Online gaming software developer supports 6,000 VMs and hundreds of SQL Servers efficiently and cost-effectively on Tintri storage
South Africa’s Derivco is one of the world’s largest software development houses. “We create software for the online gaming industry,” noted Firoze Bhorat, Environments team at Derivco.
As a software development leader, it comes as little surprise that Derivcos’ Dev/QA environment is fully virtualized, using VMware vSphere with the vCloud Suite management layer. The company had been relying on traditional SAN storage appliances to support its large software development operations. “We upgraded from the existing storage arrays to all-flash systems a few years ago to obtain better performance for our compute-intensive operations,” noted Firoze. “The all-flash systems performed adequately in our corporate datacenter, but we needed to find a more cost-effective solution that could deliver high performance for all of our remote offices. The I/O performance was acceptable, but we ran into serious issues with the way we rip and replace our development environments. We regularly tear down 50% of our infrastructure and rebuild everything with the latest versions. We started seeing significant performance degradations after only a few months on the all-flash systems.”
Looking for a New Storage Platform
After struggling with the performance issues on the existing platform, Derivco decided to look for other storage options. Since Derivco was already using a Tintri system, they decided to see how it would perform for the development and test environment.
“The Tintri system in our datacenter was working very well in terms of performance,” Firoze reported. “Not only was it producing very high I/O, it was very easy to install and use. Once we plugged the unit in, all we had to do was monitor the storage. Since the high I/O and ease of use were giving us quite a bit of flexibility at that remote location, we decided to test the Tintri array for our development environment. The moment we installed the Tintri hybrid flash system, all of the performance issues in our development environment immediately went away.”
Moving to Tintri
Derivco made the decision to purchase two Tintri T540 and four T650 systems for the company’s software development environment. The six Tintri systems are now supporting over 6,000 virtual machines, several hundred MS SQL Servers and application servers, and numerous internally developed services and applications.
“Because of the way we provision our environments – and the way traditional SANs work – we had a lot of hosts that were sharing LUNs,” Firoze explained. “Before Tintri, we could only have eight hosts accessing any copy of our development environment, so we had to create multiple copies for our developers. That was a very time-intensive process that was consuming too much of our storage capacity. That limitation was completely eliminated with the Tintri solution.” Since Tintri operates exclusively in virtual machines, provisioning, cloning, replicating and managing individual VMs takes a fraction of the time when compared to conventional storage.
With Tintri, Bhorat and his team can now quickly provision and maintain all of Derivcos’ test and development environments. “Tintri gives us the ability to deploy our own test and dev environments in minutes,” Firoze reported. “Previously, we had to perform a lot more ‘behind-the-scenes’ activities in order to deliver new environments. As a result, it usually took an hour to complete all of the tasks. Tintri has given us a lot more speed and agility in developing new software.”
Easier Monitoring and Management
The Tintri systems also offer the Environments team a far greater degree of transparency and control, according to Firoze. “Before Tintri, we had to rely on our corporate IT team to provision LUNs and manage the storage for us. We were unable to see what was going on with the arrays, making it impossible to determine which boxes were running at a high I/O. Tintri is a very good system from an investigative perspective – all of the information we need is right there in front of us on the user interface. We can easily hone in on any I/O issues without needing to get our corporate storage admins involved. Tintri has enabled us to resolve issues much faster and reduce our reliance on the other IT teams at Derivco.”
Proactive Technical Support
“Tintris’ Technical Support team is very proactive,” Firoze acknowledged. “We have only had a few interactions with the team so far, but they have all been excellent. We never have to initiate our own trouble tickets. Whenever Tintri Support sees a potential problem or wants to inform us of an upgrade opportunity, we get an email from them before we pick up on the issue. That level of response is quite impressive.”
“Our storage needs are growing very rapidly,” Firoze concluded. “We now have a long list of outstanding environments where we would like to leverage Tintri systems.” When it comes to storage for virtualization, Tintri is leading the way.
Durban, South Africa
VMware vSphere with Cloud Suite (6,000 VMs)
Several hundred Microsoft SQL servers, dozens of application servers, and numerous home-grown applications
Needed a cost-effective, high-performance storage solution to enable expansion internally and to remote datacenters
Existing storage systems were inefficient
All-flash systems experienced performance bottlenecks during scheduled tasks
Tintri VMstore™ T540 and T650 systems
Primary use case
Tintri systems support software development at Derivco's corporate and remote datacenters
Obtained high-performance storage at a lower cost
Eliminated all performance issues during environment rebuilds
Provided the ability to quickly provision new test and dev environments
Enabled the development team to resolve issues faster, reducing their reliance on the corporate storage team