Shannex Simplifies IT Management with Nutanix


Founded in 1988, Shannex Incorporated is a leader in seniors’ accommodation, service and care. It provides home care, retirement living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home care in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario.




Simplify IT management and improve end user experience


  • Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform
    • Acropolis Data Services
    • AHV hypervisor
    • Prism management
    • Citrix XenDesktop


  • Increased speed of access to patient records
  • Enabled non-disruptive infrastructure upgrades
  • Saved >$80K in hypervisor licensing


Shannex was looking for a better way to streamline its IT management and improve system performance in order to maintain its high quality of patient care.


Greg Heard, IT Director at Shannex, evaluated several infrastructure options consisting of separate SANs, servers, and switches. He then expanded the search to include Nutanix Enterprise Cloud systems. “Nutanix provided two major advantages,” Heard explained. “First, AHV would be much more cost-effective for us compared to licensing a separate hypervisor. The second was ease of use. Traditional SAN and server infrastructures require dedicated storage administrators, networking, and server specialists. In contrast, Nutanix is so intuitive that we’d only need an IT generalist. It would enable us to grow our infrastructure without having to add headcount.”

Heard decided to test the Nutanix solution in 2016. “With our partner, ABMIS, we developed a VDI platform using Citrix XenDesktop, and performed time trials to compare our existing technology with Nutanix,” Heard said. “The Nutanix systems performed so well that we ended up leveraging the platform for our server environment as well.” Shannex is now running many of its systems, databases, and applications on the Nutanix platform.


A Fast Deployment

“Nutanix helped us with the install,” Heard said. “It only took 30 minutes to get the entire platform up and running. I was quite amazed, since traditional infrastructure deployments usually take several weeks.”

Better Performance

“By moving to Nutanix, we saw a 40% improvement in payroll processing times,” Heard reported. “Our desktops are also a lot faster and our healthcare staff can now access their patient care applications in only a few seconds.”

Moving to the Nutanix AHV Hypervisor

“AHV is much more intuitive than the other hypervisors,” Heard admitted. “Everything is naturally where you think you would find it, and it doesn’t over complicate the process of working with the hypervisor. We used to send our admins to 4-day training courses to work with the VMware hypervisor. With Nutanix, they can easily learn how to use AHV on the job.”

Improving Backup and Recovery

“With Nutanix, we can take snapshots of our systems every four hours and retain copies for 30 days to one year, depending on the criticality of the data,” said Heard. “DR restorations now only take seconds vs. several days with traditional infrastructure and tape backups. This has significantly increased our DR capabilities. Plus, we aren’t afraid to upgrade our systems in the middle of the day anymore. We just grab a snapshot of our environment, and rest assured that if the upgrade doesn’t work correctly, we can quickly go back to the snapshotted copy.”

Reducing Datacenter Footprint and Power

“If we had chosen a traditional SAN, server, and switch-based architecture, it would have filled at least an entire rack. In contrast, Nutanix fits in just 6U. Nutanix is definitely enabling us to keep our data center footprint and power costs down,” noted Heard.

Nutanix helped us with the install. It only took 30 minutes to get the entire platform up and running. I was quite amazed, since traditional infrastructure deployments usually take several weeks.

Greg Heard, IT Director at Shannex