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Minmetals Securities

Minmetals Securities Deploys Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform

Business Needs

Traditional IT infrastructure was unable to meet increasing IT needs and accommodate business expansion.

Solution

Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform NX-8035

Benefits

  • Solved the problems of limited space, power supply resources, and the shortage of IT personnel
  • Raised utilization rate of space and improved computing capability
  • Saved machine cabinet resources for more urgent needs
  • Solved the problem of being unable to expand the data center in the short term

Company

Minmetals Securities is a comprehensive securities operating company. Since its founding in 2000, it has achieved over 200% growth in three consecutive years, and was named “China’s Most Growable Securities Broker”. Minmetals Securities has built over 30 branches in core cities for finance including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Challenge

Rapid business growth has introduced several big challenges to the existing IT infrastructure and management of Minmetals Securities Co., Ltd. According to Xu Jin, Chief Information Officer of Minmetals Securities, “The business of securities is increasingly dependent on information technology. During the transformational development of the company in recent years, the rapid expansion of our businesses has caused pressure on capacity and performance of our IT systems. Meanwhile, new business also creates a high demand for the on-line launch speed of the IT systems, while the development of the Internet finance industry has created great uncertainties in the need for system capacity. All of these have caused a great impact on the scalability, agility, and continuous service capabilities of traditional server and storage IT architecture. Along with an explosive increase in the capacity and quantity of the business systems, our twin data centers in the same city experienced a shortage of supply in both space and power in 2009. New personnel recruitment of the IT team could not meet the needs of our rapid business growth. In addition, the IT personnel could hardly continue to work under such high pressure, thus declining efficiency and reduced delivering capabilities gradually appeared. All of these factors called for transforming the corporate IT architecture and operating model.”

The decision to deploy new infrastructure at Minmetals Securities was easy, as the new headquarters was still under construction and the planned cloud data center could not be delivered in the short term. After a comprehensive evaluation, Xu Jin decided to upgrade the IT architecture and conduct the virtualization and private cloud construction based on the existing facilities, and to meet the demand for information caused by the rapid business growth for three consecutive years. Thus, Minmetals Securities needed to consider several factors in building the new infrastructure within the existing facilities, including space savings, the reduction of power consumption, flexible scalability, quick deployment, as well as high stability, availability, performance, and easy maintenance.

“The Nutanix hyperconverged solution provides simple, quick, and linear scalability, which can both meet the IT demands required by the rapid developing business growth, and satisfy our company’s design of the future cloud data center.”

– Xu Jin, CIO, Minmetals Securities Co., Ltd

Solution

Minmetals Securities tried various solutions provided by leading providers from China and abroad. After more than half a year of rigorous testing and comparison, the company decided to adopt the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform.

Xu Jin chose Nutanix for the following reasons. First, the Nutanix platform features quick deployment and simplified management, which dramatically reduced IT operation and maintenance pressure and allowed IT personnel to focus on more important matters. Second, the distributed architecture provides flexible scalability, which means the company can expand its IT architecture as needed in a linear fashion and investments and operational costs become controllable, meeting any future business development needs. Third, the distributed structure with good redundancy can avoid problems like single points of failure that happened to the conventional VMs. Moreover, during the course of rigorous POC and pressure testing, Nutanix showed the best stability and performance. Lastly, due to a practical reason, the existing data center is short of space and power. The Nutanix hyperconverged solution will save more than 80% on space and reduce power consumption by more than 60%.

Results

The Nutanix NX-8035 deployment started with eight nodes. During the deployment process, Minmetals Securities observed multiple benefits of the Nutanix solution. The Nutanix NX-8035 system integrates two nodes into one server, thus eight nodes only take 16U or one fifth of the cabinet height, which effectively saves space. At the same time, Nutanix nodes can greatly reduce power consumption, with a maximum usage of only 950W.

With only eight nodes of Nutanix, Minmetals Securities was able to replace nearly 50 physical servers and storage from the original systems used for its online business hall, liquidation, risk control, marketing, finance, and office email applications. Also, Nutanix reduced the work load of IT personnel in systems deployment and installation. “For example, a new business system has 10 components, and if we had used the traditional model, 10 servers and storage systems would have been needed. However, with the Nutanix architecture, 10 virtual machines are enough, without the necessity of knowing which nodes the virtual machines are running on,” Xu Jin said.

Also, the Nutanix platform takes only 20 minutes to install before cutting over into production, and it only takes a few minutes to install follow-up systems by simply creating “VM models” on the device. Using the previous solution, the process would have taken several hours. “We can save time on purchasing, installation, configuration, and testing of servers and storage devices. It used to take an engineer almost a day to finish installing 10 servers and storage devices, but now it only takes 30 minutes. We have indeed seen the improved delivering capabilities and efficiency of the Nutanix platform.”

With the adoption of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, Minmetals Securities solved the problems of limited space, power supply resources, and the shortage of IT personnel. It has helped raise the utilization rate of space and improved computing capability. The transition from physical machines to virtual machines saved machine cabinet resources for more urgent use, and solved the problem of being unable to expand the data center in the short term. In addition, the linear scalability of Nutanix solutions can better meet the needs of continuous, rapid business expansion in the future, bringing about changes to IT operation and maintenance and the mode of system disaster tolerance.

Next Steps

The high efficiency and convenience that comes with the Nutanix platform has made Xu Jin feel more confident about his choice. When talking about future development, he said, “We’re looking to start Phase II construction of the hyperconverged platform in 2016 and make more purchases of Nutanix nodes. Our new data center will be completed in 2-3 years and we’re also thinking about deploying the Nutanix solution as our new data center infrastructure.”

With the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, more and more enterprises have streamlined their IT architecture, improved the efficiency of IT operation and maintenance, saved space and reduced costs for power supply and room cooling, and enhanced flexible scalability of their IT businesses on an open platform. Nutanix is committed to helping clients transform current data centers into an open platform that allows for expansion like Google or Facebook, offering corporate clients the ability to deploy applications at lower costs and to create new Internet data centers.