Needed new server and storage infrastructure that could support key enterprise applications with high performance, management simplicity, in a smaller footprint.
Nutanix NX Series
- Reduced remote desktop logon time by 50%
- Cut datacenter rack space from 42U to 7U
- Dramatically lowered power bills
- Simplified storage and server management
Bauer Built Tire was relying on 22 Dell blade and rack servers with direct-attached storage supporting all enterprise applications. The IT infrastructure was old, out of warranty, and no longer supported. Performance was inadequate for the company’s 160 users, and occasionally an application froze and the associated server had to be rebooted. The equipment stretched and sprawled across three racks in the datacenter. “We wanted to obtain faster and leaner IT infrastructure,” recalled Charlie Kavaloski, director of IT at Bauer Built Tire. “We started our search for a new solution that was simpler by design, highly manageable, and would fit in a smaller footprint in our datacenter.”
Instead of choosing traditional blades, compute, and SAN storage, Bauer Built Tire made the decision to adopt web-scale and hyperconverged infrastructure with the purchase of two Nutanix NX-2000 systems in 2012. “The setup was fast—it took just half a day to have both of the systems up and running,” noted Kavaloski. “We went from non-virtualized single Dell servers, to virtualizing everything with VMware. Our first two Nutanix systems are now being used to support 23 virtual machines running our email, file servers, terminal servers, SQL databases, business intelligence tools, payroll application, and a VDI pilot project using Citrix XenDesktop.”
Bauer Built Tire purchased an additional Nutanix node for disaster recovery in January of 2016, and deployed the system at the company’s colocation facility in Minnesota. “We are now running our Cisco Call Manager software on that system, and are planning to move more of our clustered services, including our Citrix server farm and a couple of other email services, over to Nutanix in the next few months,” Kavaloski explained.
“In the four years we’ve been running all of our production workloads on Nutanix, we’ve had zero downtime—except for one power outage that was unrelated to the Nutanix technology,” Kavaloski reported. “User response times on all of our applications are much faster. Remote desktop logon times fell by 50%, and the time to generate models with our business intelligence tool dropped from several minutes to just 45 seconds. We are also able to carve complex data cubes with our business intelligence tool 40% faster using the Nutanix solution. This enables our business analysts to look at scenarios they were unable to previously.”
By moving to the first two Nutanix systems, datacenter rack space fell from 42U to 7U. “It was impressive to see the pile of servers and wires we pulled out of the racks when we replaced the old 3-tier infrastructure,” added Kavaloski. Power bills at the corporate office also dropped dramatically after Nutanix was installed. The battery backup system now delivers 260 minutes of runtime after a power outage, compared to 23 minutes with the old infrastructure, an 11x improvement.
Bauer Built Tire is now preparing to migrate to AHV (Nutanix native hypervisor) “Our four-year-old NX-2000 systems are not compatible with AHV,” noted Kavaloski. “That’s actually not a problem, just another great reason to upgrade to the newer Nutanix systems with much more power and additional features. As soon as we reach end-of-life on the two NX-2000 systems this winter, we are planning to upgrade to AHV so we can avoid paying VMware’s high licensing costs. From what I have seen and heard about AHV, it’s as good—if not better—than the VMware hypervisor, so that’s our plan.”
“I love telling my peers about all of the benefits of the Nutanix infrastructure, how good the support organization is, and how well the Nutanix engineers take care of their customers,” Kavaloski concluded. “Our plan is to run Nutanix as our primary mode of storage and compute for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to predict exactly what workloads we will need to support over the next ten years and where we are headed as a company, but Nutanix will enable us to change and adapt quickly to all changes from a business and IT perspective. It’s simply the right solution for us.”
I love telling my peers about all of the benefits of the Nutanix infrastructure, how good the support organization is, and how well the Nutanix engineers take care of their customers.Charlie Kavaloski, Director of IT at Bauer Built Tire