HM Land Registry - Consultancy

Synopsis - HM Land Registry wanted to improve the quality of its customer service and extend its valuable registry data online when it engages IBM and IBM Business Partner Triton Consulting to implement IBM DB2 9 for z/OS and IBM Websphere Application Server for z/OS software running on IBM zSeries 990 servers.

Industry: Government

Customer Background - HM Land Registry (HMLR) is the UK agency responsible for registering titles for land in England and Wales and for recording dealings with registered land, such as property sales and mortgages.

Business Need - In the early 1980s, HMLR started the process of storing all of its title deeds using IBM DB2 database-supported customer information control system (CICS) running on a mainframe. Initially, it stored the information as text and later moved on to scanning images with mapping data. Over the years, as the database increased in size, HMLR added a second data centre to provide greater resiliency for these important records.

In the 2000s, HMLR faced pressure from government representatives to upgrade its key services and comply with the principles of e-government as a means of tapping a broader market and offsetting expenditures with fee income from conveyers, corporate customers and individual citizens. For example, the prime minister requested that all HMLR services be available electronically and that the agency increase the amount of revenue capable of being generated from its services. And the Lord Chancellor had been encouraging HMLR to continually improve its performance targets.

To adapt to these new expectations, HMLR sought a new information management system that would:

  • Improve its ability to handle increased workload with increased resiliency and throughput for its core information systems
  • Offer robust, high-performance replication
  • Provide read-only copies of database data to facilitate 24x7 access to data and services
  • Improve data security to increase confidence in citizens in businesses Solution

IBM and IBM Business Partner Triton Consulting teamed with the HMLR IT team to plan, install, configure and test IBM WebSphere Application Server for z/OS software, a tool specially designed to distribute, consolidate and synchronise data. Although the solution is still not fully implemented, the team expects the tool to provide the queue replication processes needed to meet the agency's information management requirements for increasing transaction and data volumes. HMLR next increased the security of its data with an IBM Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS), solution that enables comprehensive DB2 data sharing between IBM zSeries 990 servers production environments at the client's two data centres. It also added a third zSeries 990 server to provide hot standby support using extended remote copy (XRC) technology.

The IBM System z platform is specifically designed to offer the highest possible levels of reliability and availability for demanding, business-critical environments. With multiple redundant components and operating systems that are built to recover rather than reboot, each System z server provides phenomenal resilience. The GDPS technology extends this resilience across multiple physical systems at separate sites, providing an automated solution that is to deliver continuous application and data availability.

The client also deployed two IBM System z9 Enterprise Class servers and allocated nine central processors and two IBM System z Application Assist Processors (zAAPs) to support the Java development workload for its Web applications.

A DB2 environment based on IBM DB2 9 for z/OS software provides over the 32TB of storage capacity . It is one of the largest online transaction processing (OLTP) environments in the world and supports all activity through the Land Registry Direct system, as well as internal land registration processed and a variety of Web-based systems running on IBM Websphere Application Server software on the System z environment. In particular, the Land Registry Direct tool supports a user base of 13,500 professional organisations and more than 140,000 individual users, as well as roughly 4,000 concurrent users.

The client plans to eventually leverage its WebSphere environment as the basis for a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that will improve its ability to communicate with business partners and customers.

With the WebSphere solution, HMLR was able to open its data to the internet with its Land Register Online service. Unlocking the value of its online services to generate more than £28 million in fee income in 2005 and 2006. Furthermore, the highly reliable and secure System z servers have enabled HMLR to:

  • Acquire additional performance and resiliency levels
  • Support ongoing development of its online offerings
  • Provide better protection against unplanned outages or disasters
  • Boost its price/performance ratio significantly with the zAAP engines
  • Exceed e-government targets for making data available online

And with the zAAP engines on the System z servers, the client was able to migrate approximately 55% of its Java workload off the central processors, liberating them for other roles and facilitating that new workloads do not increase its software licensing costs.

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