"Replacing the current solution with a productive and flexible Fujitsu server platform has allowed the AEGON Group to increase its productivity and improve the performance of individual areas of the company"
Wiktor Wojciechowski, Head of IT Systems Support, AEGON Group
The AEGON capital group is a world-renowned specialist in life insurance, pensions, and savings and investment products. It also offers some banking services, and operates in the accident and health insurance sector. AEGON has 40 million customers in more than 20 countries in America, Europe and Asia. It has 27,500 employees and revenues of almost 1 billion Euros per annum.
In Poland, four companies operate as part of AEGON, the main goal of which is to secure the financial future of their customers. High quality service and proper operation of the company is largely based on the proper functioning of all entities within the group thanks to an efficient IT infrastructure.
“The role of the IT Department is to provide a reliable, efficient and safe IT system. Very important in this process is to track trends and use and adapt the latest technology to meet the needs of our company. That is why we make every effort to ensure that equipment is replaced every few years by new and more functional equipment,” says Wiktor Wojciechowski, Head of IT Systems Support at AEGON.
The IT Infrastructure is an extremely important component in the smooth running of the company. The dynamically changing world markets means there is a greater risk that must be taken into account when defining and determining the market offerings. The company invests customer funds, which will secure their future, so the data must be current, and the system as efficient and safe as possible. Fast access to content and efficient exchange of information between employees are important, which is why a stable, secure and efficient server platform is needed that will allow for database support, along with specialized applications that support them.
AEGON’s management board decided to replace the current server infrastructure and implement a modular system designed for future expansion.
At the beginning of 2012, AEGON decided to replace its PCs, as the previous equipment from a different supplier was no longer sufficient for the work of the company’s specialists. The company chose Fujitsu workplace solutions. More than 100 ESPRIMO E500 PCs were purchased, each with two Fujitsu B19-6 LED monitors, and around 40 LIFEBOOK E Series business notebooks. The equipment, after a year of being used, has a very good reputation among users, who, according to feedback given to the IT Department, praised the reliability, quality and trouble-free operation.
Another, more complex and critical IT project was the expansion and consolidation of the server platform. AEGON’s previous experience working on servers from another manufacturer led the Group to consider tenders for new suppliers. After the first stage, in which the offers of four manufacturers were compared in terms of functionality, performance in virtual environments, the ability to manage a blade server platform, cost and the expected SLA of maintenance services, two international manufacturers, including Fujitsu, were invited to take part in final negotiations.
After a deep analysis, it was ultimately decided to choose a new supplier – Fujitsu. Key in this decision was the high flexibility in the approach to the proposed solution and the favorable price together with regard to the TCO calculation for the proposed solution. Also of great importance in the decision were the warranty conditions and fast and professional servicing over a number of years.
“Fujitsu’s offer was distinguished by its very high flexibility and options for effective expansion, as well as the favorable pricing policies of the Japanese manufacturer, which resulted in the delivery of equipment with the best ratio of productivity to TCO and also gave us a predictable cost upgrade path – in the current economic slowdown and restrictive IT budget it was of paramount importance,” says Wiktor Wojciechowski, Head of IT Systems Support at AEGON.
The most important element of the implementation was the installation of four Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX900 cassette server enclosures equipped with PRIMERGY BX924, BX920 cassettes and PRIMERGY SX960/980 integrated disk resources.
To handle the most demanding processes, a PRIMERGY BX924 server farm was used, which, thanks to two Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 processors and up to 24 modules of RAM on each server, offers very high performance, and the highest computing power density (18 blade servers in a 10U chassis) available on the market. Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX920 S3 servers were allocated for the remaining applications, which provide high performance and configuration flexibility.
In order to ensure an integrated disk space for the server cassettes, Fujitsu PRIMERGY SX980 disk cassettes were used. In addition, SAS 6Gbit/s switches were installed in the PRIMERGY BX900 chassis that are responsible for the efficient operation of the disk subsystem.
The Fujitsu blade server environment can dynamically adapt to changing business requirements. The selection of the Fujitsu blade environment is an optimal investment thanks to the integration of up to 18 high-performance blade servers in each blade enclosure and the very low maintenance costs compared to conventional rack servers. The high modularity allows the use of multiple items in a single environment simplifies management and makes it possible to build an independent stand-alone pool of server resources and storage.
“Thanks to the Fujitsu blade server infrastructure, we received a flexible and independent server environment consisting of mass data storage, servers with different technical specifications and SAS switches, thanks to which the wiring has been reduced to a minimum. This infrastructure, enclosed in a single housing and managed via a simple interface, means that, if necessary, we can very quickly move to another place,” explains Wiktor Wojciechowski, Head of IT Systems Support at AEGON.
For basic system disk to disk backup, PRIMERGY RX350 S7 rack servers are used – these are a dual-socket construction in a 4U enclosure that can be equipped with hard drives with a capacity of nearly 50 TB. The installation, configuration and transfer of systems made by Fujitsu engineers went according to schedule. AEGON praised the professionalism and good contact with the manufacturer’s specialists, who provided help at every step of the migration from the old environment to the new hardware platform.
In the case of a few irregularities, the project team worked very efficiently and quickly resolved the problem. After the completion of the implementation, Fujitsu issued a five-year extended warranty for the equipment and comprehensive technical support.
“The implementation of the new environment and migration was successful. Our tests confirmed the high efficiency of the Fujitsu equipment. Thanks to the unique design of the PRIMERGY BX900 servers, we can easily expand the server environment in the future more cheaply than via competitive offers. In the near future we plan to expand the current infrastructure with additional elements from the Fujitsu server platform.” - Wiktor Wojciechowski, Head of IT Systems Support at AEGON.
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