Nicholas Smith

Nicholas Smith

Property Management at Rand Merchant Bank

Location:
Austin Friars House 2-6 Austin Friars, London, Greater London, United Kingdom
HQ Phone:
+44 20 7939 1700

General Information

Experience

Property Infrastructure  - FirstRand Bank Limited

Recent News  

Mitigation of risk was a major driver behind FirstRand's plans to consolidate its data centre, says property infrastructure manager Nick Smith.
In 2008, FirstRand Group, one of SA's largest banking institutions, faced a problem that had become too big to ignore: multiple operational inefficiencies in four different data centres, serving four separate divisions of the business, spread across three different buildings. "Things had grown like a string of chewing gum, and the centres were competing with office space," says Nick Smith, property infrastructure manager at FirstRand. "The old data centres were dinosaurs that sucked electricity, water, and generated a lot of heat and noise." Three of the server rooms had not been designed for this function, resulting in significant efficiency, cooling and power consumption flaws. This meant costs were growing uncontrollably and the risk of systems failure was unacceptably high. "It was a disaster waiting to happen," notes Smith, who says mitigation of risk was a chief concern, due to Reserve Bank and South African Revenue Service demands around continuity of service. "If the data system doesn't work, we're hugely exposed." So when it became clear something had to be done, FirstRand took the opportunity to green its data centre operations as well. "There was a definite sentiment that the centres could be a lot greener in terms of cost and maintenance," explains Smith.

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