Case Study Pantheon

“We have found a trusted partner in Coeo and are delighted with the migration and on-going proactive management of our Azure platform.”

John Eggleston, Partner and Global CTO, Pantheon

Project Overview

Pantheon innovates and scales with Azure

Background

Pantheon has over 38 years’ experience investing in private markets, with investment strategies spanning private equity, infrastructure and real assets, and private debt. Operating across the world from offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Bogotá, Seoul, Tokyo and Dublin, and with more than $49bn of assets under management, the firm relies on data to act as responsible stewards of their clients’ capital.

As a fund of funds, one of Pantheon’s key differentiators is the database it has built up from relationships with hundreds of fund managers and thousands of portfolio companies. Using the latest machine learning and predictive analytics technologies, this trove of information can be used to provide key analytics and insights to clients – and to inform better decision making across the business. Effective use of data is also fundamental to the day-to-day operations of the firm, powering everything from valuations and reporting to personnel systems and payroll.

Coeo manage the cloud infrastructure that allows Pantheon to rapidly adopt the latest technologies, provide advanced data solutions to their clients and differentiate themselves in the market.


The Challenge

Pantheon wanted to transform and modernise its technology operations to ensure its applications and data were reliably accessible to each office and take advantage of the latest cloud data and analytics services. The firm’s agreement with its co-location datacentre provider was up for renewal along with the WAN services, which provided a clear timeline to start this journey. Microsoft was already their cloud vendor of choice, all the company needed was to find a partner to plan and deliver its migration safely, on time, and without incurring excessive costs.


Solution

Pantheon’s technology leadership team spoke to potential partners and selected Coeo due to its ability to architect, operate and optimise data in Azure, and its commitment to the deadline set by the datacentre renewal. Coeo’s senior consultants carried out an assessment of the existing estate, followed by a detailed design and migration roadmap. Once Pantheon had agreed the approach, the technical teams at both companies worked together to deliver the migration project.

Derrick Ginsburg, Pantheon’s Head of Cloud and Security, explains: “We needed to move our entire production environment, including our mission critical systems for the day-to-day operation of the business – valuations, trading, marketing and payroll. With a tight deadline, were concerned about the risk of downtime and the need to preserve access to both third-party and in-house applications. To mitigate this, Coeo phased the project, with the initial phase consolidating a group of servers and migrating these from our datacentre into virtual machines in Azure.”

Due to the complexity of the project, Coeo also provided project management support, working alongside the in-house project manager to ensure the deadline was met. Once migration was complete, it was imperative to carry out a full failover test to ensure Pantheon would not suffer downtime and also to test the performance of the virtual machines. This involved consolidation and re-architecture of the existing data warehouse; a server always considered difficult due to its high complexity data and the application it served is now fully optimised for high performance.

In a highly-regulated financial environment, data security is key to compliance. Before migration, Pantheon ran two datacentres – a primary, and a disaster recovery centre – to meet regulatory requirements. Coeo advised on Business Continuity Planning for the new cloud data platform, setting up and testing a disaster recovery process for the entire environment into an alternative Azure region.

The next challenge for Pantheon was managing its new Azure environment. The rapid evolution of Azure Data Services and the need to provision development resources required both a skillset that wasn’t common in their business, and a great deal of time that the internal team needed to dedicate to new projects. Coeo was well placed to assist with its specialised ‘Dedicated Support’ managed service. With Dedicated Support offering proactive 24/7 performance optimisation and cost-effective management of cloud estates, it is a great fit for Pantheon’s needs.

Coeo took on support of the entire production and non-production environment, totalling over two terabytes of data and 240 CPU cores. After a swift onboarding, Pantheon’s technology leaders have peace of mind knowing that their dedicated pod of engineers are troubleshooting performance and availability around the clock. Highly customised monitoring alerts the team to any issues across web apps as well as the data platform and enables a proactive approach to resolution, with over 90% of incidents raised and solved by the Coeo team before Pantheon sees an impact.

Coeo’s engineers also take care of provisioning data on-demand for the development team, integrating data into Pantheon’s DevOps process. The Support team also use Azure Update Management and Azure Backup to ensure security and continuity.


Result

Pantheon now has all of its mission critical applications and data running in the cloud, supporting the global business, and has reassurance that its platform is architected to deliver the performance required. Coeo’s engineers provide cost optimisation recommendations and implement performance tuning enhancements to ensure consistent, predictable performance at the most effective investment.

As Head of Cloud & Security, Derrick Ginsburg had a busy role managing physical infrastructure day-to-day. With the physical infrastructure decommissioned, and the reassurance of 24/7 outsourced support, Derrick can now use his insight and experience on key projects to drive Pantheon’s continued development.

As Pantheon continues to develop its cloud strategy, it is looking to further transform, taking advantage of the latest webapps and Platform as a Service solutions in Azure. Coeo is supporting it on this journey towards a fully scalable, modern data infrastructure, keeping the company at the forefront of the innovative investment sector.