nutanix

Louisiana Department of Insurance

Louisiana Department of Insurance Relies on Nutanix

Business Needs

Needed a storage environment that could provide higher performance for virtual servers and desktops

Benefits

  • Reduced deployment times from weeks to less than an hour
  • Accelerated queries from 30 seconds to just eight seconds
  • Eliminated 10 hours per week in storage and server management
  • Reduced data center footprint by 4x

Challenges

“Our 3-tier IT environment was very complex,” noted Gabriel Tate, IT Technical Support Specialist 3 at LDI. “There were so many different server, storage, and networking components that had to be managed separately. Whenever we updated one piece of the puzzle, something else would break. As a result, troubleshooting was a nightmare.”

LDI’s IT team first encountered Nutanix at a technical seminar sponsored by the state of Louisiana. “After talking to the Nutanix team and doing our own research, we realized that moving to a hyperconverged platform was a no-brainer,” noted Tate. “Why would we want to spend all of our money on multiple systems and maintenance if we could economically consolidate everything into one unified system?”

Moving To Nutanix

LDI purchased eight Nutanix NX-6000 nodes and deployed the systems at the agency’s two datacenters. The VMware View VDI environment, domain controllers, MS SQL servers, MS Exchange environment, and all virtual servers run on the same Nutanix system. “Nutanix eliminated all of the bottlenecks between the host and the storage,” said Tate. “Plus, deployments are a breeze! It takes less than an hour of configuration to add a new system. It always took days or even weeks to add anything to our previous 3-tier infrastructure.”

Faster Performance

All agency workloads are running much faster on the Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure. “When we moved everything to Nutanix, our speed doubled,” Tate reported. “In some areas, performance quadrupled. Queries we wrote specifically for stress-testing the environment dropped from 30 seconds to just eight seconds on Nutanix. VDI performance on Nutanix is smokin’ hot!”

Eliminating Management Overhead

Tate and his team had been spending far too much time managing the previous environment. “We eliminated at least 10 hours per week in storage and server management by moving to Nutanix,” he reported. “With the 3-tier environment, our hardware engineers needed four different skill sets to manage all of the servers, switches, and storage. Now we only need one engineer with one skillset to manage the Nutanix hyperconverged system. This enables our IT team to spend time on more strategic projects, rather than just maintaining the servers and storage.”

“VDI performance on Nutanix is smokin’ hot!”

– Gabriel Tate, IT Technical Support Specialist 3 at Louisiana Department of Insurance

Significant Cost Savings

“The costs savings obtained by eliminating the need to manage multiple high-end storage and server networks was seen almost instantly,” reported Lonnie Richardson, IT Applications Project Leader at LDI. “And it isn’t just the initial cost of the technology itself, it’s the ongoing time, effort, and technical resources required to implement and maintain that solution over its lifetime of service.”

LDI also obtained a huge savings in data center footprint and power by moving to Nutanix. “We went from four full racks down to just one rack of Nutanix – with power and capacity to spare,” noted Tate.

Increased Visibility

The visibility into system health is excellent with Nutanix Prism. “It’s great to be able to see everything in a single management pane,” Tate said. “We used to have to log into four or five different consoles to find the information we needed. We’d look at one interface for our blades and chassis, and then log into the switch interface, the SAN units, and occasionally into the network monitoring software in order to get a complete picture. With Nutanix, we just log into Prism and everything we need is on one screen. It sure is a big time saver and helps us to quickly troubleshoot issues.”

Live System Test Proves Nutanix Resilience

Tate scheduled a live system test on the hyperconverged systems by unplugging two Nutanix boxes during the middle of the day. “We performed a final test of the resiliency of the system before we completed the decommissioning of our other hardware— while we still had a system we could fall back to if needed,” h e explained. “We were able to get everything back up and running in less than 10 minutes. Before Nutanix, it would have taken much longer, and we would probably have experienced a lot of data corruption during the outage. With that live, real-world test behind us, we were 100 percent committed to the Nutanix software-defined infrastructure.”

Future Plans

LDI has already purchased additional Nutanix systems and plans to buy more units as the need for additional resources increases. “We would like to have a dedicated Nutanix system for our VDI environment,” Richardson said. “All of our virtual loads that were on the old 3-tier infrastructure have now been moved to Nutanix, and every new workload we deploy will be on Nutanix going forward. Nutanix is the best technology that we’ve brought into LDI over the last 20 years.”