Case Study

Churchill Retirement Living

Requirement: Colocation

Churchill Retirement Living engaged technology partner Blue Chip to implement and manage a Colocation hosting solution which would improve their IT security, resilience and connectivity in addition to reducing their IT costs.

The Client

Churchill Retirement Living is a privately owned, family-run company. Founded in 1994, the company specialises exclusively in developing attractive, purpose-built retirement apartments.

Churchill Retirement Living was becoming increasingly concerned with having their IT infrastructure on-premise with a lack of redundancy in the infrastructure resulting in a low level of resilience. Utilising Colocation would not only address this issue but it also offered a fantastic opportunity for Churchill Retirement Living to increase the speed of the links between their sites at no extra cost.


Blue Chip designed and implemented a move of Churchill Retirement Living's IT infrastructure, from their Ringwood-based Head Office to Blue Chip’s datacentre in Bournemouth. In addition, Blue Chip also provided improved connectivity to all three of Churchill Retirement Living's sites direct to the datacentre through new BT 100MB uncontended fibre links. This was at a lower annual cost than their previous site-to-site links.

Remote access was originally provided to users via a VPN solution, where users connect via a Juniper Netscreen Remote VPN client software and a provided policy file. The Juniper was rented from Virgin/ NTL as part of Churchill Retirement Living's existing leased line package. Blue Chip installed a new FortiGate firewall which was purchased outright by Churchill Retirement Living and delivered instant cost savings, higher throughput, better performance and the ability to provide SSL VPN access to any user.

Success and Company Benefit

Churchill Retirement Living are now enjoying the key benefits of colocation including improved security, better connectivity and resilient internet links in addition to diverse power feed, diesel generated backup power, a significant decrease in OPEX costs and a large reduction in cost for their site-to-site and internet connectivity.

Darren Harryman, Group ICT Manager at Churchill Retirement Living said, “The benefits of a hosted solution have been significant. Not only do we have a state-of-the-art infrastructure, our users have already seen an increase in performance and the extra bandwidth now available will allow for the introduction of new technologies as and when the company requires.”

Technical Solution:

  • 3x BT 100MB uncontended fibre links for site connectivity to the datacentre
  • Dedicated 100MB IP Transit for Internet
  • 16A 42U Rackmount Cabinet
  • FortiGate Firewall Bundle
  • Cisco Catalyst Port Layer-3 Switch in the datacentre
  • 3x Cisco Catalyst 8 Port Layer-3 Switches at each of Churchill's sites

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