How Storage Virtualization is Used by Groupo Alcione, Seneca Family of Agencies, Consolidated Communications Holdings, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, and Daegu Metropolitan City: Case Studies

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Storage virtualization makes a company’s storage management flexible by increase in disk usagereplication and migration.

Most virtualization solutions create an integrated interface for administrators, allowing them to control applications by combining protocols and arrays.

See below for five case studies of how organizations in different industries are using storage virtualization:

1. Consolidated communication holdings

With over 125 years of broadband and communications experience, Consolidated communication holdings spans over 50,000 miles of road, over 20 states and 1.8 million connections.

Consolidated Communications decided to look for a new data storage solution after experiencing an email outage that caused all of its residential email clients to leak. The company then decided to employ a SAN solution focused on flexibility and performance, capable of meeting the company’s caching requirements.

DataCore’s software-defined storage technology has enabled Consolidated Communications to create and control its own hardware storage devices. Today, the company uses DataCore’s storage solution in two forms: a traditional storage product consisting of HDDs and SSDs and a hyperconverged model with larger storage through virtualized storage controllers.

“A SAN solution gives us a huge range of flexibility that allows us to implement the same product in many different ways; we can just layer DataCore over our own storage designs and let it work,” said Jeff Fuesting, systems engineer at Consolidated Communications.

Industry: Communication

Storage virtualization provider: DataCore

Results :

  • 100% consistent availability over 10 years
  • Reduced storage expenses
  • Reduced preventive maintenance time, effort and cost

2. Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences

With a network of more than 13 hospitals and 4,000 beds, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) provides comprehensive healthcare services in the fields of cardiac sciences, oncology, neurosciences, organ transplantation and 20 other specialties.

As KIMS hospitals expanded, the workload tripled. Due to insufficient information about the workload performance of the existing storage infrastructure, there has been an increase in on-premises, ad-hoc, and pay-as-you-go cloud storage options.

Thus, with each new application or storage rack, managing and maintaining the storage infrastructure became more and more complicated. Some of the apps ran on outdated software and left the information vulnerable to ransomware attacks. KIMS hospitals needed a robust and fast IT infrastructure capable of managing big data within complex systems and numerous applications.

KIMS Hospitals deployed the VMware vSAN solution with Dell hardware to meet their existing needs for redundancy, scalability and cost efficiency. VMware virtualized storage, combined with VMware vRealize Operations optimized data exchange between networks and applications.

The modernized hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) enabled IT administrators at KIMS hospitals to have a virtual data plane with real-time analytics on virtual machine (VM) storage attributes, including performance, capacity and availability. The process, in turn, provided greater control and insight into workload and performance for KIMS administrators.

Industry: Health care

Storage virtualization provider: VMware and VMware vSAN

Results :

  • 80% of workloads moved from AWS to HCI, saving thousands in bills
  • 98% of VMware vSAN issues resolved in the pre-development phase
  • No downtime encountered during maintenance activities

3. Seneca Agency Family

Founded in 1985 as a small residential and day treatment program, Seneca’ family of agencies mission has been to help children and families through the most difficult times in their lives. Today, the community serves more than 18,000 youth and families across California and Washington State, providing counseling, mental health services, education, and juvenile justice.

The Seneca family of agencies used a combination of outdated VMware hosts and a Hyper-V cluster for their virtual environment. The high incidence of VMware cluster turnover and slow Hyper-V performance forced the organization to move to hyperconvergence. Additionally, the existing IT infrastructure was constrained by storage issues and required long periods of updating performed outside of working hours.

With StarWind HCI Appliance (HCA), the Seneca family of agencies implemented the HCA and ran high availability with just two nodes. Now, the organization no longer struggles with the problems of migrating the virtual machine between nodes.

Industry: Mental health services

Storage virtualization provider: StarWind and StarWind HCA

Results :

  • Cluster patching is now done during business hours
  • Quick migration between hosts
  • Increased storage capacity

4. Alcione Group

With over 30 years of experience, Alcione Group specializes in electrical equipment and supplies. Today, the company has 22 branches, 800 employees and 11 Mexican states.

Electronics is a competitive industry; To achieve better customer conversions, Grupo Alcione wanted quick access to real-time inventory, so customers would get updated pricing and budgeting information in real time and without delay.

“Our main goal was to find a high-performance multicloud system that required investment at a lower cost,” said Juan Hernández, IT infrastructure manager at Grupo Alcione.

Grupo Alcione then adopted Nutanix as its storage virtualization partner. The company’s new technology strategy was based on three main pillars: availability, performance and reliability, as well as low-cost investments.

Nutanix AHV built Alcione’s infrastructure on nine nodes and two clusters. The first cluster, consisting of six nodes, operates as a production environment. The second cluster, with three nodes, serves the disaster recovery plan (DRP), where important operational virtual servers replicate every hour to ensure the availability of critical services.

Industry: Manufacturing

Storage virtualization provider: Nutanix and Nutanix AHV

Results :

  • 30% savings on data center expenses
  • Quick, real-time access to inventory
  • Increased availability of critical services and improved reliability
  • Increased operational efficiency and reduced frequent calls to customer support

5. Daegu Metropolitan City

The third largest city in the Republic of Korea, Daegu, has a population of 2.5 million with eight administrative districts and over 13,000 public employees. In 2015, the government decided to work on a three-phase project to create the Daegu City Cloud (D-Cloud) – an ambitious project to offer important services like public notices, healthcare and financial assistance in timely.

The city government needed to update its decade-old IT infrastructure as well as hardware from different locations. Daegu faced higher operational costs, mainly due to the multiplicity of hardware and software solutions.

The city initially deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP), and Red Hat Virtualization to create its new cloud-based service environment. Red Hat Enterprise Linux laid the groundwork for Daegu to begin building the hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Once the initial framework was defined, the virtualization software set up a central infrastructure for virtualized and cloud-native workloads. Red Hat JBoss EAP then helped Daegu take over the management side, ensure user security, and achieve high performance at scale.

“We were looking for product stability, a strong partner ecosystem, favorable industry credentials, and the availability of enterprise support in our storage virtualization software to meet our needs,” said Yoon Chan, CEO information and systems team for Daegu Metropolitan City.

Industry: Government

Storage virtualization provider: Red Hat and Red Hat Virtualization

Results :

  • Reduced operating costs by 36%
  • Transformation of 50% of legacy IT systems into a cloud-based environment
  • Simplified infrastructure operation and management
  • Foundation created to facilitate residents’ access to information and services
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