This week’s recap of our ongoing Data Center Download series, features David De Rook, ICT Infrastructure Project Leader at Exmar. I caught up with David at Cisco Live to get a first hand account of how they’re utilizing the simplicity and operational efficiency of Cisco HyperFlex to transform their IT Operations and talk about what’s next for Exmar.
Exmar is a leading shipping provider in the gas shipping industry, and owns, manages, and operates a fleet of floating assets, both for Exmar and for its customers. With the gas industry being such a fast-changing market, the IT staff at Exmar is constantly faced with addressing new projects that need to be customized to address dynamic customer requirements. With only two full-time IT staff, their traditional 3-tier infrastructure required a lot of resources to maintain causing a lot of extra strain on the team.
For these reasons and more, about 2 years ago Exmar started looking for a more efficient solution that provided more operational simplicity, workload flexibility, and performance. After a thorough search of the market including on-prem and public cloud solutions, Exmar decided to move forward with HyperFlex.
Why Cisco HyperFlex?
Exmar’s requirements originally lead them to the idea of moving their applications and data to a public cloud service. After careful consideration and calculation though, they concluded the total cost of full cloud migration was too high. Concerned with the inflating price of the cloud, they turned their attention to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) focusing their evaluation on two specific areas: financial and technical. “For the technical comparison, it was obvious that HyperFlex was the more superior platform, especially considering the strong UCS foundation upon which the product is built,” said De Rook. “We also noted that due to HyperFlex’s performance it would allow us to run a cluster with a lot fewer nodes than the competition, which obviously reduced licensing costs. Less data licenses meant it was a more economical option for our business.”
Exmar saw results in both the application performance and operation efficiency right away. With its previous network, IT saw latency spikes in both virtualized and physical workloads when running SQL databases. After moving to HyperFlex, latency moved down a whopping five milliseconds, with physical workloads never spiking higher than that again.
Operationally, with only two in IT, Exmar became less busy provisioning workloads and managing storage. Now, instead of spending all their time trying to keep the lights on, they have free time to focus on tasks that are more impactful for the business overall.
New Product Excitement
At this year’s Cisco Live Barcelona event, Cisco announced several new solutions for its Data Center customers, so I asked David what new offerings he and his team were looking forward to implementing. “Intersight cloud managed platform for managing on prem infrastructure is pretty amazing,” he said. “Being able to do capacity planning, open tech cases, log files automatically uploaded, and monitor simply through an app will definitely make things more streamlined.”
With HyperFlex at the edge, Exmar will even be able to put servers where it previously was physically impossible. And, from a security point of view, having a unified strategy and install base will make it even easier to operate from day one deployment.
Read the case study.
Stop by next week when we talk with Kaustubh Das on the newly announced Intersight capabilities.
See the past Data Center Download episodes on YouTube.