Moving a data center from one location to another is always an intimidating – even hair-raising – proposition. But when it’s the world’s leading insurance market that needs to move its data center to a new, modern facility, the project takes on epic proportions.
According to The Stack, this is what took place over a single weekend in February when DXC Technology migrated Lloyd’s of London’s entire data operation. (For scale, imagine 70 billion rows of data, 700 IT assets including mainframes, and over 200 mission-critical applications, including Linux, Solaris, and Unix systems.)
Lloyd’s of London is a sprawling insurance marketplace that comprises 76 syndicates, 350 brokers, and 4,030 cover holder offices employing 47,000 people across the UK and writing gross premiums worth over $100 billion annually.
The move was a key step in a multi-pronged modernization project, and it was important to Lloyd’s that it takes place quickly, over a weekend, rather than incrementally, over weeks or months.
According to Rob Myers, Lloyd’s Operations Director, the “meticulous planning, delivery execution, and exceptional collaboration” has paid off for Lloyd’s, which has its sights set on a more data-focused, automated, and cost-efficient future.
DXC is also justifiably proud of the accomplishment, according to Andy Evans, Delivery Director at DXC:
“This was one of our biggest and most ambitious data center migrations: We’ve migrated the entire London insurance market operations, including all the data, the apps, or the business processes, from one set of data centers to the DXC strategic data centers over a single weekend. When you look at the size and scale of that it is quite extraordinary.”
Currently immersed in “Blueprint 2,” an ambitious digital transformation program, Lloyd’s is creating a future for the insurance marketplace that will eventually be less dependent on Big Iron and more integrated with the cloud.
According to Evans, the migration involved “moving all kinds of platforms to newer platforms; consolidating some of the technical stacks. [For some areas] we’ve gone from a mainframe to a mainframe, but it’s a much newer mainframe with higher availability and faster: in some cases, we’re seeing upwards of seven times faster processing capability across some of the technology stack.”
In other areas, Lloyd’s modernization program will see a diminished reliance on mainframes.
Specifically, Lloyd’s confirms that digital services for premiums and claims will be “new business applications, operating on a new cloud platform.” Further, once those applications are live, the existing mainframe systems (PoSH, LIDS, and all CLASS / ECF versions) will no longer be operational and will only exist as historic data repositories.
For the moment, though, DXC and Lloyd’s are breathing a collective sigh of relief with the physical data center migration behind them.
“This [industry] represents a quarter of the GDP of London, so there was a little bit of stress, a little bit of pressure,” Evans admits, with the trademark British gift for understatement. But, he emphasizes, the work continues:
“We must make sure that all migrated systems and applications are stable, we’ve returned to business as usual process flows with those services, and are ensuring maximum availability of those services. So we’re not taking our eye off that and not switching focus.”
Source: The Stack