A trusted managed service provider in Albuquerque, New Mexico chooses SimpliVity’s OmniCube after witnessing its simplified management, speedy backup, as well as the potential opened up by OmniCube’s DR capabilities.
“SimpliVity is a breath of fresh air from every aspect.”
– Dave Stroik, Virtualization Solution Architect, Abba Technologies
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Abba Technologies partners with customers in the government and private sector to implement fully integrated, complete, and reliable IT solutions that follow industry best practices. In 2013, Abba became a MSP Top 500 company, positioning themselves with the nation’s best Managed Service Providers. Abba strives after performance, efficiency, and the ability to provide their customers with those same benefits. Their legacy infrastructure was, however, suffering from long backup times, multiple, complex management consoles, and was nearing their end-of-life. Running Exchange, SQL, and other customer-specific applications became that much easier and faster after implementing SimpliVity OmniCube.
Technology Refresh, Backup and Disaster Recovery, and Simplified Management
Abba Technologies had been operating their IT environment on 9 ESXi hosts, fiber channel switches, two enterprise class storage arrays; one with 60TB and a second with 24TB systems, several different backup solutions, and a 7.5TB of off-site deduplication backup.
These disparate appliances created a nightmarish environment due to management complexity not only on Abba’s end, but was a headache for their customers who relied on Abba’s services as well. These point solutions also could not handle other applications, meaning wasted OPEX in terms of separate management of resources, separate maintenance fees, and separate power expenses.
Abba’s 5-year-old legacy infrastructure was nearing their end-of-life utility and a hardware refresh was needed. Abba was faced with the decision of whether or not to update their existing infrastructure, which would involve a costly upgrade but allow them to avoid a complete renovation of their IT environment, or make the switch to a new technology that could address their goals of updating old equipment and simplifying their IT infrastructure.
“Did it make sense to maintain equipment that was 5 years old?” Dave Stroik, Virtualization Solution Architect at Abba, asked that question when he saw the need rise for a solution that could fix the unnecessary layer of confusion surrounding the infrastructure environment, implement a technology refresh, and ease the workload on Abba’s internal IT team. He looked for a solution that was simple to manage and simple to install, and could handle Abba’s two data centers tasked with production, replication, and managed services.
Stroik and coworker Ken Payne attended VMware’s 2014 Partner Exchange, saw a demo of SimpliVity’s OmniCube, and realized the power and innovation of SimpliVity’s solution. Abba had initially considered the possibility of simply upgrading their ESXi blades and storage arrays, but after witnessing the possibility to consolidate their data center and operate within a unified management interface through a vCenter plugin, the prospect of budgeting expenses to update a system that embodied complexity seemed less and less appealing.
After short consideration, Abba implemented three OmniCube CN-3000 systems—two in their primary data center for production, managed services, and backup purposes, and one offsite used for replication and DR—and achieved simplification of management complexity, an increase in capacity requirements, more streamlined and optimized performance, and faster backup times for improved security. The OmniCubes were installed on Tuesday and up and running with all production functionality by Friday; all previous methods for backup were eliminated. OmniCube’s Disaster Recovery capabilities combined with the ability to provide global unified management not only improved the efficiency of RPOs and RTOs—with replication, restore, and backup now taking minutes compared to days—but the remote replication capabilities and WAN optimization meant that Abba could now offer DR-as-a- Service to their customers at a midmarket price.
After virtualizing on OmniCube, Abba will reduce clutter and required rack space in their IT environment from 2.5 racks down to 8U with three OmniCubes and two vCenter servers. Having previously been bogged down with numerous appliances for management, storage, and backups—creating an inefficient, task-laden environment—SimpliVity’s hyperconverged offering gave Stroik and the rest of his team a chance to breathe, with all tasks now managed through a single vCenter interface. “If you know how to use vCenter, you’re in it and you’re done. The complexity is gone,” said Stroik. “We’ve also experienced an increase in performance and a lot of that is due to OmniCube’s data optimization and the resulting reduction in IOs.”
Abba also benefited from OmniCube’s data efficiency capabilities that greatly reduced the time necessary for cloning, replication, and backups. RPOs/RTOs that had taken days now take minutes, and are experiencing physical capacity savings of 151TB owed to OmniCube’s native inline deduplication, compression, and optimization. Now, all 20 VMs run on OmniCubes, DR-as-a-Service will be offered to Abba’s customers, and because of the capacity optimization due to data deduplication and compression, Abba is able to efficiently host Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and their file share environment onto OmniCubes as well. Maintenance costs were reduced, Abba now operated solely with SimpliVity’s integration of VMware and Cisco “The OmniCube opens up a whole different world that we haven’t been able to address,” said Stroik.
Key benefits include:
- 47:1 data efficiencies
- Best of both worlds: cloud economics with enterprise protection, performance, and functionality
- Capacity savings of 151TB
- Elimination of management complexity
- Inline deduplication, compression, and optimization
- Improved backup times and DR services
- Technology refresht
- Hyperconverged infrastructure