Hellmann Australia dumps SAN

Logistics company cuts racks by dumping blade servers for converged infrastructure

David Attana, Hellman Worldwide Logistics' IS manager for Oceania, Middle East and Africa.

David Attana, Hellman Worldwide Logistics' IS manager for Oceania, Middle East and Africa.

Logistics company, Hellmann Australia, has moved from a conventional blade server and SAN setup to converged infrastructure in order to switch from big bang upgrades to incremental storage and compute capacity increases.

The subsidiary of the German-headquartered Hellmann Worldwide Logistics group in May this year switched out its IBM BladeCenter and SAN for Nutanix appliances, said David Attana, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics' IS manager for Oceania, Middle East and Africa.

"We were reaching our capacity limits for storage and we were reaching the limits of the BladeCenter in terms of processing and memory," Attana said.

"We also had a number of issues with throughput between all the blade systems and the SAN," he added.

He said the choice was between upgrading the blade-server setup and SAN or going down the converged infrastructure route.

"When we looked at the cost of replacing our as-is solution versus changing to this sort of technology, the cost was fairly comparable — it wasn't that there was some saving or something like this that moved us this way," Attana said.

Instead the ability to meet the needs of incremental growth in storage and compute requirements by adding extra appliances was the deciding factor.

"If we're running short on storage, we can go and add a new node and we make it storage heavy. If our issue next year or the year after is CPU or memory, then we'll load up the next node being more RAM- and CPU-heavy. We can just add it and it's seamlessly integrated into the environment."

The company worked with reseller Cloud Solutions Group on the deployment.

The Hellmann IS manager said that improved IOPS had allowed the logistics company to complete the virtualization of its server environment.

"We were able to virtualise all these database servers which were the only servers not virtualized before, simply because the high IOPS that we can get."

Hellmann Australia is now planning to replace its second BladeCenter system, which runs the company's virtual desktop infrastructure, with Nutanix appliances in mid-2015.

"We had a pressing and urgent need to replace the virtual server environment first so we thought we we'll do that and we'll see how that goes. Obviously it was quite a success so we feel very confident now in saying we'll do the exact same thing with the virtual desktop environment."

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