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CENTRIA Builds a Solid IT Foundation Using Tintri Storage Systems

Tintri Provides Higher Performance and Simplifies Management for VDI and Enterprise Production Applications

Overview

CENTRIA is a leader in the commercial construction industry, providing cutting-edge, high performance products and services that are also aesthetically pleasing and sustainable. Founded over 100 years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CENTRIA now brings a unique combination of engineering, design, manufacturing, and construction high-level expertise to hundreds of distinctive projects around the world.

IT Challenges

Jaison Bailley is a Senior Systems Engineer at CENTRIA. He is responsible for the company’s VMware vSphere virtualization environment, Dell EqualLogic storage systems, and all networking infrastructure. “We have a fairly small team of IT generalists,” noted Bailley. “Since we don’t have a dedicated storage administrator, all of the solutions we choose must be easy to manage. The Tintri system, being VM-aware, enables us to monitor and troubleshoot an issue under one pane of glass.”

CENTRIA was also doing a POC to test and possibly move its main ERP system from an AS/400 environment to a Windows Server environment. “We currently use J.D. Edwards World that only runs on an expensive AS/400 and management was looking into moving that application onto a Microsoft and SQL server setup and and migrate to J.D. Edwards EnterpriseOne. This would enable our end users to get a better interface and experience that would enable them to do their job better. It would also reduce our time to restore the ERP system if we had to declare a disaster.” noted Bailley. “The Tintri storage platform is fast, easy to use and integrated well within our VMware environment. “CENTRIA needed a storage solution that could handle our high end production applications and integrate with their VDI needs and Tintri fit that need.”

Finding Tintri

The CENTRIA IT team started to search for a new storage platform for the company’s production environment. “We first heard about Tintri at VMworld,” Bailley reported. “There were several things that stood out about the Tintri solution. We liked the VMware integration that Tintri offers with the hardware accelerators and API plug-ins. Tintri’s licensing model is also very straightforward, much simpler and more transparent than what the other vendors offered.” 

Moving to Tintri

CENTRIA conducted a 45-day proof of concept test on a Tintri T820 system. “We put our EnterpriseOne ERP test servers and some other high transactional VM’s on the Tintri system and were amazed at the results,” Bailley reported.

After the successful POC, CENTRIA purchased a Tintri T820 system for the company’s production datacenter and are in the process of moving their Dell EqualLogic systems over to the disaster recovery site to serve as a DR target. “We were able to deploy the Tintri unit within one hour,” Bailley said. “It was very easy to deploy and manage, exactly what the Tintri SE told us.”

Tintri Benefits

The Tintri systems are very easy to use, according to Bailley. “With Tintri, I don’t need to get a special certification to figure out how to provision and manage our storage. Tintri provides visibility down to the VM level. With all of the intuitive tools and dashboard, we can easily determine if any latency in our environment is due to issues with the network, host, or the storage systems. It is nice to have all of the information in one place.”

“We used thin provisioning when we moved all of our applications over to the Tintri,” Bailley reported. “We achieved a lot of space savings with Tintri’s de-duplication, thin provisioning, and compression. The space savings were much greater than any of the other SANs that we previously had in our environment.”

Tintri Support

Bailley was also impressed with the Tintri Support experience. “I have only called Tintri support one time,” Bailley reported. “It was right after I moved 15 virtual machines moved over to the Tintri. They all said they were thin provisioned, but I had one VM that wasn’t getting all of the savings I had expected. So I called Tintri Support and they figured it out within five minutes. Apparently, I didn’t check a data store during a restore to see what was going on. By looking at the Tintri dashboard, Tintri Support was able to identify the problem. It turns out that it wasn’t a Tintri issue, but the support reps were still able to find the source of the problem very quickly.”

Future Plans

CENTRIA currently has 35 virtual desktops and is planning to expand that number very soon.“The Tintri systems are providing the level of performance we needed for our EnterpriseOne and VDI deployment. We now plan on using Tintri as our default storage platform for high transactional VM’s moving forward,” concluded Bailley. 


Highlights

Geography

Pittsburgh, PA

Virtualization environment

VMware vSphere 5.5

VMware Horizon 5.3

Traditional storage: Dell EqualLogic

VM profile

Oracle JD Edwards Enterprise One ERP Application Suite

Key challenges

Needed faster and more reliable storage for enterprise applications and VDI expansion

Tintri solution

Tintri VMstore™ T820 systems

Primary use case

Tintri is being used as the default storage platform for all high transactional virtual enterprise applications and the virtual desktop environment

Business benefits

Obtained faster performance for business-critical applications

Simplified management 

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