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CIO50 2021 #26-50: Marcus Rameke, Nikko Asset Management New Zealand

  • Name Marcus Rameke
  • Title Head of Information Technology
  • Company Nikko Asset Management New Zealand
  • Commenced role November 2018
  • Reporting Line Chief Operating Officer
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Technology Function Outsourced IT and one direct report
  • Marcus Rameke has taken on the role of head of information technology at Nikko Asset Management to lead a transformational journey that will enable the company to fulfil new business requirements using an agile approach. This will mean staff can be more mobile, and therefore achieve better productivity and revenue, with the support of the senior management and board of directors. 

    For the first major project, Rameke transformed a traditional three-tier architecture datacentre into hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and introduced on-site high availability (HA) and off-site disaster recovery (DR) solution. Anticipated outcomes included: 

    ·      Replace all hardware to suit the business needs.

    ·      Implement an onsite a complete redundancy system.

    ·      Implement a complete offsite disaster recovery system.

    ·      Implement server recovery from malware/virus.

    ·      Implement onsite granular file and folder recovery.

    ·      Improve reliability and performance.

    ·      Minimum impact on the network (WAN).

    ·      Single vendor.

    ·      Dedupe feature (remove duplicated data).

    One of the biggest challenges for IT leaders is the strategic protection of data (security and customer privacy) while implementing innovative solutions with easy accessibility for mobility work. The environment has to meet strict guidelines to achieve those high-security targets, Rameke says. 

    “Another challenge in this project was that the disaster recovery site is located in Australia and to have a complete offsite disaster recovery system with very low recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) you are required to have a good dedupe and replication solution for minimum impact on the network (WAN),” he says. 

    “Also, it’s important that the solution is able to perform backup and recovery without affecting the input/output (I/O) of the server environment during business hours.” 

    The project covered a hardware refresh, implementing an onsite redundancy system and an offsite disaster recovery system. If there is an issue on the New Zealand host (server) then the secondary New Zealand host (redundancy system) will take over the workload with minimum downtime if any. If there is an issue with the New Zealand site, then the offsite disaster recovery system will be providing all the access to all the servers via the Australian VPN. This project addressed the potential threat of malware/virus and how Nikko Asset Management New Zealand can recover from an infected server.

    “Using replication is a great tool to recover a server from e.g., hardware failure from one host to another, but if your server has been infected by malware/virus, the bad code would have been replicated to your recovery site as well. In this case, you need a solution that could take you back in time to be able to recover the server in a timely manner,” Rameke says.

    Strong relationships with management and board

    Upon joining the company Rameke quickly established strong relationships with the local management team and board of directors in New Zealand and with the global IT team. Having been able to quickly understand the business requirements and need for change, Rameke articulated a strategy to senior management to ensure that the solution was aligned the current business need and future strategy.

    As a regional office within a global organisation, it is critical to not only meet the local business requirements but also comply with global technology policies and approved technologies. Rameke demonstrated his leadership through not only defining a state-of-the-art infrastructure solution but also working with global teams to give them confidence around the proposed solution and collaborate closely with them to ensure that Global recommendations and best practices are also incorporated.


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