, this is crucial, as service unavailability for just over 1 hour per year can mean multimillion-dollar losses as well as the loss of credibility, reputation, and legal penalties.

Beyond coordinated numerous data and physical reference requests and visits for the customer’s data center and security team up to the Global Vice President level. The level of due diligence and scenario planning was exceptional, we answered hundreds of questions about security and ran emergency scenarios including simulations of a car explosion within the car trap at the entrance to the facility, all the way down to questions relating to the frequency of rat poisoning replacements – Wojciech Stefaniak, Data Center Infrastructure Expert, Beyond.pl.

Another key item of interest for the financial firm was energy continuity and security. Beyond.pl’s Data Center campus with its redundant power connections and power supply systems is one of Poland’s most energy-efficient facilities. Energy prices in Poland invariably represent no less than 60% of the total colocation cost of ownership, in Western Europe, this proportion can be as high as 80%. Therefore, choosing an energy-efficient Data Center reduces one of the largest cost drivers, thereby significantly reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Beyond.pl’s Data Center 2 can be a significant catalyst to meet this goal with its PUE factor of 1.2 under optimal use. The ability to optimize the cost of energy while simultaneously being able to guarantee the highest safety standards (Rated 4) was one of the key arguments for entering into a business relationship with this particular global financial services client.

Carrier neutrality and location with regards to latency were other key drivers assessed during the selection process of the right-center provider. Beyond.pl was the first carrier-neutral data center in Poland and has always offered customers the ability to choose their preferred telecommunications provider, but by providing access to multiple carriers and now the Polish Internet Exchange EPIX, Beyond.pl is able to secure that vendor lock-in does not happen. In addition, Poznan’s Data Center is optimally positioned geographically halfway between Warsaw and Berlin. This location allows securing optimal connectivity to Western Europe, with latency to Berlin of 4 milliseconds and Frankfurt only 10 milliseconds. For an international customer who wished to secure the speed of access to multiple geographical markets in the EU, this was a key feature.

The financial sector is among the most demanding when it comes to information security. Data center providers must confirm compliance with rigorous certifications continuously undergoing independent audits. Both Data Centers of Beyond.pl are PCI DSS certified, confirming that the physical, environmental, and infrastructural security required to protect end customer accounts sensitive data is in line with regulations and that the processed data is stored in accordance with appropriate procedures and standards with regards to physical security and business continuity. Beyond.pl also operates in line with SOC2 standards and is at the final stage of obtaining certification confirming as such. In December 2019, Beyond.pl received an independent SOC2 Type1 report confirming that internal procedures related to information security are appropriately introduced and well designed, especially those regarding physical security, availability, integrity, confidentiality, the privacy of organization, and customer data.

Beyond.pl launched the colocation service at the end of January 2018. The customer was extremely satisfied with the quality of the deployment and immediately requested to double the quantum of infrastructure collocated. Beyond.pl managed to secure and set up the new colocation service in line with customer requirements and standards shortly thereafter.

We followed the customer’s corporate standards in a very diligent manner. The documentation described very precise requirements not only the rack size but all the way down to the diameter of screws used – Wojciech Stefaniak, Data Center Infrastructure Expert, Beyond.pl.

For the first time in its history, the Fortune 500 corporation contracted most of the equipment migration-related work to a Data Center operator. The project to transfer the customer’s IT solutions to the Poznan campus took only 3 months. Beyond.pl handled the physical migration of new IT equipment from an external location to Poznan from end to end. Beyond.pl was responsible for transporting servers during the winter, securing and insuring them during transport all the way up to installation.

The new equipment was transported directly to Beyond.pl without the customer having to store it. We unpacked it, checked it, plugged it in, and then disposed of the packaging. We provided full support for the project as a “one-stop partner”. This is our bread and butter – Wojciech Stefaniak, Data Center Infrastructure Expert, Beyond.pl.

Additionally, as part of the task to migrate the infrastructure, Beyond.pl’s Smart Hands team took over the entire operations and oversight related to the migrated infrastructure. As part of the standard collocation service, the customer now uses our full range of Smart Hands team support 24/7/365 available in Polish and English. Regarding the support levels, Beyond.pl ensures that all necessary infrastructure work is carried out to enable the entire infrastructure to function efficiently and without faults. The range of services includes amongst others connectivity, deinstallation and installation of equipment, installation of client configurations, and maintenances of the premises. The selected Service Level Agreement (SLA) level is set in the contract to 99.9999%. What’s more, the customer can monitor their infrastructure’s performance and efficiency on an ongoing basis.

During the two years of cooperation, the Fortune 500 client has systematically increased their demand for colocation services at Beyond.pl’s Data Center in Poznan. The contract scope has been increased threefold during the period. Beyond.pl’s ability to provide high quality service levels, sufficient security for expansion needs related to power and space needs, and a quick and efficient server room setup is key to ensuring that the customer can grow their business without having to worry that their IT infrastructure may not be able to keep pace.

 

High-quality colocation services

  • service tailored to the needs and high standards of one of the top Fortune 500 companies in the financial industry
  • private hall
  • rapid roll out of server space for future deployments
  • high density readiness (25kW/rack)
  • full oversight into infrastructure performance
  • complete responsibility for logistics services related to physical infrastructure migration
  • optimized infrastructure onboarding time
  • 24/7/365 full scope smart hands support for all migrated infrastructure
  • Minimized carbon footprint – PUE of 1.2 sourced from 100% green energy

 

Safety and continuity

  • the highest safety standards proved out by the only Rated 4 ANSI/TIA 942 certification provided to a data center facility in the European Union
  • highest uptime level – up to 99.9999% which translates into service unavailability reduced to a maximum of 31 seconds per year
  • financial sector recognized certificates: PCI DSS, SOC2 Type1, SOC2 Type2
  • carrier neutrality – the ability to connect any operator (including multiple Tier1 Carriers) according to customer preferences, access to EPIX

 

Location

  • low latency to key Central European and Western European markets, including 4ms to Warsaw and Berlin, 10ms to Frankfurt, 16ms to Amsterdam,
  • Data Center located at a strategic intersection point of Europe – east-west & north-south route, exactly 300 km from Warsaw and Berlin

 

Total Cost of Ownership

  • 45% TCO cost savings with higher service level security vs offerings in Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris

 „The client was provided with the full project service. Starting with the transport and installation of equipment and ending with full infrastructure support. We offer a full range of colocation services, including migration of the IT infrastructure to our Poznan campus for the most demanding customers.”

Wojciech Stefaniak
Data Center Infrastructure Expert, Beyond.pl

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Products and solutions used

Colocation

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IT Administration

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