Reliance acsn now able to concentrate on developing new services and growing the business thanks to simpler, easy to manage, Nutanix Cloud Platform
- On-demand scalability with cost predictability
- Geographic certainty for regulatory compliance
- Reduced operational overheads with single management interface requiring no specialist skills
- Access to cloud-native services and technologies to support business plans going forward
In one fell swoop we got rid of multiple servers from multiple vendors needing constant expert attention, replacing them with a unified platform that requires very little oversight yet can be scaled on-demand to support any and all of the services we have planned for the immediate future. It really is invisible, leaving us to concentrate on developing the business, not just running it.
To stay one step ahead of modern cyber criminals, IT security specialists like Reliance acsn must continually monitor, enhance and add to the services that customers rely on to keep their data safe and secure. It’s a full-time job and distractions like having to spend time reconfiguring, repairing and generally managing the supporting IT infrastructure are, at best, unwelcome and, at worst, a major obstacle to developing and growing the business. As Alex Costinean – Infrastructure Manager knows only too well.
“Over time our infrastructure had mushroomed into a collection of physical servers and virtual machines spread across multiple data centres,” he explained. “That made it time consuming and difficult to manage, let alone enhance and expand in order to update and add to our portfolio of business-critical security services.”
Tasked with meeting the additional needs of a number of new services and to an exacting schedule, Costinean knew drastic action was needed and, initially, considered migrating to the public cloud.
“It was an obvious choice as we were already supplying services to some of our customers through platforms like AWS and Azure, which meant we had the accounts and expertise needed,” he said. “On the downside we were aware of just how unpredictable public cloud can be when it comes to operational costs and how difficult it would be to factor those costs into our own charging structures.”
Management across multiple clouds was another key issue along with the need to prove just where data was stored for regulatory compliance.
In a nutshell, what Reliance acsn needed was the on-demand flexibility of public cloud - to enable the service provider to bring resources online quickly as new services were ramped up - but with the cost certainty of a private cloud, hosted on-premise and managed through a unified and easy to use interface.
With a wealth of expertise and experience to call on, Costinean and the team considered a number of options before deciding to start by consolidating down to just two data centres. Each of these was would be equipped with a Nutanix Cloud Platform cluster and Nutanix AHV hypervisor then configured to allow service workloads to be run from either location with active/active failover where required. Additional resilience would then be added using backup and disaster recovery technology with integrated management of this alongside all other physical and virtual resources through a single Nutanix Prism console.
“In one fell swoop we got rid of multiple servers from multiple vendors that needed constant expert attention,” he recalls, “replacing them with a unified platform that requires very little oversight yet can be scaled on-demand and is flexible enough to support any and all of the services we have planned for the immediate future. It really is invisible, leaving us to concentrate on developing the business, not just running it.”
Costinean points to numerous benefits from switching to a private cloud powered by the Nutanix Cloud Platform and AHV, but is most impressed by the huge drop in the amount of time consumed by management tasks.
“Managing the infrastructure is only part of the support team’s job,” he says, “but it took up a lot of time and often required specialist skills, particularly when patching and updating software. Now it’s a part time job that anyone can do, with patching now very much a 1-click operation.”
He also reports that this has freed up staff to concentrate on other work, in turn, enabling the company to accelerate the development and launch of a number of new business-critical services following the migration.
Other benefits include the flexibility to adopt new technologies secure in the knowledge that the infrastructure can cope. More than that it has given Costinean the confidence to virtualise the few remaining hardware-based security appliances retained by the company. An outcome that required additional nodes to be added to the Nutanix clusters which, again, proved an almost trivial task.
“We’d seen the demos but still expected problems which, in the end, never arose,” commented Costinean. “Once the new nodes were in place it was just 3 or 4 clicks before we had more resources. No fuss, no bother, it just worked.”
Very happy with the Nutanix infrastructure, the IT team at Reliance acsn have no short term plans to add capacity or additional capabilities. Longer term, however, Costinean would like to automate the provisioning and management of the company’s security services, possibly using Nutanix Calm, to enable customers to do more of the work themselves. He also sees the company further embracing public cloud moving forward and believes the company well placed to do this thanks, largely, to its Nutanix infrastructure.