Pumping Up the Data Center
IT manager Martin Brouwer is part of a super-lean IT team tasked with supporting a growing business.
Dieseko Corporation, based in the Netherlands, is in the equipment manufacturing business, designing, manufacturing, and selling cutting-edge hydraulic equipment. The machinery the company makes is modern and focused on building the future, and Dieseko’s IT manager knew their back-end technology needed to keep pace. Brouwer shares IT duties with one other colleague, and both employees have non-IT tasks to do as well. They needed efficiency and simplicity.
Dieseko’s existing data center wasn’t keeping up with the company’s growth. The company runs about 150 VMs. The existing system was three years old, and the data center couldn’t expand to support the amount of data being produced. They were quickly running out of storage. The previous system employed Nimble for storage, along with SSD memory to improve performance. Other pieces of Dieseko’s infrastructure, like network switches, also needed an upgrade.
“We chose a complete renewal because SimpliVity is newer technology with newer chips and memory. We replaced two old boxes with one box, and installation was easier than any two other data center components,” Brouwer said. Maintenance is now much faster as well, he reports. Brouwer said he also liked that SimpliVity fit into their environment easily and will be able to integrate with other new systems. Dieseko already had a relationship with technology integrator All Systems, which made the SimpliVity purchase very easy.
Brouwer’s biggest concern when shopping around was simplifying the data center and getting an easy-to-install system. Dieseko came out of the merger of two companies, and continues to acquire other companies. Brouwer wanted acquired companies’ systems to plug in easily to existing infrastructure. SimpliVity will also allow for growth, such as if Dieseko adds a ROBO location or expands its network.
Doing More With Less
“SimpliVity is a very good performer,” Brouwer said. Dieseko runs all its 100% virtualized applications on SimpliVity OmniCube, including the company’s ERP system–Microsoft Dynamics AX–and SolidEdge for 3D drawing. Brouwer kept one other server for testing and development work. Management has gotten much easier, he said, now that the IT team can use vCenter to manage SimpliVity workloads. He and his colleague do daily checks on disk space, memory, performance, and snapshots, and use their systems integrator for bigger tasks like upgrades.
Dieseko has gained data protection with SimpliVity that it didn’t have before. “It’s a very good system to quickly build up from any damage or accidents,” Brouwer said. Previously, he’d backed up by sending snapshots to a backup server, and doing an annual check of that server. Now, systems are backed up every two hours into Dieseko’s data warehouse.
Dieseko’s restore time has gone from four to six hours down to two hours. The previous recovery time objective (RTO) with Nimble was four hours, and now the RTO is two hours. For recovery point objectives (RPOs), it depends on the data type, Brouwer said. Most data gets hourly snapshots saved to both the local SimpliVity installation and the one in Dieseko’s data warehouse.
The company also saved a lot of space with its SimpliVity adoption. The old server room had three servers and five rack space items, and now it contains only two. Along with cutting the footprint to less than half, Brouwer said, the power and cooling needed is now also less than half. He’s seen improved performance of up to 25%, too.
Brouwer is looking ahead to other modernization projects now that he’s eliminated some management tasks. He’s exploring cloud computing to combine it with the in-house systems, though the company’s 3D drawing solution needs the speed of SimpliVity over the cloud. He’ll also keep confidential items in house to ensure security.
Dieseko is primed for growth with SimpliVity powering its infrastructure. It’s gained data center space, along with agility and much stronger enterprise capabilities since adoption.