Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
“The SimpliVity solution consolidated our IT footprint from two full equipment racks to a half rack, helping us reduce monthly colocation fees by over 50%, while increasing system performance and capacity.”
– Ken Hale, Directory of Technology, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
The Northern California Carpenters Regional Council (NCCRC) represents thousands of working men and women. Their stated mission is to organize and improve working conditions and raise the standard of living on behalf of all workers. The union replaced its fragmented IT environment with SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure to reduce TCO, simplify operations and ensure high performance and availability for its core business applications.
Business Challenge: Infrastructure Modernization and Simplification
NCCRC’s aging multivendor IT infrastructure—legacy Dell, HP and Lenovo servers with internal storage—had become too costly and risky to maintain and scale. The union’s core business applications were hosted on physical servers in a Sacramento colocation facility. Expanding capacity or introducing new applications often meant deploying additional servers and incurring additional monthly colocation fees. In addition, the IT organization relied on time-consuming, scripted file backup and restoration procedures. Hardware failures or administrative mishaps had the potential to disrupt business-critical applications for hours or even days while files were recovered.
Ken Hale, Directory of Technology for NCCRC, sought to improve the economics and performance of the union’s IT systems. After evaluating options including solutions from Nutanix, Hale selected SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure to power the union’s business-critical applications.
“SimpliVity delivers a complete IT stack in a compact, easy to manage platform,” says Hale. “The product’s money-saving data compression and dedupe features were a major selling point for us, especially when compared to the Nutanix solution.”
SimpliVity provides a scalable, modular, 2U building block of x86 resources that offers all the functionality of traditional IT infrastructure— including server, storage and data protection functions—in a single device, with a unified administrative interface. The product performs inline data deduplication, compression, and optimization on all data at inception, across all phases of the data lifecycle. SimpliVity’s unmatched data efficiency enables dramatic storage capacity savings and rapid data protection, while increasing application performance by reducing disk I/O.
NCCRC implemented a fully redundant, highly available SimpliVity OmniCube configuration in its Sacramento colocation facility, replacing two entire racks of legacy gear with two 2U OmniCube nodes. The implementation supports hundreds of employees and thousands of union members across 27 sites throughout northern California. NCCRC recently purchased an additional OmniCube node for its Oakland office to be used for disaster recovery and further system consolidation.
“SimpliVity has helped us reduce our monthly colocation expenses by over 50%,” explains Hale. At the same time we’ve meaningfully improved the performance and reliability of our core business applications so we can better serve our union members.” OmniCube’s built-in data protection features help safeguard NCCRC’s business-critical applications. The product’s unique data efficiencies have slashed data backup and recovery windows from hours or days to just seconds, while significantly reducing storage costs. OmniCube also helps NCCRC simplify ongoing system administration. IT generalists perform routine operations like cloning or restoring VMs—quickly and easily—freeing up more experienced team members to work on strategic tasks.
“By reducing colo fees and storage costs we’ve been able to achieve a rapid return on our SimpliVity investment, while improving the reliability and performance of our IT infrastructure,” says Hale. “We’ve also received excellent support from SimpliVity. This project was our first foray into virtualization and SimpliVity helped us quickly get up to speed on VMware.”