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Partner Voices: ePlus Provides Key Benefits with FlexPod Solution

March 11, 2014
at 7:34 am PST

In our ongoing Partner Voices blog series, we always look for interesting solutions provided by our partners using Cisco technology or services. As such, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with many Cisco Partners about some of the more interesting solutions they have provided for clients. It’s always nice to talk about the “fun” stuff, and this latest Partner Voices blog is no different.

I recently spoke with several folks at ePlus about a FlexPod deployment they installed for Exostar. This solution is covered in depth in a full case study that is well worth your time to read. I wanted to make sure we took the opportunity to highlight that success story in our Partner Voices blog too, as there were some significant benefits delivered to Exostar with this deployment.

Exostar powers secure business-to-business information sharing, collaboration and business process integration. They handle the needs of many leaders in aerospace, defense and the life sciences. As you can imagine, this creates the need for a highly secure environment for that information.

The challenge that ePlus faced was based in Exostar’s decision a few years back to bring all IT operations management in house. That approach worked well for Exostar, but it created some significant challenges and costs associated with managing and scaling the entire IT environment. Exostar’s annual data growth rate was surging as much as 40 percent, which was challenging the management of the environment even more, so they turned to ePlus for guidance on a solution.

ePlus recommended a FlexPod Datacenter from NetApp and Cisco. This approach would offer Exostar a scalable, proven environment to move to a more unified and flexible platform for community cloud and software as a service (SaaS) offerings. It still allowed Exostar to build on its current, installed IT infrastructure as well.

“The ability to easily assimilate the FlexPod Datacenter solution into our environment meant we could leverage many of our existing investments and avoid going through a painful migration exercise,” said Raj Dasgupta, director of IT at Exostar.

So what exactly did ePlus offer to Exostar? Well the solution they created included strong collaboration between Cisco, NetApp and VMware. I won’t take up space here with the fully deployed solution, as you can always see all the components in the accompanying case study, but suffice to say it’s an effective mix of technologies that include Cisco UCS B-Series Blade servers, Cisco Nexus 5000 series switches, and a Cisco UCS 6296UP 96-Port Fabric Interconnect.

So we know there was some great technology deployed in this FlexPod solution, but at the end of the day, the key to a successful deployment is the benefit to the client. In this case, here is what Exostar saw as a result of the ePlus solution:

  • Accelerated deployment of new and enhanced SaaS offerings by up to 40 percent
  • Improved data throughput by 30 to 40 percent, enhancing the user experience
  • Reduced IT management and maintenance time by 20 percent
  • Enhanced efficiency of IT staff, allowing each full-time employee to manage up to 40 percent more data

Those are fantastic results and we are proud that Cisco is part of such an effective FlexPod solution.

I encourage you to read the full case study and share your thoughts with us here in our comments section.

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