Working in HM Land Registry’s IT department covers a wide variety of work – from enabling the delivery of new digital services, to ensuring our day to day IT services operate reliably.
A lot of the work we do in IT often goes unseen. We keep servers patched, fight a daily battle against viruses and make sure telephones work and files are stored securely as well as undertaking larger projects to improve and refresh our IT estate.
We’ve just completed two such projects. The first saw us move the majority of our office and data centre network links from one supplier to another more cost-effective one. This wasn’t like switching broadband providers at home. In fact, almost every office required a new line to be installed, which involved digging up roads and drilling holes. It was a significant piece of work that will save us money and gives us the network capacity we need to keep emailing, Skyping, calling and generally carrying out our day to day work.
The second project involved upgrading the storage on our mainframe. We store all core data, the register and 140 million documents on the mainframe. In fact, we have one of the largest transactional property databases in Europe. So in all, we have a massive petabyte of data stored which, if you’re interested, is the equivalent of about 2,000 years of music. We needed to upgrade the storage (hard drives) on the mainframe as they were five years old and about to come to the end of their useful life. You might describe the project as the equivalent of changing the engine of a plane while it’s still flying – you don’t want to get it wrong.
Thanks to careful planning and the professionalism of the teams involved, both projects were successful and delivered without any downtime or organisational disruption.