“Quantum Leap” Over Ageing Infrastructure Provides Business Advantage
The implementation of 4U of Gridstore flash-based hyper-converged appliances which replaces six racks of servers and storage, has drastically cut the physical footprint and power use, as well as bringing near real-time replication. The Gridstore solution replaced three racks of 42U each at its Glasgow and Edinburgh sites. These were comprised of approximately 40 HP DL580 and 380 G6 generation servers plus a HP Lefthand SAN deployment, all of which were over-burdened and beyond capacity.
This ageing infrastructure presented a business risk to the organisation, limiting its ability to meet its partner and customer demands for fast document access and responsive infrastructure. Limited scalability and onerous management overhead, along with slow performance caused multiple issues, including risk of losing data.
Data protection was also becoming a major issue. Given the fact that MacRoberts estimates it has over 40 million documents stored – a figure that grows each day – then the ability to run regular backups was business critical.
To address these issues MacRoberts conducted an evaluation of solutions from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Cisco, EMC, Nimble Storage and Nutanix, but none met its need for performance, simplicity, or integration with Microsoft.
Robert Crichton, Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, MacRoberts LLP, stated: “We had 40 different systems, with different VMs and in some cases, limited virtualisation, with direct attached storage. It was a business risk and what we really needed was to consolidate and reduce the complexity and gain capacity.
“Many factors were considered when choosing Gridstore including the simplicity of Gridstore’s system compared with different VMware-based systems. It is a solution based on Microsoft technology and this meant that not only were we working within an environment we knew, we were getting the benefits of working with Windows Hyper-V technology, while future proofing our investment.”
The company has around 75 virtual machines deployed on Gridstore HyperConverged Appliances across both key sites. It has also added additional storage capacity for a total of 112TB at each site using Gridstore Hybrid Storage Nodes. This additional bulk capacity is being used for backups at both sites. Following the implementation of Gridstore systems are now being backed up at least once a day, decreasing risk of critical data loss.
“We virtualised our physical workloads into the all-flash solution and we then added on DR replication. We’ve actually duplicated that technology across sites, so our Glasgow office is replicated instantly, and just five minutes over the wire to our Edinburgh site. We brought in the hybrid storage to back up that live production system as well as for replication on premise,” added Robert.
David Flint, Senior Partner MacRoberts, added: “When we came across the Gridstore solution the immediate reaction was yes, this is a quantum leap in what we’re doing – this will provide the infrastructure advantage which we’re looking for within the business. The fact that it is based on a Microsoft stack and the virtualisation is Hyper-V is really important because ultimately we were looking for a long-term solution.”
Watch the video of this story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b10bMVGDkvY
Gridstore’s award winning HyperConverged Infrastructure, is delivered as an appliance that offers market leading price/performance, efficient scaling, and scale-to-fit design. The Gridstore HCI is easy and fast to deploy while reducing management time and effort. Leveraging its patented software, a Gridstore HCI delivers 75% less physical infrastructure and a 65% lower price-per-VM than traditional solutions. The Gridstore HyperConverged Appliance is an ideal platform for infrastructure refreshes and specific workloads such as VDI, SQL Server, Dev/Test, Private Cloud and ROBO.