Large Broadcaster - Site Decommission
Our client found itself with an interesting problem. How do you ensure that you have removed all IT and networking dependeniciees on a key site that has been used for many years. There was of course good documentation, but there were known to be some holes in that. There was also a list of equipment that looked recent but no one could be found to accept ownership of the system. It was impossible to get onto the systems as the administration details were, presumably, with the unknown owners of the system.
The problem our client faced is a common one. How do you determine what a system is doing, who is using it and who it belongs to so that you can determine how you deal with the system. Whilst anything that needed to be maintained could be either moved to a new datacentre or virtualised onto a shared platform (VMWare, Hypeer-V or ProxMox), moving everything would not be possible due to cost, physical space and time limitations.
Layer3 installed CustardWare, a reconnaissance and telemetry package that allows us to inspect networks and systems, this was then used to look at those systems that were running anonymously. We could determine which machines were in regular use and which had very little network use. We could determine what was a human interface being used by a user and what was a machine to machine connection. We traced users or connections from other systems and by inspecting sources of documentation on known systems created a profile of what a system was doing and who or what other systems were using it.
This allowed our client to break systems into three groups. Functioning and important systems that should be preserved, either physically or virtually. Functioning systems that were minimally used, these could be retired or virtualised. Finally, systems that were actually unused but where some vestiges of connectivity still remained, these could be backed up as a precaution and then retired. Layer3 automated analysis as much as possible and could provide a database or spreadsheet reports indicating progress and status for all systems on the site.
• Layer3 provided a cost effective solution, including CustardWare for under £2,500 per month.
• £2,500,000 saving in software licenses and reduced overall cost of ownership.
• A systematic approach to understanding what systems existed and knowledge of them.
• A traffic light summary showing overall progress and time to completion.
• Scalable and consistent approach that could handle late information and additional systems.
• An absolute minimum of systems needed to be force accessed.
• All system documentation brought up to date and made centrally available.
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