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BrightCloud Builds a Brighter Future on Tintri

Tintri Provides the Simplicity, Performance, Functionality, and Visibility Needed for BrightCloud’s Hybrid Cloud Service

IT Challenges

BrightCloud provides enterprise-grade managed and cloud-based services focusing on Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix technology. Established in 2000, BrightCloud now supports nearly 50 small and medium-sized businesses from its central operations center in the UK and three hosted data centers.

Prior to purchasing Tintri, BrightCloud had standardized on traditional fiber channel storage systems) and HP rack-mounted servers. “We were spending far too much time managing all of the LUNs and volumes on those legacy storage systems,” said Mark Curry, Technical Operations Manager at BrightCloud Technologies. “We had silos of infrastructure and information, and we had to send our admins to a lot of vendor training courses to be proficient on all of those solutions and management tools.”

Troubleshooting and optimizing performance issues were also a challenge in the previous environment. “We had to do quite a bit of crude load-balancing, moving things around from one LUN to another to try and improve performance,” said Andy Grover, Technical Director, BrightCloud Technologies. “It was a bit of an educated guess process to be honest because the tools that we had didn't give us the visibility we needed to determine exactly where the issues were.”

When it came time for an infrastructure refresh, BrightCloud decided to look at the latest offerings from hyper-converged infrastructure providers in addition to traditional storage solutions, and Tintri. “I first saw Tintri at a VMware User Group event in the UK,” Curry said. “I also watched a number of technical web sessions and was very impressed with the technology. Tintri has a much simpler approach to managing storage. Not having to deal with LUNs and volumes would be a huge benefit for our organization. Performance visibility was another key factor in our decision, along with the guarantee that no single VM will suffer due to the load of another.”

Solution

“We ran a PoC on Tintri because we wanted to make sure that multiple heavy workloads would not affect each other,” Grover said. “The systems performed beautifully, so we decided to go ahead with the purchase.”

BrightCloud bought the Tintri solution of VMstore systems and Tintri Global Center, and deployed them at separate data centers in an active-active configuration. Workloads now running on Tintri include the company’s development and test environment, file/print/AD services; Web servers; Microsoft Exchange; Microsoft SharePoint; Microsoft SQL, and Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop deployments with over 8,000 users.

Results

Single Pane of Glass Management

BrightCloud is using Tintri Global Center (TGC) to manage its storage environment. “We really like the overviews we get with TGC, and the key metrics are brilliant,” Curry reported. “We can see real-time information on our IOPS, throughput, and latency. It’s great that we can observe how individual VMs are performing. This is the first time we've had a single pane of glass management for our environment. We used to spend at least a half a day per week managing the legacy storage environment. With Tintri, there is essentially no storage management needed at all.”

Tintri Global Center is also helping BrightCloud troubleshoot performance issues. “Prior to using TGC, all issues had to be escalated to the correct member of our staff who had access to the legacy storage management tools and the advanced knowledge to use those systems,” Curry explained. “It used to take hours to get any usable statistics. Now, any member of our service team can look into Tintri Global Center and see VM-level metrics and historical trends in a matter of seconds.”

“As a manager, I can log into TGC with a read-only account and see everything I need,” noted Grover. “I was never allowed anywhere near the old storage management tools! With Tintri, I have visibility into things I would have never seen before, without having to ask my team to run any reports for me.”

Faster Performance

“Our customers have been absolutely delighted with the performance increases they’ve seen on the Tintri platform,” Grover said. “One of our clients called to ask us if their report was working properly because it used to take 30 minutes and it was now finishing in less than two minutes. They were sure it was broken!”

Smaller Footprint

BrightCloud’s legacy storage infrastructure filled up two full racks in the company data center and consumed 6 amps of power. By moving to Tintri, they were able to eliminate an entire rack of infrastructure, saving over 1200 pounds ($1500) per month in data center rack space and associated power.

Tintri Support

"Tintri support has been fantastic,” Curry said. “They are always very quick to respond and keep me up-to-date on any cases or questions. To be honest, I very rarely need to talk to them, since most of the cases we have raised were during our initial adoption. Once we implemented Tintri, it just works.”

Future Plans

BrightCloud is now planning to develop a new DR-as-a-service solution on Tintri. “We run small private clouds for our customers that have special needs, including particular performance requirements, restrictions on control, or where they can store their data. We operate in hybrid mode with other cloud providers, to make use of the scale, volume, and cost efficiencies of the public cloud. Tintri is powering the internal clouds that we offer our clients, with all of the scalability and agility of a public cloud environment.”


Highlights

Industry

Cloud Service Provider

Geography

Daventry, United Kingdom

Virtualization environment

VMware vSphere

Traditional Storage

Key challenges

Needed a solution that was easier to manage

Unable to plan a storage capacity with business growth

Running out of storage capacity

Tintri solution

Tintri Global Center

Tintri VMstore systems

Primary use case

Infrastructure as a Service platform providing hosting for varied workloads including, Web servers; Microsoft Exchange; Microsoft SharePoint; and Microsoft SQL; file/print/AD services, Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop

Business benefits

• Eliminate storage-focused maintenance

• Increased visibility, enabling faster troubleshooting across infrastructure

• Improved performance—reports that took 30 minutes now take 2 minutes

• Saved on datacenter and power costs

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