Reseller and service provider, Cloud Solutions Group, has overhauled logistics conglomerate Hellmann's entire Australian server environment with a Nutanix Virtual Computing platform.
According to a company statement, the decision to replace its traditional data centre blade servers and storage area network (SAN) infrastructure was taken after an extensive analysis of the cyclical costs of upgrading the infrastructure and evaluating the benefits that web-scale converged infrastructure would bring.
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, region IS manager for Oceania, Middle East and Africa, David Attana, said the lifecycle of traditional server and SAN infrastructure typically featured a significant initial capital outlay, followed by smaller incremental investments and operating costs.
“The cycle repeats with a major investment every few years, as the equipment ages or the data centre fails to keep pace with the company’s growth," he said.
“In Australia we reached the point earlier this year where we were due a large investment to replace and upgrade our ageing equipment.
“As the infrastructure aged, the business started to feel the effects of the gradual degradation in performance.”
The platform took 13 days to deploy.
Hellmann runs various business systems in a virtual server environment, complemented by a dedicated SAN, from its Melbourne data centre.
The company engaged Cloud Solutions Group (CSG) to find suitable options for its datacentre upgrade, including potential new technologies to replace the traditional server and SAN arrays.
CSG managing director, Josh Rubens, said the Nutanix platform was a radical departure from the traditional costly and power-hungry SAN and server arrays.
“Nutanix eliminates the need for separate servers and shared network storage by delivering a converged appliance," he said.
"The Nutanix solution can be deployed quickly and managed easily. Need more storage, memory or CPU cycles? Simply add another Nutanix node.”
Nutanix managing director A/NZ, Wayne Neich, told ARN CSG was one of the company's major channel partners.
Other partners include BeArena, Advantage Technology, Ensyst, BES IT, Reachpoint and Qirx.
Neich said the company had also recently signed Datacom as a reseller partner and that the company had now on-boarded 80 customers since the opening of its Australian office in 2013.
"Our partner strategy is largely driven by those people already doing traditional SAN today," he said.
"They want to continue to control and own the relationship with their customers."
He said the next five years would see investment in SAN "completely flip over" to investment in hyper-converged infrastructure.
"Any partner who is in that market today - and they want to be at the forefront should evolve to hyper-converged infrastructure.
"They need to become a partner of ours."
Neich also highlighted the significance of the Datacom partnership.
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"Most of our partners are not major national organisations, but Datacom certainly is, and it has come on board in a fairly big way, because they see there's a lot of upside in getting involved with Nutanix."
Since deployment, Hellmann has reduced its required rackspace by almost two 42RU racks, and increased performance from 75 IOPS (input output per second) per virtual machine to more than 5,000 IOPS.
It has also halved Hellmann’s UPS (uninterruptible power supply) requirements, and significantly reduced its cooling infrastructure.
While the Australian implementation is still in its infancy, the anecdotal success of the Nutanix solution has already prompted other regions – notably Asia – to investigate a similar deployment.
Attana said that deployment throughout his own area of responsibility would proceed on a country-by-country basis as existing infrastructure nears its end of life.
The immediate next step for Hellmann Australia is to replace its virtual desktop environment with Nutanix, currently scheduled for early next year.
“Once we switch to Nutanix for the virtual desktop we’ll be able to centrally administer, manage and support our entire operation using one consolidated platform,” he said.
“This will ultimately make our business more responsive, agile and competitive.”