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Political risk insurer BPL upgrades entire storage infrastructure to eradicate latency challenges

Credit and political risk insurance company BPL Global has upgraded its entire storage technology infrastructure in a bid to overcome business-inhibiting latency challenges.

The company said it had been wasting too much time and energy trying to investigate latency problems caused by its ageing spinning disk systems.

Working with multinational corporations, banks and financial institutions across the globe, the insurer – which backs trade to the value of billions of pounds every day – is constantly having to deal with large data volumes. But its previous technology infrastructure had been slowing it down.

In a bid to keep on top with increasing workloads, BPL implemented a full-flash storage infrastructure from Pure Storage technology, doubling its storage capacity at the same time as solving its latency problem.

BPL claimed that the marketplace for flash storage was crowded with “overcomplicated” and “expensive” products.

Working with Pure, BPL claims to have achieved a 4:1 data reduction, solved latency issues and increased the lifespan of data storage to seven years.

Storage is critical 

London-based BPL operates the world’s largest credit and political risk insurance brokerage team. The firm said it’s vital that its employees have access to the right resources to serve “the complex, time-critical needs” of clients.

Adam Koleda, director of IT at BPL Global, said: “As a business, our priority is finding the best possible deal for our customers. So in terms of IT, we concentrate on delivering infrastructure that actively supports key business needs.”

Over the past five years, the insurer has doubled in size, from 50 to 100 employees, and its global IT infrastructure, which is predominately based in the UK, is now made up of Pure Storage arrays.

Koleda said that the organisation relies on storage to handle large internal mailboxes and public folders, and that the seamless exchange of files is critical in its day-to-day operations. However, the company’s fast growth left its conventional disk storage infrastructure struggling.

“It might sound simple but for a company like ours with the structure that we have, it is very important for the teams to be able to share emails and files quickly and efficiently,” he said.

Technological transformation 

When it moved offices, BPL decided to hire a company to “completely re-architect” its storage foundation. It selected Pure, partly due to a decision to shift to faster flash-storage infrastructure, but also, Koleda says, due to the straightforward nature of its user interface.

“Simplicity is very important for us, and was a huge part of why we chose Pure Storage. You log-in to the Pure storage platform and it has a few key metrics. You can create volumes with the flick of a button,” said Koleda.

He said he wanted to work with “smaller, more innovative players who were capable of disrupting the sector”.

“We did consider other storage vendors,” said Koleda. “But it was clear that Pure Storage had an edge over its competitors.

Tech marvels  

The company’s global IT infrastructure is now based on three Pure Storage FlashArrays. Two of them manage 45 virtual machines, while the third handles snapshots and replication.

“The arrays are head and shoulders above other technologies, both in terms of simplicity and cost-effectiveness,” said Koleda.

Describing the system as “revolutionary”, the arrays also provide improved security, Koleda claimed. “What I was also looking for when purchasing Pure Storage was the ability to have active redundancy within the storage,” added Koleda.

“For a storage device at that level of pricing, that functionality is incredible. By doing this, Pure Storage has overcome one of our key challenges, which is creating a bullet-proof infrastructural design.”

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