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KGI Asia Limited


KGI achieves long-term data centre sustainability and enhanced business agility with Fujitsu’s comprehensive data centre design and implementation.

KGI Asia Limited

Industries:

  • Financial Services

Offering Groups:

  • Solutions
  • Consulting
  • Financial Systems

Regions:

  • Hong Kong

Challenges:

  • Implement an efficient and green data centre
  • Cater to KGI’s stringent IT requirements (i.e. zero downtime)
  • Locate an ideal office space to accommodate requirements

Benefits:

  • Improved stability, reliability and security
  • Power Utility Efficiency (PUE) rate higher than industry average
  • Long-term data centre solution achieved
  • Outstanding post-service maintenance support

KGI Asia Limited, a subsidiary of KGI Group, is one of the largest and most active brokerage trading firms in the region. It serves more than 600,000 clients in Asia and provides the most comprehensive financial services for both retail and corporate clients.

Operating in a highly competitive and volatile financial business environment in Asia, KGI has to ensure fast turnaround in its online and real-time services while managing client investments in the most secure, professional and highly reliable manner.

The Challenge

One of KGI’s mandates is to provide its clients with the highest standards of service possible whether through its real-time or online services, according to Andrew Wu, IT Director of KGI Hong Kong.

"Nowadays there is an increasing demand to make time-sensitive investment decisions for our clients by managing reliable and accurate real-time data,” said Wu. “In order to stay competitive and provide our clients with the best service, we realized that we needed to create and implement a highly-efficient green data centre that could cater to our needs, such as zero downtime."

Creating a green data centre, however, meant KGI had to relocate from its existing site, but finding an ideal office space that could accommodate and tackle the company’s numerous demands was proving to be a huge challenge.

In addition, Registered Structural Engineer (RSE) assessments had to be made to verify that limitations in structure loading are met. That alone posed severe physical limitations to the project, which had a very tight two-month deadline.

The Solution

When Wu and his system administrators decided to tackle these challenges head-on last year, their main priority was to look for an affordable and sustainable long-term solution that could strike a balance between quality and price.

Fujitsu conducted a preliminary assessment of KGI's infrastructure power consumption needs and the possible downtime risks associated with each design before presenting their ideas to KGI’s senior management.

After visiting Fujitsu’s data centre in Tsuen Wan, obtaining feedback from KGI Thailand, and reviewing Fujitsu's previous success stories and its proposal and approach, KGI Hong Kong Office Relocation Steering Committee unanimously chose to work with the company. It was Fujitsu’s clear step-by-step timeline, complete documentation and detailed and visualized design that catered to the needs and specifications of KGI that gave it a winning edge. In addition, the two companies' long-standing partnership in Hong Kong since 2004 on PRIMEPOWER UNIX servers and on other projects around the region, as well as Fujitsu’s successful implementation of data centre services for KGI in Thailand, helped the company stand out from its competitors.

"Having managing over 90 data centres around the world, Fujitsu's global best practices, professional knowledge and recommendations during the selection process have provided us with insights in building and managing our data centre. We were not only impressed by their design and their ability to provide complete resilience but also to their adherence to the project timeline they laid out for us. In fact, they were even able to complete the project two weeks earlier than the planned completion date, which exceeded all our expectations. Furthermore, they are innovative and responsive during and even after the implementation. With Fujitsu’s help we are now able to uphold our promise of reducing our energy consumption and doing our part for society," said Wu.

Although there were a few problems during the course of the implementation, such as delayed hardware delivery and issues with cabling and sprinkler installations, Wu said they were easily resolved with Fujitsu’s support. According to Wu, Fujitsu proactively negotiated with various suppliers regarding the delivery timeline, made sure products were delivered on a timely basis and even volunteered to look for alternative product sources on behalf of its customers. The company was also actively involved in negotiating with the landlord for several issues such as cabling and sprinkler installations to avoid any delays to the project.

"We believe that industry know-how and execution power are equally important to the success of every project implementation. Fujitsu's versatile data centre design and implementation services, along with its highest standards of professionalism and comprehensive consultancy, have surpassed our expectations. We are delighted by Fujitsu's commitment to our project. They really listened and promptly responded to our needs. I am especially impressed by the professionalism and customer centric attitude expressed of the Fujitsu's team. In particular, the Fujitsu project manager’s dedication and hands-on approach during implementation gave me the peace of mind knowing that things are in good hands," Wu added.

The Benefits

"By partnering with Fujitsu, which provides flexible data centre design, seamless implementation and ongoing maintenance, KGI enjoys an array of benefits that has led to the sustainability and growth of our data centre, thus increasing KGI’s ROI in the long term." said Wu.

Increased stability and reliability

Since the implementation, stability problems have been resolved, which resulted in improved reliability and enhanced security levels.

