by Bonnie Gardiner

Ombudsman boosts data centre efficiency with hyperconvergence

May 21, 20153 mins
Big DataData CenterRisk Management

Australia’s Credit and Investment Ombudsman (CIO) has deployed hyperconverged infrastructure to simplify its IT environment and increase performance in its primary data centre and disaster recovery co-location site.

CIO has since seen data storage efficiency levels surge to storing 300 times the amount of data on their servers than they would have with their traditional environment, thanks to added deduplication, optimisation and compression technologies.

Hyperconvergence is a fairly new phenomenon in data centre IT that relies on a software-centric architecture. This aims to integrate compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources, along with other technologies such as deduplication and management functionality, in a commodity hardware box usually supported by a single vendor.

The Ombudsman’s legacy IT system was designed for the early stages of the company’s operations, and without any virtualisation, it was impairing its ability to expand or adapt to new growth.

CIO was challenged by managing a cluttered data centre of ageing hardware and software. Their physical environment consisted of general purpose Dell servers with built-in storage, and a physical stack consuming multiple racks in their data centre.

The earlier infrastructure was dedicated to running various applications and the organisation performed weekly system backups and nightly incremental backups, using Symantec Backup Exec.

A new strategy was needed that simplified operations and improved data availability and enabled improved off-site data protection and DR to cater to current datasets and future growth, while reducing the total cost of operation.

Following the recent deployment of the new system – SimpliVity’s OmniCube hyperconverged infrastructure solution – the company claims to have improved data efficiency, four-fold performance gains for report generation, three-fold reduction in rack space, native VM-centric disaster recovery capabilities, and new test/dev capabilities.

One of the Ombudsman’s main accounting applications was recently corrupted, which would normally require a lengthy recovery process to fix. With the new solution, however Matt Grech, IT manager at the CIO, said the company was able to restore the full virtual machine of the accounting app in minutes using a backup taken only 15 minutes prior to the corruption.

SimpliVity’s OmniCube provides a globally federated, hyperconverged IT infrastructure platform that combines eight to twelve core data centre functions below a VMware hypervisor.

Since deployment, Grech said CIO has experienced a radical reduction in data centre complexity and has also dramatically improved its risk profile and DR posture. The legacy backup model has been completely replaced with a new native data protection, off-site backup and replication capabilities.

“We just didn’t have the human capital to manage VMware running on a complex SAN with traditional servers. We were trying to figure out how to get the most resource-efficient solution from a CapEx and OpEx perspective,” said Grech.

“Report generation is at least three to four times faster now that we are running our line of business apps.

“[The Migration] has significantly improved our customer user experience.”