The Neenan Company is one of Colorado’s top design and construction firms. Like most architecture firms, the company relies on a variety of design automation tools, construction and project management programs and office productivity and collaboration suites to carry out their day-to-day business activities. Prolonged system downtime or lost data can lead to project delays, budget overruns, dissatisfied customers and financial penalties.
The company’s aging IT infrastructure was becoming a growing liability to their expanding business; full disaster recovery from a hardware failure could take as long as 48 hours using outdated tape-based backup and recovery tools. After evaluating several options, the firm deployed SimpliVity OmniCube to improve the performance and economics of their IT infrastructure. SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure solution cut full restoration time from days to hours, and increased application performance by 75%. Better still, by consolidating equipment and streamlining operations, the SimpliVity solution significantly reduced ongoing total cost of ownership.
Legacy IT Environment was Inefficient and Expensive
Like many midsized businesses, the Neenan Company is constrained by a small IT group and a limited IT budget. Three team members support 110 employees in the Fort Collins headquarters plus another 60 employees at the Nexcore Group, a Denver-based partner company. Not surprisingly, the firm is always looking for creative ways to improve service levels, boost IT staff productivity and shave expenses.
The company’s fragmented IT environment was becoming increasingly inefficient, risky and costly to operate. They ran 60 virtualized applications on five HP ProLiant servers with discrete Dell EquaLogic storage platforms in one site and HP ProLiant servers with internal disks at the other location. And they relied on LTO tape and Veeam backup and replication software for data protection.
Concerned about the growing potential of a business-impacting outage, the company’s IT manager explored solutions for accelerating data backup and recovery functions. He was introduced to SimpliVity by 1903 Solutions, an integrator specializing in application acceleration, availability and scalability. The IT manager quickly discovered that SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure IT solution could not only help the company improve data protection and mitigate risk, but also increase application performance and cut operating expenses.
SimpliVity Streamlines Data Protection; Eliminates IT Cost and Complexity
In 2014 the IT organization installed two SimpliVity OmniCube CN-3000s in the Fort Collins facility and two OmniCube CN-2000s in the Denver facility. Each facility provides offsite backup for the other. SimpliVity uses innovative real-time deduplication, compression and optimization technologies to deliver breakthrough performance and data efficiency. The highly scalable solution contains storage costs, minimizes data backup and recovery traffic, and obviates the need for dedicated WAN optimizer appliances. The organization now achieves 40:1 data efficiency in Fort Collins and 80:1 data efficiency in Denver. And with Simplivity, restore operations can now be completed in less than a minute—locally or remotely.
OmniCube eliminates equipment cost and complexity by consolidating a variety of IT functions (compute, storage, network switching, replication, backup, etc.) onto commodity x86 hardware. In Fort Collins the Neenan Company replaced three racks of legacy HP servers and Dell storage gear with two 4U CN-3000s. The SimpliVity solution also simplifies IT operations by unifying management tasks using VMware’s familiar vCenter management client. All core applications including Exchange, SharePoint, a 500GB Oracle database on RHEL for project management, AutoDesk Revit 3D modeling and more are running on the hyperconverged solution.
The results speak for themselves. Thanks to SimpliVity, the Neenan Company has been able to:
- Achieve up to 24x faster backup and disaster recovery
- Increase application performance by 75%
- Realize data capacity savings of up to 80:1
- Eliminate $30K+ in annual service contract fees
- Avoid dedicated offsite DR facility expenses
- Increase IT staff productivity
SimpliVity helps the Neenan Company reduce TCO, while providing a solid foundation for future growth. Better still, with SimpliVity IT staff spends less time administering underlying IT infrastructure and more time focusing on core business activities.