Cancer Research UK has announced that it is now running all of its primary systems, including Oracle CRM systems, finance systems and Citrix virtualised desktops, from Interxion's colocated central London data centre in Brick Lane.
Locating its infrastructure with Interxion was part of a bigger programme for Cancer Research UK which began in 2010, that involved consolidating eight offices into one and moving to a 1,200 user base Citrix XenDesktop environment, using Wyse T10 thin clients.
Since the initial move, the charity has also implemented a VNX unified storage system running EMC’s FAST Suite and Total Protection Pack to replace all the production storage for its virtualised desktops.
Mary Hensher, IT Director at Cancer Research UK, told Techworld that Interxion was chosen as the data centre provider because it had “the kind of people we wanted to work with” and the company was willing to design and develop the space according to CRUK's needs.
While latency is not an issue for the charity, it makes sense to locate the charity's primary IT systems in central London, according to Hensher, because that is where Cancer Research UK's headquarters are, and it means that CRUK's IT staff can easily access the equipment if they need to.
Hensher added that Interxion provides “Fort Knox-style security,” which is essential when you are dealing with sensitive patient information, and has an expansion strategy for the future, with a second data centre called LON2 on the same campus.
“Over the past three years Cancer Research UK has carried out several projects that have been made easier because of Interxion’s customer-friendly approach, good connectivity options, reliability and uptime,” said Hensher.
“With employees now using a virtual desktop environment we couldn’t allow for a lower level of user experience. Interxion’s wide range of connectivity options and guaranteed uptime allayed any concerns we may have had.”
Hensher claims that the consolidation project has saved CRUK “huge amounts” in terms of space and networking costs. The infrastructure will now support a forthcoming mobile project, which will allow CRUK staff to access and exploit data via their mobile devices in a safe and secure way.
“We are proud that such a world renowned charity has chosen to house its infrastructure with Interxion and this announcement further reflects the level of service and technical knowhow of the Interxion team,” said Doug Loewe, UK Managing Director of Interxion UK.