Enterprises with multi-site operations require a technology infrastructure that is simple, efficient, fully redundant, flexible and cost-effective. This infrastructure has to be able to accommodate distributed IT services on-site and provide reliability and high availability that ensure smooth operations. High performance is often crucial to support the needs of various applications in production. In addition, IT employees need to be able to manage their infrastructure and resources in a centralized fashion and have easy access to technical support when needed.
One of Europe’s largest supermarket chains had been searching for the right IT solution for its remote sites, to help enable a superior shopping experience for its customers. The company tested several different solutions, but was never able to fully leverage its IT potential.
Recently, the company implemented SvSAN, a virtual SAN solution from StorMagic, and s842 solid state drives (SSDs) from HGST. The combination has produced a tremendous return on investment after a short time in production.
SvSAN has helped the company:
- Reduce hardware from three devices (two servers and one SAN) to two at each store – yielding significant savings
- Enable an efficient, fully redundant, flexible and cost-effective environment
- Eliminate all single-points-of-failure from the IT environment while satisfying design and operational goals, as well as benefit from higher performance over traditional hardware solutions
- Centralize deployment and management of the entire infrastructure
- Realize savings of €1 million within four years through reduced investment spend and energy savings
40 of the chain’s stores have SvSAN in production and are benefiting from the new streamlined IT infrastructure. The chain plans to deploy SvSAN in another 20-30 stores soon, and 35-40 additional stores in each successive year.
The advantages of SvSAN with SSDs
The company further benefited by combining SvSAN with solid-state drives (SSDs) for environments in which high performance workloads were being managed locally, as well as for applications running in environments outside the datacenter. To accomplish this, the company chose to pair SvSAN with s842 SAS SSDs from HGST.
HGST s842 SAS SSDs were selected for three main reasons:
- Performance: HGST SSDs were able to deliver very high and stable IOPS without spikes in latency.
- Endurance: To meet application endurance requirements, each SSD can be written 10 times across its entire capacity every day over five years.
- Reliability: The SSDs are used to cache critical data without compromising data integrity.
Combining the s842 SAS SSDs with SvSAN delivered value-adds in four key areas of the solution:
- It sped the adoption of SvSAN in the broader IT infrastructure, not just inside the store
- It enabled better performing back-end storage, especially by boosting throughput and latency for particular applications
- It yielded better availability figures for the entire infrastructure
- It gave organizational IT departments the option to distribute peak workloads (such as those driven by Oracle) across disparate locations or available storage in environments that it wants to isolate from its datacenter infrastructure. Doing this in other ways would have required much more expensive hardware or a synchronous replication solution between existing traditional storage systems.
This solution is in production today, and it supports the company’s meat packing operation. Within just a couple days of initial deployment, the solution delivered a six-fold improvement in application efficiency with zero down time and no single point of failure in the environment. Savings also were achieved in two ways: the solution took the place of two external hybrid arrays supporting sync replication, and the organization was able to consolidate from four servers to two, allowing the re-allocation of dollars from server purchases to other pressing business needs.
While the combined solution has tremendous potential to help other retailers drive more efficiency from their IT infrastructures, it also can help organizations in many other industries, including:
- Manufacturing and Distribution
- Professional Services
- Energy and Utilities
Regardless of the industry or organization, the strong technical alliance between StorMagic and HGST provides seamless delivery of a joint solution offering high performance in virtualized storage environments.