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Kiwi brokers find new online home after Solihull UK data centre failure

Kiwi brokers find new online home after Solihull UK data centre failure

The ten-day Solihull data centre failure caused global disruption to SSP's insurance broker customers.

SSP's recovery was hampered by laborious backup and restore procedures and damaged disks.

SSP's recovery was hampered by laborious backup and restore procedures and damaged disks.

Global insurance technology provider SSP has migrated its New Zealand broker customers to a new hosting provider in the wake of a huge UK data centre failure last year.

Australian provider Interactive, which operates multiple high availability datacentres in Australia, has picked up the hosting business along with that of SSP's non-broking customers in the region.

SSP last year decided to permanently decommission one of its data centres, following the ten-day outage, The Register reported.

A power blackout took down SSP’s Solihull data centre on 26 August, frying its HPE Storage Area Network.

Laurence Walker, group CEO of SSP said the Solihull data centre had a traditional daily back-up. To restore it required a laborious unpacking of data from back-up discs, re-coupling with application data and then reconfiguring systems for individual customers.

Worse, some of the disks were damaged during the outage, making recovery even harder.

The outage had a huge impact on customers, including eight of the top 10 UK insurers and four of the top 10 global insurers as well as its brokers around the world including New Zealand.

SSP New Zealand manager, Samuel Finkle, said he was pleased to announce the successful migration of all New Zealand broking customers to the new hosting system.

“Following the Solihull outage last year it was decided to migrate all our broking customers to our local hosting partner, which also hosts our non-broking customers in the region, as we are confident it is able to meet the demands of today’s insurance market," Finkle said.

SSP believed the Interactive data centre has the levels of resilience needed to avoid potential major outages.

“Test environments were created for every customer to mitigate any potential concerns following the outage last year," he said. "A number of customers have now been on the new system for more than a month we have received positive feedback regarding the new architecture.”

Rosser Underwriting managing director Andrew McFetridge said he immediately noticed the speed and stability of the new system which sped opening and uploading of documents significantly.  

"We don’t have the same issues we used to have and it’s much better now that we have completed the migration," he said. "This has been a significant improvement which has helped our relationship with SSP.”


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