Tintri VM- and Application-Aware Storage Provides High Performance, Reduces Backup Windows, and Simplifies Storage Management
The EU’s Bank
European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s long-term lending institution. Established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, EIB is a “policy-driven bank” whose shareholders are the member states of the EU. The EIB uses its financing operations to bring about European integration and social cohesion. As the largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume, EIB provides financial expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives. More than 90% of the bank’s activities are focused on Europe, but it also supports the EU’s external and development policies.
Rujoiu Razvan is the head of the Infrastructure Services Unit at the EIB. Razvan and his group of IT professionals manage all of the bank’s storage, backup and recovery, operating systems (Linux and Solaris), virtualization, and database environments. EIB had been using EMC VNX storage for its production environments and Sun StorageTek devices for testing and development.
“We made the decision to launch our enterprise-wide virtualization project with our test and dev systems,” Razvan explained. “That physical environment was running on Sun StorageTek appliances. But the StorageTek systems were not able to meet the increased demands of virtualization. We initially considered EMC VNX storage arrays for the virtualization project, since we were already using them in production. But the EMC solution included a lot of extra features we didn’t need for test and dev.”
Razvan and his team decided to look at different storage options for the bank’s test and dev environment. “Tintri Storage was specifically designed for the VMware platform,” Razvan explained. “It’s a perfect match for the needs of our dev and test environment, delivering high performance in an easy-to-manage platform. We decided to run a POC using Tintri, based on its superior technology advantages and favorable total cost of ownership.”
After the successful POC, EIB purchased six Tintri T540 systems for the virtual test/dev environment. “The performance of the Tintri systems was comparable to our corporate production array,” Razvan reported. “Tintri dynamically keeps the most accessed data in high- speed Flash storage, enabling very fast access to our test data. In addition, the load on each of the VMware ESXi servers was reduced, since we were able to offload many key storage tasks to the Tintri systems.”
Razvan also reported that EIB’s IT engineers are now spending far fewer hours managing the Tintri storage than the previous StorageTek devices. “Tintri Global Center provides a single console with key performance indicators for all VMs,” Razvan explained. “That visibility enables us to easily see the performance of each individual virtual machine. Tintri allows us to perform upgrades with no downtime, eliminating the maintenance windows that were necessary when upgrading the former StorageTek systems offline. These features really make the management and maintenance of the Tintri systems almost non-existent.”
Tintri also lowered the cost of power in EIB’s datacenters. “Once we had virtualized everything onto the Tintri units, we were able to decommission many of the StorageTek servers,” Razvan reported. “Our total power consumption dropped by 5% in each of our datacenters when the 6140s were powered off.”
“Our IT team has been very impressed with the Tintri Support organization,” Razvan concluded. “They are very responsive, provide high quality support, and are very proactive. They really understand our needs and our particular use cases. The Tintri support reps have been able to solve all of our problems immediately. The Tintri Web training modules are also very helpful. Four of our IT engineers have already been certified as Tintri Certified SEs, and we are now evaluating Tintri for other use cases here at EIB.”