Pusateri’s Fine Foods Shops for New Storage after a Devastating Fire

Business Needs

Needed more storage capacity and better performance for all grocery line of business applications


  • Nutanix Xtreme Computing Platform withNutanix NX-1000 appliances
  • Nutanix Acropolis with the AHV
  • Nutanix Prism management solution


  • Simplified storage management and increased system performance
  • Obtained Nutanix hyperconverged solution at a 25-40% lower price than traditional, three-tier options
  • Improved disaster recovery and business continuity
  • Eliminated the high cost of vSphere licensing

Company Background

In 1957, Salvatore Pusateri immigrated to Canada from Sicily in search of a better life for his family. Six years later, he opened a small fruit and vegetable shop in Toronto. Salvatore’s son, Cosimo Pusateri, took over the family business in 1986 with a vision to grow the small grocery store into a gourmet food emporium. Today, Pusateri’s and Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s provide customers with a singular shopping experience, an unrivaled selection of the freshest products, and an inspired culinary experience with the finest prepared dishes in the city.

It Challenges

Cajetan Fernandes is the IT manager at Pusateri’s. “I inherited all of the existing legacy, physical infrastructure when I joined Pusateri’s,” he explained. “Once I convinced our management team how important IT was for the growth of our business, I presented the option of upgrading all of the servers and virtualizing our environment. I had been reading a lot about Nutanix in the press and industry blogs, and liked the idea of a hyperconverged environment. After running a PoC on the Nutanix system, we decided to purchase a Nutanix NX 1365G4 system.”

Recovering from a Devastating Fire

Not long after Fernandes made the decision to move to Nutanix, there was a three-alarm fire at Pusateri’s main location that destroyed the flagship store along with most of the existing IT infrastructure. “Luckily, I backed up all of our data every night and stored it on a local device in a fireproof safe,” Fernandes reported. “I was able to recover all of the data and get some of my old machines up and running until I could procure more storage.”

Fernandes called Nutanix the day after the fire to see if they could expedite the delivery of his order. “As soon as I got the equipment, I called Nutanix and said I needed help to get the machine up and running as soon as possible,” Fernandes said. “The Nutanix engineer arrived the next day and installed the system, set up the virtual machines, and showed us how to use the new system. It was a very simple process. We accomplished the entire setup and knowledge transfer in less than half a day.”

The Nutanix NX 1365 G4 system is now being used for all of Pusateri’s data file sharing, print servers, domain controllers, Microsoft Exchange 2013 environment, accounting software, a catering application, a point-of-sale system, and several other grocery line-of business-applications.

It was much more cost-efficient to go with Nutanix Acropolis. Not only did it provide higher performance, the hyperconverged solution was 25-40% less expensive than the three-tier storage, server, and VMware vSphere solution.

Cajetan Fernandes, IT Manager

Choosing Built-in Virtualization With Ahv

“I was originally planning to use the VMware vSphere hypervisor, since I have a lot of experience on that platform,” noted Fernandes. “But our Nutanix rep started telling me about all of the great features of the built-in virtualization solution with Nutanix Acropolis. I knew it would be a perfect fit for us. I also like the idea that the AHV is already integrated with its storage and server systems,so I don’t have to buy, install, or manage any additional products. The intuitive Prism management platform allows me to manage the entire infrastructure stack including virtualization, and has made the switch from vSphere to AHV effortless.”

Pricing Comparison

Before choosing Nutanix, Fernandes compared the cost of purchasing the different solutions. “If I wasn’t going with hyperconverged infrastructure, I would have to buy separate hosts, networking, and storage components—and then add in the VMware hypervisor licensing costs,” Fernandes said. “It was much more cost-efficient to go with Nutanix Acropolis. Not only did it provide higher performance, the Nutanix hyperconverged solution was 25-40% less expensive than the three-tier storage, server environment, and VMware vSphere solution.”

Faster Performance

“We are still using several older DOS-based grocery line of business applications,” Fernandes admitted. “Our users had been very frustrated with the speed of that application. That app is now running much faster on Nutanix. We also store and process a lot of graphics files, since we take pictures of our produce and products, and prepare display charts for our ads and stores each day. Our users found the Nutanix environment to be to be very fast and efficient for their graphics app locations.”

Smaller Footprint

“Moving to Nutanix has also enabled us to reduce our datacenter footprint,” Fernandes said. “We were able to replace the 11 legacy boxes in our datacenter with one Nutanix 2U block with 3 nodes. Those old physical boxes also consumed a lot of power. In the old environment, our UPS backup generator could only run for only about 15 minutes during a power outage. Now, with just three Nutanix nodes, we can run everything for at least 45 minutes if we lose power. This enables us to quickly make backup copies of our data before the systems go offline.”

Keeping in Touch With Nutanix Tech Support

“I have only placed one call to Nutanix Support, but the person who worked with me was extremely helpful,” Fernandes said. “He calls or emails me every week to see how we are doing. He even offered to set up WebEx demos to guide us through any of the Nutanix functions we wanted to use, and he watches our performance just to see how things are doing. With Nutanix, I don’t have to go to support— support comes to me to improve our reliability and efficiency.”