Redmond is a large city in the State of Washington located northeast of Seattle, with a residential population of approximately 60,000.
Aging NetApp and HP infrastructure was due for a refresh. Forklift upgrades were painful and storage administration was far too complex
- Nutanix Acropolis NX-8000 series systems
- VMware ESXi
- Eliminated 8 hours per week of storage management
- Obtained linear scalability and non-disruptive upgrades
- Reduced datacenter footprint from 3 cabinets to 1, saving 1/3 of UPS power
Keith Laycock and Simrat Sekhon are network systems engineers for the City of Redmond. They are responsible for managing the City’s networking and server infrastructure and operations. “There were a lot of moving components in our previous environment,” explained Laycock. “We were using HPE servers, VMware for virtualization, Brocade switches for the SAN traffic, and NetApp storage. Trying to maintain all of that disparate infrastructure was a nightmare.”
When it came time to refresh the aging infrastructure, Laycock and Sekhon were challenged by management to look for more innovative IT solutions. “NetApp maintenance is incredibly high once the systems are out of warranty,” explained Sekhon. “Plus, this was our third NetApp upgrade and we were ready to try something more efficient and leading-edge. We needed to find a product that would save us time, with the high performance and reliability needed to run the City’s applications and services.”
The City’s IT team evaluated several vendors’ infrastructure options, including solutions from Tintri, Pure Storage, HPE, and EMC. “We felt that the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud was the best and most mature platform out of all of them,” noted Laycock. “The hyperconverged solution would dramatically minimize the amount of infrastructure we would need. Nutanix is the complete package.” After checking with several regional Nutanix references, all with stellar recommendations, the City of Redmond had the confidence to go forward with the deployment without running a POC. The Nutanix systems are now supporting the City’s production VM environment. They are also using a second Nutanix system for site-to-site replication to a secondary disaster recovery site at a geographically distant City location. “When everything is deployed, we’ll have approximately 105-120 production server VMs running on Nutanix,” said Laycock.
Simplified Management and Better Visibility
“Nutanix has given us a lot of visibility into the storage fabric,” explained Sekhon. “We can log into the Prism console and immediately see how our infrastructure is performing. Previously, we had to use multiple tools to understand our environment. Now, we have just one place to go that provides all of the information we need.”
“It took over eight hours each week to manage our NetApp and HPE infrastructure,” Laycock said. “We had to configure the LUNs, provision new servers, and spend a lot of time setting everything up. The Nutanix systems have been live for over six months, and we’ve hardly touched them at all. Nutanix is set up to do automatic reporting, so we always know what’s going on in terms of capacity usage and performance.”
“We really like Nutanix’s non-disruptive upgrades,” added Sekhon. “We just open the Prism console, download the files, and perform the one-click upgrades. Plus with Nutanix, we can upgrade everything without having to schedule any downtime.”
“We used to over-provision our NetApp infrastructure, since it was so difficult to add more capacity,” said Laycock. “With Nutanix, we can buy just what we need upfront, plus a little more for growth, and quickly add another node to the environment as new workloads come online.”
Sekhon reported that system performance had increased since the move to Nutanix. “We haven’t heard any complaints about application speed since we moved to Nutanix,” he said. “In IT, if you don’t hear from your end users, it’s always a good thing.”
“Several of our major IT projects were put on hold this year because there were contingencies on storage and manpower. Since we no longer have to worry about storage management and provisioning, we can focus on delivering new applications and better services for the City of Redmond,” concluded Laycock.
Since we no longer have to worry about storage management and provisioning, we can focus on delivering new applications and better services for the City of Redmond.Keith Laycock, Network Systems Engineer, City of Redmond