Conservation Group Consolidates IT

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The WWF conservation organisation is finding ways to make its infrastructure more sustainable

WWF UK is using hosted infrastructure services from telecoms specialist Telstra International to simplify its internal IT systems and consolidate servers, the organisation claims.

In a statement released this week, WWF UK — based in Surrey with regional offices in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — said it has removed all of its existing ADSL lines to local offices and replace them with access to Telstra’s Multi-Protocol (MPLS) network.

Having a single point of access for the internet means the conservation organisation has more control over network traffic and should be able to improve security, it said.

“WWF has a commitment to environmentally-friendly business practice which is supported by every department within the organisation. However, projects to reduce carbon emissions that the IT team had been considering were constantly postponed to deal with day-to-day issues, because the IT infrastructure had become so disparate and unwieldy,” said Ian Exton, network manager at WWF-UK. “We decided to look for a new partner, firstly to simplify the network infrastructure to make the management easier, and secondly to help us develop our projects to reduce carbon emissions”

WWF UK also said that it has mirrored its in-house IT infrastructure at Telstra’s London data and hosting centre to help improve its disaster recovery strategy. “Going through this process encouraged us to assess our business continuity strategy, to ensure we have a structured and robust plan so any incidents have minimal impact on our supporters,” said Exton. “Telstra provides a fully managed service, so we have set strict SLAs for restoring the network in the event of downtime.”

Mirroring systems at Telstra’s data centre has also enabled WWF to simplify and consolidate much of the internal networks and servers in its regional offices, potentially reducing the offices’ technology-related carbon footprint.

WWF also claims that by centralising its IT infrastructure and internet access, it has been able to reduce the management time of the network which has given the IT department more time to focus on other ways to reduce IT-related greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are now considering ways in which we can further improve the IT infrastructure, to support the charity’s overall objective of environmentally-friendly business practice,” said Exton. “We have consolidated the number of servers by using high-density hosting, and are looking at virtualisation as the next step.”