One of the East Coast AAA auto clubs delivers a superior experience for members, enhances business intelligence, streamlines database administration, and accelerates innovation with Nutanix.
Serving motorists across the northwest U.S., the East Coast AAA auto club relies on its network infrastructure to deliver convenient, personalized services for its members, support daily operations, and keep executives informed with valuable business intelligence (BI).
The organization’s IT staff supports more than 6,000 users at offices throughout the region, and requires a dependable, high-performance environment to connect and run critical business applications like car care and membership services. However, as the organization’s existing three-tier architecture aged, it became obsolete, and performance started to decline.
To improve the speed and reliability of its network infrastructure, the East Coast AAA Club began a step-by-step migration to a Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). The auto club moved approximately 100 Microsoft SQL databases to Nutanix Database Service/Era, running on all flash clusters, to unlock an 80% performance improvement and a 50% reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to its previous environment. The new solution accelerates delivery of BI reports, saves administrators time, and provides an agile platform for DevOps service innovation.
|Migration to HCI drove 80% performance improvement.
||50% reduction in TCO compared to three-tier environment.
||Nutanix Database Service/Era enables database automation and management.
Nutanix is proven in meeting our business customers’ SLAs and advanced feature requirements and has saved us considerable costs compared to continuing to operate a three-tier environment.
The East Coast AAA Club is constantly improving its operations to better serve its members, and the organization was under tremendous pressure to refresh its legacy three-tier environment that was saddled with obsolete, underperforming equipment.
Upgrading its critical business and member applications was slow and time-consuming, and the auto club’s leadership could not get timely access to the insights needed to make data-driven decisions.
“We were running a variety of BI tools on a large Microsoft SQL database, residing on an on-premises SAN,” said The Senior Architect, Enterprise at East Coast AAA Club. “Each morning, our executives, wanted to view the dashboard we had created for them with BI tools, sales, reporting, and other content. But as our infrastructure aged and our organization grew through mergers, the system could no longer deliver the reports on time. The architecture was becoming a bottleneck, so we began exploring an HCI.”
As part of one of its acquisitions, the East Coast AAA Club acquired a Nutanix Cloud Platform.
“We acquired Nutanix, and it was a small footprint, but we had a great experience,” said The Senior Architect. “I was able to get a very good understanding of the robustness of the system, and we gradually began migrating different operations to the solution.”
To streamline its operations for its 100 databases, the organization purchased Nutanix Database Service/Era licenses for its all-flash, dedicated Microsoft SQL clusters. This database as a service (DBaaS) offering automates and simplifies database administration and provides one-click simplicity to database provisioning and life-cycle management.
The organization deployed Nutanix Files to extend the benefits of HCI to storage environments. Nutanix Prism provides a single consolidated dashboard for full visibility and management.
Security was an important requirement for the auto club, which must conform with AAA National industry privacy regulations like TQS5, which is similar to PCI standards. Nutanix Flow enabled the organization to meet requirements for application and network microsegmentation, security compliance, audits, and planning.
“TQS5 is a set of parameters that must be met by all auto clubs,” said the Senior Architect. “For example, data must be encrypted at rest and in transit, and microsegmentation support is required for applications. Nutanix fit the bill very nicely.”
To maximize the availability of its services, the organization also installed Nutanix DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) which provides business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) between its two on-premises data centers.
Migrating to Nutanix Database Service/Era has enabled the auto club to accelerate performance on its key applications, and save time on database administration and management.
“We moved the BI database from our previous three tier SAN infrastructure to Nutanix HCI, and the performance was night and day,” said the Senior Architect. “Our CIO, and even our CEO, depend on those reports, and now we were able to deliver them on a daily basis before 5:00 A.M.”
“The support for one-click updates is saving us time and expenses, which is very impressive to upper management,” he added. “The entire stack is controlled by Nutanix, so there’s no need to coordinate with a separate hypervisor product. We can simply take a few nodes down, patch them, then put them back online.”
AHV Virtualization is also creating opportunities for huge savings in software licensing.
“Migrating to the AHV hypervisor has enabled us to eliminate the licensing costs we were paying for our VMware environment,” said The Senior Architect. “Nutanix does not charge for its hypervisor, which has enabled us to save approximately $1.7 million compared to our VMware solution.”
Prism Ultimate with Beam (Nutanix Cloud Manager, NCM) has improved administration efficiency and transparency as well, giving the auto club chargeback/show back ability for department level workload accountability and means testing.
The Senior Architect understands the disruptive potential of digital transformation, and he and his team are already exploring new solutions to improve the capabilities of the Nutanix platform.
For example, business agility is always a top priority, so East Coast AAA Club is planning to deploy Nutanix Calm for application-centric lifecycle management and multi-cloud orchestration.
“We are planning to use NCM Self-Service to accelerate our DevOps processes and innovation,” said The Senior Architect. “For example, our DevOps team has a very large membership application, and they utilize a CI/CD model for development. However, spinning up test environments and VMs for them is a slow, manual process with lots of paperwork. Nutanix will enable us to create workflows and environments for them.”
The Senior Architect is also putting a cloud strategy in place to provide additional flexibility and scalability.
“We are exploring whether we can eliminate our on-premises data center and put everything on the cloud, running all our workloads with Nutanix Cloud Clusters (NC2),” he said. “Just as the PC disrupted mainframe computing, Nutanix technology is disruptive, and its capabilities are unbelievable.”