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TIS

TIS Standardizes on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform

COMPANY SPECIFICS

TIS provides IT solutions that range from core systems to application development, to a new systems operation platform that will address customers’ business challenges

INDUSTRY

System Integrator

BUSINESS NEEDS

Wanted to move from existing three-tier architecture to a more scalable platform to reduce design, construction, and operation manhours— cutting both IT manpower expenses and training costs.

SOLUTION

  • Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform NX-1000, NX-3000, and NX-6000 series systems
  • VMware ESXi

BENEFITS

  • Standardized cloud service platform onto Nutanix
  • Reduced the time to deliver new environments by two-thirds
  • Obtained a 3:1 reduction in manpower costs by standardizing skill sets
  • Created an environment for meeting PCI DSS technical requirements

CHALLENGE

TIS Inc. was founded in 1971 as an independent systems integrator, providing IT solutions for various industries. TIS advises its customers on IT practices that support enterprise growth strategies with a broad range of solutions, ranging from core systems to competitive application development, to its new system operation platform. The company has recently made inroads into the financial industry and is actively investing in the FinTech (financial technology) field. TIS keeps security best practices in mind when deploying solutions and maintains a high bar following PCI DSS technology requirements—a security standard for the credit industry.

TIS’s IT Platform Services SBU is currently developing a new service that will provide business infrastructure with datacenters and cloud services. With its new “TIS Enterprise OnDemand Service (TEOS), a unique cloud service based on datacenters deployed in Tokyo and Osaka, the SBU is developing a platform service that supports customers’ businesses from the core with multiple clouds, including AWS (Amazon Web Services).

TIS recently received a request to develop private cloud infrastructure from one of its customers, utilizing its proprietary IaaS service in TEOS, called Hosted Private Service (HPS).” Takashi Matsui, the expert in the IT Platform Services Dept. 2, IT Platform Services Div. in the same SBU, recalled that they had to build platforms in a new and innovative way for that project. “With conventional HPS, using a three-tier architecture composed of servers, SAN networks, and storage, there are many component devices, increasing the administrative burden for the storage and networks. We were seeking a platform that was more flexible and scalable to accommodate expansion of our business. As a result, we looked at hyperconverged infrastructure for the new environment, in order to obtain a highly scalable platform.”

SOLUTION

TIS expected several benefits from the implementation of a hyperconverged infrastructure solution ranged from shortening the delivery time from design to construction, to reducing daily operational man-hours. “Fewer devices would significantly reduce the number of man-hours required, even when troubleshooting, and provide more cost-competitive services for our customers,” Matsui says.

Nutanix had already been used at TIS, and its reliability was highly valued. “We previously adopted Nutanix as an in-house virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) platform. In addition, it was a proven technology for system integration with our customers. Although Nutanix had never actually been adopted as a server virtualization platform at TIS, I would like to use it if possible,” says Hiroki Ito of IT Platform Services Dept. 2 in the same SBU. After talking with the team who had experience on the Nutanix solution, he had them prepare a new Nutanix platform, which was ready in less than two months. “The majority of time was spent procuring the devices, as it only took a few weeks to prepare the environment. In such a short time, we were able to build the platform and migrate it to the production environment without any trouble.”

TIS is also using Nutanix for building infrastructure compliant with PCI DSS, the security standard of the financial industry, based on its excellent reputation in private cloud environments. “For the first installment, we were able to introduce Nutanix in a short period of time without any trouble, and it has remained stable since the launch. We wanted to adopt a platform that could be scaled out easily with the expansion of our business, so we selected Nutanix without hesitation,” Matsui says.

RESULTS

Nutanix has now been deployed for TIS’s private IaaS and PCI DSS-compliant IaaS platform, part of which has already been expanded with additional nodes. The IaaS infrastructure has already received quite a lot of customer inquiries, based on the need for PCI DSS compliance by the year 2020. It is also used as a part of the foundation of TIS’s retail payment solution, called PAYCIERGE.”

Being able to meet the PCI DSS compliance requirement was also one of the reasons for selecting Nutanix. “Since Nutanix was designed from the development stage with security in mind, it is highly valued in terms of a platform compatible with the PCI DSS technical requirements,” said Kazutoshi Shimamura, Section Chief of IT Platform Services Dept. 2 and IT Platform Services Sales Dept. in the same SBU. Shimamura had a positive experience with various Nutanix products in the past, especially with VDI construction and system integration projects for customers, and also had plenty of expertise in using Nutanix.

As a result of adopting Nutanix as the cloud service infrastructure, TIS achieved a significant reduction of overall man-hours. Previously, it had taken almost three months to complete system design, including feasibility studies for the overall architecture. After standardizing on Nutanix, it was reduced to less than one month. Furthermore, TIS expects that man-hours for configuration management and troubleshooting will be greatly reduced. At the same time, TIS believes that reducing man-hours for the infrastructure management will enable them to offer more competitive pricing to their customers.

Traditional three-tier architectures include many options in each stack, requiring the use of specialized engineers familiar with each device. By standardizing the infrastructure with Nutanix, the number of component devices can be reduced. Matsui expects the education costs and engineer manpower expenses can be reduced by two-thirds. By moving to Nutanix, TIS can now address various sized projects and different requirements with the same skill sets of engineers.

Nutanix’s support capability is also highly valued by TIS. “We are receiving Nutanix Global Support in Japanese, so there is no problem with the language. Nutanix experts who are familiar with virtualization using VMware or other services are assigned to our company so they can answer our in-depth questions. We have encountered many cases where support was an issue when adopting overseas products, but we are very satisfied with Nutanix,” Ito says. In addition, Shimamura values the Nutanix support capability saying, “Nutanix not only facilitates construction and reduces the operational burden, it also provides speedy support, for example, providing necessary information rapidly in connection with each business process such as implementation, proposal, and estimation stages. As a result, we have already started to see the positive effect in our sales activities, such as faster responses to our customers.”

NEXT STEPS

TIS is planning to adopt Nutanix as the infrastructure for various platforms in the future, including their hosted private cloud services to advance standardization. The TEOS service includes exclusive IaaS as well as shared IaaS. TIS is now planning to build a service infrastructure for shared IaaS in the datacenter of Osaka, and is considering Nutanix for that project. In addition, TIS is the only system integrator in Japan to become a Nutanix Technical Champion, and will actively train more engineers in the future.

Matsui says he wants to offer other new services by adding value to the IaaS platform. “We will add additional value to the IaaS, for example, by providing a disaster recovery plan as a standard service menu on SAP-running platforms.” TIS is also planning to develop an “optimum application platform”, and is expecting to use Nutanix for technical support for that project.

Shimamura says that they now have their sights set on the global utilization of Nutanix. “A project has already been proposed in which we will borrow data centers for overseas affiliated companies and utilize Nutanix as a platform. Nutanix is being deployed globally, so the management of that software could be unified from Japan.”

Ito says that VMware is currently being used as the main virtualization platform, but they plan to consider Nutanix’s Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) as use cases increase. “Consolidating software and hardware will lead to further integration of cost and support. We have already adopted AHV for a specific project here at TIS. We would like to test its functionality and operation in that project, and expand its use if the results are positive,” Ito concluded.

“For the first installment, we were able to introduce Nutanix in a short period of time without any trouble, and it has remained stable since the launch. We wanted to adopt a platform that could be scaled out easily with the expansion of our business, so we selected Nutanix without hesitation.”

– Takashi Matsui, Expert of IT Platform Services Dept.2, IT Platform Services Div., IT Platform Services SBU, TIS Inc.