E.ON consolidates data centres with tracking

E.ON has successfully consolidated all of its servers into three data centres across Europe using application baselining technology to track performance.

The energy supplier's information services (IS) department looked at consolidation to combat rising power, maintenance and management costs, due to running its applications across multiple data centres in the UK and Europe late last year.

In order to ensure that performance of key applications such as email, SAP, Citrix and E.ON's intranet could be guaranteed to users and business stakeholders during and after the move, the IS department deployed Compuware's Client Vantage software.

Andrew McKenzie, infrastructure manager for E.ON UK IS, said: "We needed a solution that would help us to baseline all of the most important applications, but which could also provide the information to prove to the business that the consolidation exercise had not negatively impacted application performance."

The software allowed E.ON IS team to monitor a large number of applications across many different locations. By plugging a laptop into a network socket, Vantage creates ghost users' to run applications and simulate typical usage patterns. These laptops can be administered from one central location saving on time, travel and management costs.

"It was also more cost effective to deploy Vantage than any other solution, because we could pay per transaction carried out, rather than paying for solution licences," he added.

After a five-month consultation period, E.ON's standard and bespoke applications were baselined, giving the IS team a better understanding of their performance.

"Client Vantage allowed us to measure performance in our current data centres and test application performance at the new sites to ensure that they would work just as well there as they did in the previous data centres," said McKenzie.

"Once we had done this, we could identify and resolve any problems before we actually carried out the migration. We could also assure the business teams that there would be no performance degradation between sites, because we had comprehensively tested the applications underpinning key business functions and knew exactly how they would perform."

Client Vantage now provides E.ON with an overall dashboard of performance, allowing it to more closely monitor and manage its application portfolio.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.