- Flexible hyperconverged infrastructure helped Simple Helix meet changing compliance requirements
- Support for microsegmentation, multitenancy, and other advanced features enabled provider to tailor customer environments for specific needs
- Enhanced performance enable provider to support supercomputing and other compute-intensive offerings
- VMware VCloud Director
Based in Huntsville, AL, Simple Helix is a top provider of a variety of Internet, data center and cloud services, as well as managed IT offerings to customers throughout the region. Agility is the name of the game for managed service providers, and Simple Helix is constantly refining its infrastructure to provide the features and capabilities its clients demand and keep pace with constantly changing compliance requirements. To stay ahead of the curve, Simple Helix decided to upgrade its multi-cloud environment to a more flexible hyperconverged infrastructure. With Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, Simple Helix can take advantage of a nimble solution that enables it to manage all its customer offerings, including VMware environments, through a single pane of glass. Today, Simple Helix is rapidly diversifying its service offerings and expanding its market reach.
The flexibility that Nutanix delivers is truly significant. Literally each day, we are given a new set of compliance requirements for security. Nutanix lets us apply specific policies to our cloud environments to make sure we can meet government guidelines. The flexibility provides a substantial return on our investment, and more importantly, it gives us power. I can walk into any boardroom, tell a customer that we can meet their needs, and Nutanix enables us to deliver.Greg Clements, COO, Simple Helix
Simple Helix offers a rich set of services and capabilities to support customers through the entire lifecycle of their investment. Its managed services team supports organizations’ entire ecosystems, from the cloud to the keyboard. To deliver these service offerings, Simple Helix relies on a sophisticated cloud network infrastructure. When its existing environment could not provide the flexibility and scalability required to support evolving customer requirements, Simple Helix sought a solution that would deliver the control and simplicity it required.
“We have an impressive new data center in Huntsville, AL, and we really pulled out all the stops to get it built,” said Lucas Giordano, Senior Cloud Engineer at Simple Helix. “Some of the most important requirements we were trying to meet for the new data center were lots of government accreditations such as the rigorous FedRAMP compliance process. We wanted a solution that would enable us to meet these certification requirements, while providing flexibility to respond to new customer needs fast."
After considering a variety of offerings, Simple Helix migrated its data center to the Nutanix Cloud Platform. “Nutanix checks all the boxes to enable us to go from a data center with a rack to a platform of servers that you can give customers the resources they require,” said Giordano. “We can provide a virtual machine, or self-service environment where they can log onto a web interface, deploy their own servers, and take advantage of a sandbox of resources. Nutanix lets us meet all those demands.”
Each organization has specific needs and platform requirements, and Nutanix smoothly co-exists with Simple Helix’ VMware elements, enabling the provider to deliver the right solution to the right client, every time. “We have had a lot of different types of customers asking for different features,” said Giordano. “We have both the VMware hypervisor and Nutanix AHV both running on the Nutanix platform, which greatly simplifies management for us.”
Simple Helix was particularly impressed by Nutanix Flow’s ability to provide advanced networking and security features to visualize, analyze, and govern customer environments. “Microsegmentation and software-defined networking are effectively a checkbox in the Nutanix environment. With VMware VNSX, providing these features requires an order of magnitude of additional complexity. Multitenancy features are basically enabled by default in Nutanix. It’s crazy how much simpler it is to deploy, at lower cost.”
With its flexible, scalable Nutanix solution, Simple Helix can turn on a dime to meet most any customer requirement, to differentiate itself in a fiercely competitive space. “The amazing thing about Nutanix is that it is so nimble,” said Clements. “Our Nutanix platform has allowed us to do some things that we had never dreamed of doing, such as leverage compute on demand,” Now our customers can buy compute by the hour. That’s a capability that the solution wasn’t designed specifically to deliver, but it’s so agile that we can tell a customer that we can provide it, and make it happen.”
Nutanix also performs much more efficiently than the provider’s previous platform, to support even more innovative services. “One of our compute-on-demand customers had been running tests on their previous site that took 48 hours,” said Clements. “We allotted the customer six Nutanix VMs, and were able to run the same workloads in just ten hours. In fact, we could have done it in just minutes if the customer’s software had been able to keep up. The power in these boxes lets us think outside the box, and do things we never thought we would.”
Nutanix gives Simple Helix the ability to move forward with confidence as it prepares to launch new services in the years ahead. “One of the most important things to me in cloud management is peace of mind,” said Giordano. “I trust my infrastructure because of Nutanix, and that’s important to me.”
“Nutanix just does its job,” added Clements. “We ask it to do crazy things, and it simply performs. I don’t know how you could pay a solution a higher compliment than that.”