Fueling Growth with HPE SimpliVity’s Hyperconvergence Solution
Growth is always good. But often, as companies scale we discover our vendors aren’t capable of scaling with us.
At Carolina Sunrock, in the last year alone we’ve grown by leaps and bounds, and as our client list—and the data associated with it—increased, we started to feel constrained by our infrastructure provider. One of our biggest challenges was bandwidth issues; our backups, which we were running overnight, were spilling into our day and producing issues for our application users. There was just too much traffic over a small pipe.
Partnering for Growth
To keep pace with our upward momentum, we knew it was time to replace our legacy infrastructure, and we needed to ensure it would perform at speeds much quicker than what we were experiencing. Considering our industry, and the fact that many of our locations are in remote areas with very limited bandwidth, traditional SAN was out of the question. We knew we had to have something that was quick and could reliably deliver the necessary data, and after calculating the savings on the backend that hyperconvergence would provide us by consolidating down to one device, we set out looking for the best HCI provider for our needs.
Being a rather thorough investigator, I didn’t take a single company’s claim at face value. After our conversations, I’d go home and do my own research. Now, it’s not an uncommon practice for sales reps to stretch the truth a bit, and almost every time there would be a “gotcha moment” where I’d catch a vendor pushing the boundaries of the facts. So instead of taking each claim at face value, I decided to take the top three candidates and perform bench testing with each. We loaded our data onto all three provider’s products, pulled some drives, and watched what happened next. One vendor completely failed, but when we pulled the drive on HPE SimpliVity…nothing happened.
Beyond the benchmark success, I was also impressed with HPE SimpliVity due to the simple fact that they never lied to me. As hard and as deep as I looked, every one of their claims was substantiated, and that speaks volumes to the integrity of the company as a whole.
We ended up purchasing a three-node configuration deployed across two sites in our production site and in our failover site. And since swapping over, my admiration for their technology has done nothing but increased. The seamless integration and responsiveness with our other technologies has been astounding. About six months ago we virtualized our last server, so we’re now 100 percent virtualized. Yet we have never once experienced any IO or bandwidth problems, and in fact, it’s been quite the opposite. For example, about two months ago we were hit with a cryptolocker virus, and with HPE SimpliVity’s DR, I was able to restore our data and have our Citrix server back online in 45 seconds. With our old vendor, it would’ve taken me days.
After that attack and subsequent recovery, we no longer have any worry about DR. With our VDI, we know any server can be restored in less than a minute, and that peace of mind is invaluable. And while all of this is amazing, the thing that’s made me such a supporter of HPE SimpliVity is the speed it takes me to backup our entire VM infrastructure—our initial challenge that drove us to them in the first place. What used to take close to 12 hours to backup our entire VM environment is now accomplished in less than 5 minutes.
Confidence in the Future
Recently, someone asked me if I had the opportunity to go back, with what I now know, would I do anything differently in my purchasing. My answer: I would’ve made the switch to HPE SimpliVity a lot earlier. I truthfully couldn’t be happier with our decision. The only issue we’ve ever encountered since adopting HPE SimpliVity was due to industry-specific software. And even though the issues we were experiencing were in no way caused by them, the HPE SimpliVity support team took ownership of the problem. Within 24 hours, the issue, which was no small concern, was fixed. They were absolutely amazing.
Now, rather than spending my day looking at VMware and watching for alerts, I’m able to shift my focus to giving our employees the tools they need to do their jobs, like bidding and estimating software and ecommerce functionality on our website. Every day we work on new, innovative ways to save them time and make them more efficient, and that same desire—to enable more effective, efficient work—is the same driving force behind HPE SimpliVity. They’ve grown to be more than just an infrastructure vendor; they’ve become our partner in growth.