"Fujitsu's data centre design creates a highly stable environment for our day-to-day mission-critical transactions. Regular monitoring and an alarm system allow real-time warning sent to our e-mails and mobile phones. Having a stable infrastructure meant KGI’s staff can now reduce the frequency of their visits to the data centre, enhancing efficiency in terms of managing the date centre," Wu said.

"Even though we experienced a power surge at Central Plaza last Christmas, our dealing desks and servers were not the least bit affected by it, thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment that Fujitsu recommended to us and the isolated transformer owned by KGI which ensured power stability. If the blackout happened before we had our new data centre, it would have created a huge problem for us and compromised the reliability and stability of KGI," Wu explained.

Higher than average PUE rate

Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is a widely accepted benchmarking standard used to determine the energy efficiency of data centres. Achieving a high PUE rate is important but doing so can be extremely costly.

"All IT equipments generate heat, especially the equipment that we use here at KGI to handle transactions, ensure security and business continuity. That is why it is extremely important for us to not only obtain a high PUE but also to house our equipment in a secure environment. Fortunately, Fujitsu’s design helped draw a balance between the two. Our data centre at the Hong Kong Head Office is a green data centre which meets the requirements of LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) – an internationally recognized green building certification system. Fujitsu’s comprehensive data centre design and implementation have helped the data centre to successfully outperform the average industry level and achieve an a PUE level of 1.48, which is more than 80% than what other vendors can provide in Hong Kong. That has resulted in a substantial increase in efficiency and productivity, significantly reduced our electric bills and minimized heating problems, which is the leading cause of downtime," Wu said.

James Pang, General Manager, Sales Department of Information System & Services Division, Fujitsu Hong Kong Limited, commented that the green data centre at KGI is a world-class (Tier-3) data centre which has adopted advanced technologies that are usually used by large-scale data centres. Fujitsu noted an increasing demand from financial service institutions in Hong Kong to build world-class (Tier-3) data centres inside their offices as they consider the data centre a critical infrastructure to help provide high quality services and create a highly stable environment for their day-to-day mission-critical transactions.

Foresight in data centre design

One of the challenges of being a successful data centre is to have a design that is stable and durable. Compared to traditional designs, which needed updating every five years, the design of KGI’s new data centre will only require an update once every 10 years. It not only reduces the money KGI needs to spend on upgrades but also increases the data centre’s long-term stability and profitability.

Serving more than 500 employees spread out on two floors, space and security are critical. Thanks to Fujitsu’s thoughtful design, KGI was able to reduce power consumption, save 25% of overall space capacity and reduce network cabling by over 30%. Using intelligent concepts, Fujitsu also optimized KGI's requirements by developing a secure and robust infrastructure and implementing a dynamic air-conditioning technology that adapts itself to the operating temperature of servers, thus efficiently preventing server and systems downtime and keeping the infrastructure cost effective.

Post-service maintenance support

"Prior to and during the implementation, KGI and the Fujitsu team worked closely together and both parties were committed in ensuring the completion of the project on time without disruption. Fujitsu was responsible for handling the consultation, inspection and assessment, the project management and the building stage. After the migration, we realized that the floor plan required a minor change, which meant the repositioning the data port. For the business to continue running smoothly, this operation needed to be completed in one to two days. We sent an urgent request to Fujitsu, hoping that they could help us and they did respond quickly to our request and was able to cope with the last-minute change. We were particularly impressed with the post-service maintenance support they provided us on such short notice, which can be rarely found in other vendors," said Wu.

Future Outlook

Wu highlighted that, without a doubt, they made the right choice by selecting Fujitsu.

Ben Kwong, COO of KGI HK, also complimented Fujitsu for its work. "We have a set of rules and are strict in picking our vendors. Fujitsu’s design not only addressed all our implementation challenges but it also enhanced the reliability and security of KGI's infrastructure, thus ensuring maximum support and zero downtime. The surprisingly efficient implementation and continuing stability of our data centre proves that we certainly made a very rewarding investment," Kwong explained.

"With Fujitsu’s industry know-how, proven track record, skilled project teams and on-time project implementation, our organization is benefiting from increased reliability and performance of our business systems and applications. Fujitsu certainly astonished us with its outstanding design and expertise, which truly matched our needs. Fujitsu's dedication to deliver success undoubtedly differentiates itself from other vendors. We highly recommend Fujitsu to any company looking to invest in sustainable yet affordable enterprise-grade data centre technologies," Wu said.

The second phase of KGI’s relocation project is currently ongoing. Assessments have already been made, designs have been drawn and production has commenced. With KGI and Fujitsu working hand in hand, there is no doubt that the project will be completed ahead of schedule.