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Waste Pro

Waste Pro USA Steps Up to Nutanix and Cisco

COMPANY

Waste Pro provides waste collection services to thousands of businesses and residential customers across Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina.

INDUSTRY

Utilities

BUSINESS NEEDS

Existing infrastructure was reaching end of life. Needed a storage and server solution that was easier to manage and scale.

SOLUTION

  • Nutanix Enterprise Cloud platform
  • Acropolis Cloud OS software, AHV hypervisor
  • Prism infrastructure management software
  • Cisco UCS C-Series servers

BENEFITS

  • Reduced ongoing server and storage management by one third
  • Enabled easy scalability in minutes, not weeks
  • Improved speed and reliability of company website and virtual desktops
  • Obtained excellent, proactive technical support

CHALLENGE

Waste Pro was relying on a mix of aging IT of systems, purchased from several different infrastructure vendors over the last decade. “I was hired to develop the technology roadmap for Waste Pro,” said Rob Grimm, director of information systems at Waste Pro. “Our IT team was managing a converged infrastructure set up with a lot of incompatible components. Due to the mix of systems and vendors, we had challenges with scaling, and our Citrix VDI desktop performance was nowhere where we would have liked it to be.”

Grimm has worked with many IT solutions during his career, including traditional storage and server infrastructure from NetApp, EMC, Cisco, VMware, and several other legacy vendors. For the Waste Pro refresh, Grimm made the decision to only evaluate hyperconverged solutions. “I looked at all of the hyperconverged players, but I wasn’t comfortable with any of them except for Nutanix. It was the only one that offered a ‘true hyperconverged’ product.”

SOLUTION

Nutanix Enterprise Cloud and Cisco UCS Servers

After reviewing the infrastructure options, Grimm chose the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS with Cisco servers. “By choosing Nutanix Enterprise Cloud software and Cisco UCS C-Series Servers, I’m getting the best of both worlds. Nutanix is the leader in hyperconverged solutions, and Cisco is the leader in the server space,” noted Grimm. “Unlike other infrastructure vendors’ solution, I’ve had nothing but good experience with Nutanix and the UCS platform. Neither vendor has ever let me down.”

Working with Presidio

Waste Pro worked closely with IT solutions provider Presidio for the refresh. Presidio offers a full lifecycle model of professional, managed, and ongoing support services, including strategy, consulting, design, and implementation. “Presidio helped us with the initial discovery and design, followed by the execution and installation of all systems,” noted Grimm. “They were definitely critical to the success of this project. In my opinion, Presidio employs some of the best IT engineers in the entire services industry.”

Waste Pro is now running its entire Microsoft enterprise stack on the Nutanix software and Cisco servers, including several large SQL databases, MS Office Suite, ERP systems, file servers, company websites, and all business-critical applications.

RESULTS

Simplified Management

“The Nutanix environment is much easier to manage than our previous 3-tier environment,” Grimm said. “Prism provides comprehensive visibility into all of our systems, enabling us to respond faster to any issues or meet new business needs. Plus, the Nutanix and Cisco solution reduces the labor-intensive processes that used to consume our highly skilled engineers’ time. The ease of management has eliminated over a third of our IT overhead, and enables our team to tackle additional projects without adding headcount.”

Better Performance

“Our IT team also supports several websites that our clients use to make transactions and obtain customer service,” explained Brian McDermott, senior network administrator at Waste Pro USA. “Since that website is the ‘public face’ of our company, it has to provide a consistently good user experience. Since moving to Nutanix and Cisco UCS, our website is much more responsive and reliable. It has also resolved all of the performance issues we were having with our virtual desktops. As a result of moving to Nutanix, we’ve seen in a 60% reduction in service tickets due to poor system performance.”

Incremental Scaling

“One of the biggest benefits of our move to Nutanix is the ability to add nodes incrementally,” explained McDermott. “Previously, we had multiple pools of servers and storage that weren’t compatible with one another. It used to take weeks to add capacity. With the Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure, it only takes minutes to add nodes. Whenever we have new business unit needs, a higher volume of transactions due to increased holiday demands for trash pickups, or additional end users coming online, we can react quickly without having to replace a large stack of our old SAN storage or upgrading all of the servers. Nutanix’s easy scalability enables us to bring new applications and services to market much faster, and provide better service to all of our customers.”

Increased Savings

Waste Pro is also hosting its fleet-routing applications on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud and the Cisco servers. “Our waste management trucks operate day and night across eight states in the Southeast US,” Grimm said. “We need the ability to track their locations at all times, in order to ensure that all of our drivers are using the most optimal routes. The Nutanix and Cisco solution is providing the visibility and performance we need to ensure these critical systems remain available 24/7. In addition to saving money by optimizing our truck routes, we also saved 40% in CapEx by selecting hyperconverged infrastructure versus traditional platforms.”

World-Class Support

“I have been very impressed with the responsiveness of the Nutanix support reps,” McDermott reported. “Everyone I’ve spoken to has been very knowledgeable, and they are always happy to stay on the line if I have other questions outside of the reason I opened the ticket. It’s not like other vendors’ support organizations, where they’ll say, ‘we’ve fixed your problem, and now we have to go.’ The Nutanix reps will help out for as long as it takes—they’re not just there to close tickets.”

NEXT STEPS

“We’re still using VMware vSphere, but we are setting up a test environment where we can use AHV until we are completely comfortable with the Nutanix hypervisor,” concluded Grimm. “I really want to switch to AHV—I think it’s a much cleaner solution than vSphere. Having a well-designed hypervisor that is natively integrated with the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS—that is also included free of charge—is an offer that’s nearly impossible to pass up. Our plan is to move to AHV within 12 months.”

“By choosing Nutanix Enterprise Cloud software and Cisco UCS C-Series rackmount servers, I’m getting the best of both worlds. Nutanix is the leader in hyperconverged solutions, and Cisco is the leader in the server space.”

– Rob Grimm, Director of Information Systems, Waste Pro USA