The Vollrath Company
A large manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum small wares and equipment, The Vollrath Company experiences unsurpassed flexibility, scalability, and data protection for its seven remote office locations with SimpliVity’s incremental modular building block, OmniCube.
“The OmniCube is one of the most versatile converged infrastructure devices available. The backup and deduplication provides incredible flexibility for usein branch offices where IT support may not be local.” – John Sharp, IT Manager of Infrastructure, The Vollrath Company, LLC
Founded in 1874, The Vollrath Company has been a leading manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum cooking small wares, equipment, and utensils for over 140 years. They have expanded their business worldwide, with principal manufacturing headquarters in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and numerous other locations in Wisconsin, Mexico, the Netherlands, and China. With multiple production facilities, warehouses, and sales divisions to oversee, it’s no wonder that The Vollrath Company began facing troubles concerning the optimization of management in their remote offices as well as their ability to provide secure and reliable data protection using aging infrastructure. Running mission-critical applications like Microsoft SQL Server, File and Print Servers, and Active Directory became a matter of trust and dependency on unstable legacy technology, and the data protection and replication requirements Vollrath demanded to securely operate their data centers were being compromised by inefficient and costly processes. It was time for an upgrade.
ROBO, Data Protection, and DR
The Vollrath Company was experiencing growing pains. Their existing infrastructure was getting past its prime—with several being over ten years old. With seven offices, including their corporate headquarters in Wisconsin as well as remote offices including in New York, Vollrath was feeling the nightmarish effects of remote management at its worst.
With limited IT staff to cater to remote site issues, Vollrath had to bring in a third-party support team to oversee server logs, backups, and administer weekly checkups, costing them up to $30K/year in maintenance and support expenses in some of their remote offices! The Vollrath Company relinquished a lot of control to those third-party support staffs for nightly backups, server administration, and business continuity projects. Those remote IT services had to be improved to allow for the management of remote sites from the central office.
The Vollrath Company’s existing infrastructure comprised of two VCE Vblock models, 310 and 320, one stationed in headquarters and one in a backup center 20 miles away. For remote sites, The Vollrath Company had implemented Symantec Backup Exec for backup-to-tape or file synching to disk, bringing slowness andunreliability to their remote locations. Backups would often take hours using the legacy methods, with limited retention, and operated on a T1 line that had noextra WAN optimization. Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) were very difficult to guarantee. Moving large mission-critical VMs over the wire was time consuming and inefficient, and the occasional data center crash would incur costly data loss to the company.
John Sharp, IT Manager of Infrastructure at The Vollrath Company, focused on two pressing concerns when evaluating new solutions. “It came down to if we were really going to stick another stand-alone server out there with no redundancy to it, or going to continue having someone there manage the backups of the physical Windows File / App Servers…there’s just a lot of extra effort to manage a site remotely,” said Sharp. They decided to look for hyperconverged solutions, specifically at VCE Vblock and Nutanix’s offerings. Sharp and his team realized, however, that the costs for creating instances of those solutions in each of their seven remote offices was off the charts, and they also did not allow for the modular incremental building blocks or simple, global unified management that Vollrath needed.
Vollrath was introduced to SimpliVity by Ahead, one of SimpliVity’s value-added resellers, and was immediately impressed by the OmniCube’s capabilities for high availability, failover, replication, scalability, and VDI. “Other competitors had scale and flexibility limitations. SimpliVity was the only one who understood our approach that had flexible, building block capabilities,” stated Sharp.
After implementing and deploying SimpliVity in their data centers, The Vollrath Company was instantly blown away by the results of SimpliVity’s Data Virtualization Platform. By deduplicating, compressing, and optimizing data inline over the WAN, Vollrath was able to move an 80GB server over their T1 line in Wisconsin and backup it up in their New York office using less than one percent of the pipe in fewer than 15 minutes. That was a pretty big deal.
Not only are RTOs greatly reduced, but Vollrath’s RPOs are greatly improved as well. It now takes minutes to reliably backup their VMs across their remote sites as opposed to hours or days, and they are able to migrate their VMs in branch locations running Tier-1 applications smoothly over to the OmniCubes. Thus far, Vollrath has experienced a 99:1 data efficiency, resulting in a 103TB capacity savings, and OmniCube’s integrated protection benefits are extremely valuable to Vollrath as well. They have eliminated the use of tape and error-prone, manual file synching in their remote locations where they have implemented the OmniCube, saving enormously on OPEX as well as improving availability and simplifying their data center complexity. The flexibility and cost savings has helped Vollrath improve IT service and create a standard footprint to support all of their remote sites.
Because of the incremental modularity of SimpliVity’s OmniCube, Vollrath can decompose the system in an agile fashion and reconfigure it as per their requirements. This building block benefit, combined with OmniCube’s Global Unified Management through vCenter enables Vollrath to scale according to a pay-as-you-grow model and remotely manage their remote sites from the corporate office in Wisconsin. This model is perfect for efficiently deploying Windows Storage Servers in branch offices. “SimpliVity provides us two devices with high availability. Say we were to close one facility,” said Sharp. “I could theoretically redeploy one or two OmniCubes to different locations, so my options are numerous to address our business needs.”
Key benefits include:
- 100:1 data efficiency
- Best of both worlds: cloud economics with enterprise protection, performance, data efficiency, and management
- Integrated data protection
- Greatly reduced RPOs/RTOs
- Savings of up to $30K annually for remote data centers
- Unsurpassed agility from modular building blocks
- High availability and failover capabilities
- Inline deduplication, compression, and optimization
- VM-centric management via vCenter
- Hyperconverged infrastructure
- Global Unified Management