Business Challenge

Based on the island of Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, The Maho Group has been recognized as the region’s leading leisure, real estate, gaming and resort company for more than 35 years. The Group’s portfolio includes Sonesta resorts at Maho Beach and Ocean Point, plus BlueMarine Residences and Villas and Royal Islander Club La Plage and La Terrasse. This is in addition to a number of, residential developments and casinos across one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean.

Director of Technology at The Maho Group, Huub Lambooy and his team are responsible for providing all IT services to the company - including infrastructure, design, integration, development and support. These responsibilities are spread over 25-30 buildings including three hotels, two timeshare developments, three casinos and five real estate projects. As a small island nation, power outages are a regular occurrence, even with triple protection on infrastructure such as power sources and generators, so minimizing downtime and disruption in these scenarios is critical for the business.

Solution

Back in 2011, The Maho Group wanted to move to virtualized servers but didn’t have budget for expensive external SANs - it would have made their project too expensive. So, Huub and his team began researching virtual SAN options. The team were particularly interested in eliminating downtime through high availability and redundancy while they wanted the lowest-cost solution that would provide the necessary shared storage for VMware. After examining various options on the market, Huub’s team decided to go with StorMagic SvSAN.

SvSAN proved to be an ideal fit - its lightweight architecture that minimizes hardware costs and maximizes uptime was exactly what the business needed. The solution is at the heart of The Maho Group’s most important operations, including property management systems (PMS), casino management systems, infrastructure management such as firewalls, remote desktop services and other important business applications. SvSAN was deployed by The Maho Group in 2012 across two buildings for added resiliency by leveraging SvSAN’s stretch cluster capability. Since the original installation five years ago, there has not been any unplanned downtime - even through several power outages. SvSAN delivers on its promise and requires very little maintenance to keep up and running.

Why StorMagic

When faced with a number of alternatives in the market, Huub and his team saw something in StorMagic that they couldn’t get anywhere else - consistent, top-tier support. While conducting their evaluation, the support they received gave them the confidence to trust the solution. This trust has been repaid many times since deployment in 2012 with StorMagic’s capable, well-trained support team on hand to provide Huub with advice and help on design, performance testing and configurations. On top of the support however, SvSAN enabled The Maho Group to save a significant amount of money by avoiding the purchase of external SANs. Operationally, SvSAN’s ability to allow any type of maintenance (hardware, software, firmware) without taking applications offline has improved efficiencies within the business because they no longer need to schedule application downtime for maintenance. SvSAN’s flexibility and simplicity ensure The Maho Group enjoy significantly more reliable application uptime and has completely eliminated the Group’s unplanned downtime for five years, and continues to do so.

Technical Configuration

Server Configuration (Per Server)
Hardware Dell
CPU 2 per server, 8 cores each
Memory 196GB per server
Storage 7.2TB raw disk capacity split over 14 3.5” 15K hard disks and one SSD.
3.6TB usable disk capacity presented to SvSAN.
Networking 10Gbit dark fiber connection between the two sites.
10Gbit connection between the VSAs.
Hypervisor VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit
Applications Business applications, SQL/Oracle, Windows file shares, mail services.
Casino management systems, property management system (PMS) including hotel reservations, infrastructure management including firewalls, remote desktop services.
Data Protection VDP (VMware Data Protection)
Also backing up to another VMware server at a third location.
Maho Group logo

Company Name: The Maho Group
HQ Location: Sint Maarten
Type of Business: Tourism
Number of locations: 2

“StorMagic’s SvSAN keeps our important business applications running, even through multiple entire-site power outages which are common in the Caribbean. In fact, since installing StorMagic five years ago, we have had zero unplanned downtime.”

Huub Lambooy, Director of Technology, The Maho Group

Simple

Provides a true 'set and forget' solution for any environment using centralized deployment and management - whether for thousands of sites or just one.

Cost Effective

Eliminates physical SANs by converging compute and storage into a lightweight commodity server footprint thereby dramatically lowering costs.

Flexible

Delivers on today’s performance needs leveraging any CPU and storage type whilst avoiding over-provisioning with the confidence of scaling for tomorrow’s demands.

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