An Interview with Kim Wikström, IT Manager at Helkama Emotor Group
We recently interviewed Kim to ask about his company’s Nutanix implementation, and to see if he is planning to attend .NEXT in Vienna this year. Here are some highlights of our conversation. (A full case study on the Helkama Nutanix deployment is available.)
Q. Can you tell me a little about Helkama Emotor Group and your role in the company?
Helkama Emotor is a Finnish family-owned group of companies. Our business includes the manufacture of marine cables, offshore, optical fibre, Instrumentation and fire resistant cables., as well as the manufacture of bicycles—importing, marketing, and retailing. I am the IT manager for our company.
Q. What IT challenges were you facing before Nutanix?
We were looking to build a scalable IT infrastructure with the agility to respond quickly to both growth in demand and to support new workloads going forward. After thoroughly reviewing the options, we purchased two Nutanix NX-1450 systems with four computing nodes and 16TB of storage.
Q. What workloads are you running on Nutanix?
We have two different ERP systems that are running on two different databases. Right now, one is on Nutanix and the other one is still on an external Linux platform. We are planning to move that workload over to our Nutanix systems in the near future.
Q. How have the systems been performing?
The biggest benefit of our move to Nutanix has been the stability of our IT systems and infrastructure. Helkama Group sells its bicycles from many retail fitness shops, and our point-of-sale systems run on the Nutanix platform. Most of these locations are open on the weekends, so we need to have everything up 24×7. If the systems are offline, we can’t sell anything. We haven’t had any downtime in the year and a half we’ve been running on Nutanix. We are also leveraging Nutanix cloud connect capabilities to meet our disaster recovery needs.
Another thing that was even better than expected was our savings in electricity. Nutanix only consumes about 60% of the power of our previous systems. We are also saving a lot on rack space and data center footprint–it looks pretty empty in our datacenter today!
Q. Will you be attending .NEXT in Vienna this year?
Yes, I will be attending the conference. The number one thing I am looking forward to is interacting with my peers as well as expanding my network of specialists, I would also like to learn more about the Nutanix hypervisor, AHV, and hear the Nutanix experts discuss the conversion from VMware ESXi to AHV. We will likely switch to Nutanix AHV within the next 18 months, since the licenses and maintenance for three years for the VMware hypervisor are quite expensive. AHV is included with the Nutanix Acropolis systems for free, with no ongoing licensing fees. AHV has the right feature set for our production workloads. It will enable us to do a lot more 1-click operations and focus on driving business value. So if we switch to AHV, we’ll not only get a great hypervisor, we’ll save a lot on our IT budget going forward.
Q, Are there any other topics are you hoping to hear about at .NEXT?
I am looking forward to hearing what’s on the Nutanix product roadmap, especially all of the new features in the Prism management system. I want to learn about multi-hypervisor support and if it’s going to be possible to run multiple hypervisors in the same clusters. This will provide us with the flexibility to run any hypervisor, whether it’s AHV, Hyper-V, or ESXi on one platform.
One of the local resellers that I know very well will also be attending. We’ve done business together for several years, so I am looking forward to reconnecting with him and many of my other colleagues. I’m also planning on meeting with some of the Nutanix experts I work with over the phone in person. I have a lot of questions, and .NEXT will be a great place for me to get all of the answers I need.
Come visit us at .NEXT
Nutanix .NEXT is scheduled for November 8-10, 2016 at the Hilton Vienna, Austria. For more information and to register for the user conference, please visit: www.nutanix.com/next
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