A high performance, scalable and simplified enterprise cloud architecture
Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform – 44 nodes comprising NX3460s, NX6235s and NX1350s across two datacentres
- A tenfold improvement in performance
- Production footprint per datacentre reduced by 60%
- 30% reduction in transaction latency
- Expansion with US-based data centre without the need for additional staff
Underpinned by a 29-year-heritage following its acquisition by Kalixa, PXP is driving a revolution in the card payment processing sector. Every year 1,900 merchants are served and 150 million payment transactions processed, equating to some 15 billion Euros in payment value.
Since the business’ conception in 1987, the operating environment has experienced significant transformation with the explosion of e‑commerce pushing security to the top of the agenda and the expectations of a 24/7 retail and e-tail culture intensifying the demands on service, delivery and performance.
To differentiate the offering in this increasingly commoditised and competitive arena, PXP focuses on empowering customers to derive strategic value from the broader opportunities around the payment process. From security and fraud management to business intelligence which drives growth and strengthens customer relationships, the end result is an enriched customer experience and a competitive advantage.
Coming to the end of its lifespan and facing the challenge of increasing demands for server capacity, PXP’s existing three-tier infrastructure comprising Dell Servers, Pillar Axiom Storage and VMware ESXi was no longer sustainable for a business on the cusp of expansion in the US in the wake of a major contract win delivering EMV functionality.
While the existing environment was already virtualised, the servers in place were still being managed in the traditional way, which meant only a fraction of the full potential was achieved. As well as the spiralling costs, the complexity of the three- tier architecture was proving to be labour intensive for the small and generalist IT team tasked with managing it.
New data centres in New Jersey, London and Stanstead Abbotts prompted an acute requirement for a resilient, cost effective and predictive IT infrastructure to support the growth and maintain agile responses in a fast-paced, compliance- heavy environment.
With thoughts turning to replacement architecture, PXP began to consider a new approach that would harness the innovation and opportunities presented by enterprise cloud platforms.
Having initially come across Nutanix through an advert, the PXP team had already earmarked the enterprise cloud platform as a compelling proposition, through its drive to make the data centre invisible and raise the IT enterprise bar even higher. And bolstered by a recommendation from next generation technology specialists and Nutanix Premier Partner I-BIT, who with a proven track record in Data Centre Transformation with Software-Defined Solutions also helped with the deployment, a decision was made.
At the heart of the offering is the ability to leverage web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge compute, virtualisation and storage into a resilient solution with rich machine intelligence.
Comprising Nutanix Acropolis, a turnkey infrastructure platform, and Nutanix Prism, a management and analytics solution, it quickly established itself as the most viable option to replace the existing three-tier architecture. Prism’s analytical credentials were placed at the heart of the central control plane of PXP’s global data centres. By transforming the usually complex process of network expansion through an easy to use, scalable ‘pay as you grow’ model, the solution was entirely aligned to PXP’s core needs for scale-out architecture. And the ability to enhance the core processing environment’s capacity and performance in minutes simply by adding computing nodes, offered the flexibility needed to adapt the environment accordingly, depending on the peaks and troughs of network demand for global coverage with no down time.
“The people at Nutanix were the bridge that enabled us to go for something out of the norm”.
With a radical new approach on the agenda, the PXP team had the usual concerns that arise with unknown territory and disruptive technology. As such, the personable and accessible approach of the Nutanix team, proved to be instrumental in building confidence in the solution and making the transition a straightforward and seamless reality. This was cemented by the synergies between the two companies that were evident from the outset, including the mutual drive to do things differently through technology to simplify complex processes.
SLASHED COSTS AND TENFOLD PERFORMANCE BOOST
From slashing the total ownership costs to generating a tenfold improvement in performance, the Nutanix solution has made a big impact in a short space of time. With a 30% improvement on latency associated with the SQL servers, PXP is currently processing tens of millions of transactions a month, while the amount of power and racks used have also been reduced.
Testament to the reliability of the new approach is the ease in which the data centre expansion has taken place, without the usual associated upheaval or need for any additional investment in staff.
Since the implementation, PXP’s processing capacity in terms of transactions per second have soared, as has the confidence in PXP’s merchant customers, who know that a solution is in place to best respond to an operating environment which is in a constant flux of change such as the heightened network demands sparked by the major retail events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be easily met with no disruption.
And safe in the knowledge that the core processes are being effectively managed, PXP is able to focus on the innovation that can evolve the offering even further, such as driving the latest payment technology,such as PXP’s Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) is the latest payment technology.
This was an opportunity to look again at how we deploy IT, to consider a different model and really work out what is the best way of doing this.Mike Day, Managing Director, PXP