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Synergics

Synergics Scales Up with Nutanix for Simplicity and Agility

Business Needs

A simplified IT infrastructure with improved management and scaling capabilities. Provide Synergics’ customers excellent and attractive solutions at competitive prices.

Solution

The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform (NX-3000 Series).

Benefits

  • 35% cost reduction translating into more cost-effective solutions to customers
  • Increased agility to introduce new services faster with a web-scale approach
  • Simplicity in maintenance and management of the IT infrastructure
  • Increased speed in execution of changes to service portfolio

Background

Synergics, founded in 2006 by Jochen Maertens, is a managed services provider based in Brussels, Belgium. It has a dedicated team of 35 people who look after their clients’ IT needs, from the infrastructure all the way up to the applications. Its portfolio covers managed workplaces (both physical and virtual), managed applications, and monitoring of all kinds, including application and performance monitoring. Visit www.synergics.be for more information.

SAN Upgrade Challenges

Synergics was having trouble scaling its SAN infrastructure; the technology it had in place simply didn’t have the necessary capabilities built in. That meant Synergics faced the unenviable task of upgrading its SAN technology on an almost yearly basis, a time consuming and very expensive endeavor.

CEO Jochen said Synergics was spending way too much time simply maintaining its infrastructure and architecture instead of focusing on the needs of its clients. It also made winning new customers more difficult, he added. “In terms of cost it made our solution rather difficult to position in the market. It was also time consuming to manage – there were lots of updates and upgrades and my engineers were spending a lot of time just to keep the environment running.”

Synergics decided to look for a new solution, one that would require less management and maintenance while providing increased scaling capabilities.

“Being able to run these non-disruptive upgrades is a real difference from the past, when we would never have upgraded the full components – storage, networking and compute – without any downtime of the physical components. Upgrades used to take weeks, now it takes days.”

– Jochen Maertens, CEO

Selecting Nutanix: Scale-out and Speed

The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform gave Synergics the all-in-one solution it was looking for, with the storage hardware being placed inside the server and managed via centralized software. It removes the need for SAN, something that appealed to Synergics.

The proof of concept surpassed expectations – a full infrastructure was up and running in no time. However, what swung the decision in favor of the Virtual Computing Platform was its scale-out capabilities combined with speed to market. The two are of course linked, as Jochen points out, “Synergics’ customers have to deliver applications quickly so Synergics has to as well. But for that to happen the underlying architecture has to be quick and responsive.”

Addressing management issues with the legacy technology was also one of the main drivers for adopting the Nutanix solution. “It was the cost of management that was way too high with our old solution,” Jochen said. “We thought we could do much better from that point of view.”

Synergics worked with SecureLink – a longstanding and trusted integration partner – on the implementation of Nutanix. The first deployment on VMware was followed by a second in a few months but this time on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V technology as the hypervisor. Jochen and his team were pleasantly surprised by the fact that it only took a matter of days to get the complete solution up and running.

“We had some upgrades to the Nutanix OS, which were run on live systems,” Jochen adds. “Being able to run these non-disruptive upgrades is a real difference from the past, when we would never have upgraded the full components – storage, networking and compute – without any downtime of the physical components. Upgrades used to take weeks, now it is in days.”

As Jochen points out, being an early adopter of a technology can be a daunting prospect. But the highly professional level of support offered by Nutanix has ensured a smooth implementation. “We’re very pleased with the high level of support, especially in the beginning, when there were lots of questions about the new technology. Support is very swift, with lots of knowledgeable people on the Nutanix team,” Jochen added.

Today, Synergics has around 75 different server workloads running on Nutanix,

Jochen believes many applications have seen noticeable performance improvements. “Performance wasn’t our first worry, we tend to look at the Nutanix solution from the point of view of agility, speed of execution and cost-effectiveness. But of course we and our customers are happy to see the improvements,” he said.

“We are now able to deliver more cost-effective solutions to our customers. The Nutanix solution will quickly save us manpower, which we can use to do projects rather than just keeping the lights on for our customers. We will be able to react a lot faster to market demand than we have been able capacity to fulfill customer demand is very easy.”

– Jochen Maertens, CEO

The Future

Eventually, the VMware stack will be replaced with a Hyper-V and System Center stack and Microsoft Cloud OS to offer a mix of public and private cloud services. “This is about offering the right solutions to our customers. Being able to offer Microsoft Azure services with Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center running on Nutanix gives us greater agility and presents our customers with better value,” said Jochen.

Until then, Synergics will continue to reap the benefits of the Nutanix solution and pass those onto its customers. Jochen estimates that total cost reductions achieved by deploying Nutanix could be close to 35%.

“We are now able to deliver more cost-effective solutions to our customers. The Nutanix solution will quickly save us manpower, which we can use to do projects rather than just keeping the lights on for our customers. We will be able to react a lot faster to market demand than we have been able to in the past. With Nutanix, adding capacity to fulfill customer demand is very easy,” Jochen concludes.