by Divina Paredes

BCS Group driven to Pure Storage

Jan 26, 2017
CareersCloud ComputingCollaboration Software

It was more about, ‘how does this save us time’ and ‘is this simpler than what we were doing before?Brett Hobbs, BCS Group

Brett Hobbs recalls how his team at BCS Group always consider storage issues with new project implementations.

“It was very much either an upgrade or replace,” says Hobbs.

BCS Group provides logistics hardware, automation controls and software solutions for the aviation and logistics sector. It is part of the Daifuku group, a global leader in materials handling.

BCS Group experienced disruptions in business operations, when its previous spinning disk failed to keep up with the demands of a virtual desktop infrastructure.

“It became clear performance would quickly become an issue using traditional arrays,” explains Hobbs, on the business driver to shift the company’s data centre storage to Pure Storage.

“There were a lot of challenges that could have been solved by throwing money at it, but we weren’t throwing money at something we are just going to replace.”

He says the move to Pure Storage FlashArray solved a range of challenges.

The shift meant BCS Group reduced its physical footprint from full track to a single FlashArray, while significantly increasing reliability.

With the previous system, the team spent “a significant amount of time” just managing storage, Hobbs tells CIO New Zealand from the company headquarters in Albany, Auckland.

The shift to Pure Storage meant his team freed up time previously spent on storage administration.

“When you’re running virtual environments storage is the sticky point. We had no idea how great an impact storage had on the entire business, until we changed from disk to All Flash,” Hobbs said in a case study prepared by Pure Storage.

The case study noted how before implementing Pure Storage, Windows updates across 100 production servers took one week. This process is now completed in one night.

“We no longer need to plan updates over a multi-week, after-hours operation. Repatching takes less than 10 minutes as opposed to two or three hours, which has relieved our engineers from sitting around for hours waiting for the installation to complete. Servers restart so quickly, we need to check logs to ensure they’ve actually restarted.”

As to what worked during the deployment, Hobbs cites the importance of a proof of concept, especially when a company is looking at new technology.

“Spend some time playing with it and look at how it would fit into your operations,” he states. “It was more about, ‘how does this save us time’ and ‘is this simpler than what we were doing before?’”

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