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Decisive action on data regulation sees 888 Holdings stay ahead of Brexit challenge

Adversity sees global gaming business move early on hybrid model. VMware Cloud on AWS unlocks business new level of agility and delivers unparalleled IT efficiency.

There are events that businesses anticipate, eventualities they plan for, and then there are those that come from nowhere.

Five years ago, no one was talking about the UK leaving the European Union. Today, any global business has to have a strong position on how to respond to Brexit.

For several automotive manufacturers it would appear Brexit has been a factor in deciding where to invest in new, European production facilities. The financial services sector is seeing a steady drip of jobs moving out of London and into Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris. Many UK-based businesses have reacted by opening new distribution centers or head offices in Europe.

If there is one thing we can be certain of, it is that Brexit is causing uncertainty.

888 Holdings is a global online gaming business. It is headquartered in Gibraltar and has licenses in the UK, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Romania, and the states of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware in the US. It manufactures nothing tangible, and has no physical retail presence, but Brexit is having a tremendous impact.

The issue for 888 is data.

To ensure it stayed ahead of any changes in data regulations, 888 needed to move workloads from its data center in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, to a new center somewhere in the EU. With no leaving date agreed it knew it needed to do this quickly. It set a deadline of eight months.

Delivering the scale, agility and workload portability to support business growth

888 has created a software-defined data center built on VMware Cloud on AWS. It enables the business to move appropriate data and workloads to cloud services in Dublin, respecting EU data regulations. It was fully operational in six months.

It is 888’s first experience of hybrid infrastructure, and it will define how the business manages and deploys infrastructure in the future.

The SDDC solution extends 888’s existing virtualization from compute, storage and networking resources. It provides a single software toolset to manage those virtualized resources and enables policy-driven automation of provisioning and management.

This does more than simply answer the Brexit brief. The hybrid approach addresses a number of underlying business challenges. The standard cloud benefits of agility, scalability and OPEX will serve 888 well into the future.

888 operates in a global, highly-competitive, digital market, where few customers are loyal. If a service is down, customers will take their business elsewhere. The business (and software developer teams) can’t wait months for new physical infrastructure to be purchased and provisioned. Teams need resources in hours or minutes. VMware Cloud on AWS creates an environment that is robust and responsive. 888 will be better able to deliver new services quickly, and, from a customer perspective, those services are unlikely to fail.

VMware Cloud on AWS enables 888 Holdings to rapidly extend, migrate and protect its existing VMware environment to the AWS public cloud. It delivers a seamless hybrid cloud by extending 888’s on-premises vSphere environment to the AWS Cloud, with the same management and monitoring tools across on-premise and cloud.

Eran Elbaz, 888 Holdings CIO, says, “this significantly improves business agility”.

VMware Cloud on AWS allows 888 to move more workloads to cloud more quickly, enabling workload portability. It prevents the lateral spread of threats with dynamic policy-driven VMware NSX micro-segmentation, protecting sensitive customer data. Data is then secured further with VMware vSAN™ software-based encryption. Disaster recovery is strengthened with VMware Site Recovery Manager.

For 888, the added advantage is that the infrastructure team already had experience with VMware tools. It meant the project was complete two months ahead of target.

888 sees the project as a game-changer. With eight data centers around the world, and thousands of servers to manage, the task of monitoring and maintaining the IT infrastructure had proved relentless. For Elbaz and team, the move to VMware Cloud on AWS reflects a smarter approach to infrastructure.

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