We really value the hands-on approach we receive from Daisy. As Markel continues to acquire other companies, it is likely that other data centre projects will arise in the future, and for these we will definitely be approaching Daisy to support us.
Alan Shephard, Head of Technology Operations at Markel International
Markel International is an insurance company with more than 20 years’ experience of looking after the commercial insurance needs of major businesses, SMBs, professionals and sole traders. Operating through six divisions across 17 countries, Markel underwrites insurance through Lloyd’s syndicates in the London insurance company market and through its Brazilian reinsurance company.
With an existing long-standing relationship with Daisy for the supply and support of hardware systems in both its data centres, Markel values the in-house expertise which Daisy can lend to the process of choosing the right solutions, independent of equipment manufacturers.
As part of an office relocation programme, Markel initiated a project to move its primary data centre. The chosen relocation strategy was to build a complete greenfield data centre and to migrate virtual workloads from the old site to the new. Thus, the project required a total refresh of the Markel machine room infrastructure.
In addition, as a rapidly-growing company with the recent acquisition of Alterra Capital, the new infrastructure needed to provide a dramatic uplift in power and capacity.
With all of this to consider, Markel chose to work with Daisy in exploring the best infrastructure solution to ensure it met the growing needs of the business. Markel has invested heavily in growing its storage platform significantly over the past 12 months to give more performance and capacity to its users.
After a consultation with Daisy, Markel decided that HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprises) provided the best fit for its IT needs, in particular HPE servers with HPE 3PAR storage. Providing an unbiased view of vendor systems and having access to the best solutions in the marketplace was of paramount importance as Alan Shephard, Head of Technology Operations at Markel, explained: “As Daisy works with a range of technology vendors, it can provide unbiased expert advice on a vast spectrum of solutions.
“Daisy took the time to analyse our business needs and explain all of our options, and provided consultancy to map detailed candidate solution designs to our requirements. We know that Daisy has a strong relationship with HPE, as well as with the other candidate vendors, and we had no qualms about them handling the procurement process for us.”
Having been pleased with the service received throughout the existing relationship, the team at Markel had full confidence in Daisy’s ability to provide an excellent experience while meeting the project’s objective.
By moving to an HPE solution with Daisy, Markel has been able to seamlessly complete the relocation of all services to its new data centre and has created a completely new platform with sufficient lifetime and capacity to support business needs for the next five years. To date, Markel has experienced no issues with uptime and is delighted with both the solution from HPE and the service from Daisy.
Markel has been especially pleased with the way Daisy structures its work with customers.
Shephard said: “Markel takes quite a traditional approach to business, with a strong focus on individual relationships and trust. What stands out about Daisy is its overall approach to its customers. When we started working with Daisy, we were assigned a dedicated account manager who was specific to us and has now worked with us continuously for a number of years. This is important to us in terms of having an understanding of our systems and our business, meaning advice comes from an informed standpoint.
“We really value the hands-on approach we receive from Daisy. As Markel continues to acquire other companies, it is likely that other data centre projects will arise in the future, and for these we will definitely be approaching Daisy to support us.”