Thursday, December 8, 2022

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

Storage virtualization makes a company’s storage management flexible by increasing disk utilization, replication, 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 on how organizations in different industries are using storage virtualization:

1. Consolidated Communications Holdings

With a run of over 125 years in the broadband and communications business, Consolidated Communications Holdings spans over 50,000 route miles, 20+ states, and 1.8 million connections.

Consolidated Communications decided to look for a new data storage solution after it faced an email outage leaking all its residential email clients. The company then decided to employ a SAN solution with attention to flexibility and performance that could keep up with the firm’s requirements for caching.

DataCore’s software-defined storage technology enabled Consolidated Communications to create and control its own hardware storage appliances. Today the firm uses DataCore’s storage solution in two forms: a traditional storage product consisting of hard drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) and a hyperconverged model with greater storage through virtualized storage controllers.

“A SAN solution provides us an immense range of flexibility that enables us to implement the same product in many different ways; we can simply layer DataCore on top of our own storage designs and let things run,” said Jeff Fuesting, systems engineer at Consolidated Communications.

Industry: Communications

Storage virtualization provider: DataCore

Outcomes:

  • Consistent 100% uptime delivered over a period of 10 years
  • Reduced storage-related spending
  • Reduced time, efforts, and cost on preventive maintenance

2. Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences

With a network of over 13 hospitals and 4,000 beds, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) provides comprehensive healthcare services across cardiac sciences, oncology, neurosciences, organ transplantation, and 20 other specialities.

As KIMS Hospitals expanded, the workload increased threefold. Due to insufficient information on the workload performance of the existing storage infrastructure, there was an increase in onsite, ad hoc, and pay-on-demand cloud storage options.

Thus, with each new storage application or rack, the management and maintenance of storage infrastructure became ever more complicated. Some of the applications were functioning on outdated software and left the information vulnerable to ransomware attacks. KIMS Hospitals needed a robust and swift IT infrastructure that could manage big data within complex systems and numerous applications.

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

The modernized hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) allowed IT administrators at KIMS Hospitals to have a virtual data plane with real-time analytics on virtual machines (VMs) storage attributes, including performance, capacity, and availability. The process, in turn, offered better control and knowledge of workload and performance to KIMS admins.

Industry: Health care

Storage virtualization provider: VMware and VMware vSAN

Outcomes:

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

3. Seneca Family of Agencies

Founded in 1985, as a small residential and day treatment program, Seneca Family of Agencies’ mission has been to help children and families see through the hardest times in their lives. Today, the community caters to over 18,000 young people and families across California and Washington State, offering permanency, mental health services, education, and juvenile justice.

Seneca Family of Agencies was using a mix of dated VMware hosts and a Hyper-V cluster for its virtual environment. The high incidences of VMware cluster renewal and Hyper-V’s slow performance compelled the organization to move toward hyperconvergence. Moreover, the existing IT infrastructure was limited by storage problems and required extensive patching times done off-hours.

With StarWind HCI Appliance (HCA), Seneca Family of Agencies implemented the HCA and ran high availability with simply two nodes. Now, the organization is no longer struggling with the VM’s migration issues between nodes.

Industry: Mental health services

Storage virtualization provider: StarWind and StarWind HCA

Outcomes:

  • Patching in cluster now done during business hours
  • Quick migration across hosts
  • Increased storage capacity

4. Grupo Alcione

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

Electronics is a competitive industry; to realize better customer conversions, Grupo Alcione wanted to quickly access inventory in real-time, so customers get the updated pricing and budgeting information in real-time without delays.

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

Grupo Alcione then adopted Nutanix as its storage virtualization partner. The company’s new technological strategy had three main pillars: availability, performance, and reliability along with low-cost investment.

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

Industry: Manufacturing

Storage virtualization provider: Nutanix and Nutanix AHV

Outcomes:

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

5. Daegu Metropolitan City

The third largest city in the Republic of Korea, Daegu, has a population of 2.5 million residents with eight administrative districts and 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 a timely manner.

The city government needed to update its decade-old IT infrastructure along with hardware sourced from different places. Daegu dealt with higher operational costs, primarily because of 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 created the foundation for Daegu to start building the hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Once the initial framework was laid out, the virtualization software laid out a central infrastructure for virtualized and cloud-native workloads. Red Hat JBoss EAP then helped Daegu to overtake the managerial part, ensure user security, and attain high performance at scale.

“We were looking for product stability, a strong partner ecosystem, and favorable industry references and availability of enterprise support in our storage virtualization software to fulfill our needs,” said Yoon Chan, team leader of information & system for Daegu Metropolitan City.

Industry: Government

Storage virtualization provider: Red Hat and Red Hat Virtualization

Outcomes:

  • Reduced operating costs by 36%
  • Transformation of 50% of the legacy IT systems into cloud-based environment
  • Simplified infrastructure operations and management
  • Created foundation for easier resident access to information and services

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