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InfoCert Moves to Tintri for Higher Performance and Simpler Storage Management

InfoCert

Tintri Cuts Admin Time by 75%, Cloning Time by 97%, and Eliminates the Need for Specialized Training

InfoCert

InfoCert S.p.A. is Italy’s first digital certification authority. With offices in Rome, Milan, and Padua, the company offers a wide range of trusted services, including electronic archiving, digital signing, invoicing, and certified electronic mail. Since its inception, InfoCert has issued and managed more than 4,600,000 qualified digital signature certificates for thousands of clients across Europe and around the world.

IT and Business Challenges

InfoCert designs and implements high-profile IT solutions for ‘document dematerialization’
– which is the process of converting paper documents to electronic formats. All of the company’s advanced applications and services place heavy demands on the underlying storage platform. “We were relying on several aging NAS storage systems,” noted Christian Gugliucci, system and storage administrator at InfoCert S.p.A. “Our traditional arrays originally performed adequately, but they were no longer meeting the needs of our demanding customer applications. When multitasking on our existing environment, storage performance would decrease significantly. The biggest impact occurred when we were deduplicating data on the old arrays.”

Gugliucci and his team needed a new storage solution that could provide better performance for the company’s data-intensive applications. In addition to providing higher performance, they also wanted to find a solution that was easier to manage, to reduce operational expense for the storage platform.

The Tintri Solution

The InfoCert IT team ran a POC on the Tintri arrays in 2013. The test was conducted on a small, redundant slice of the company’s VMware production environment in order to verify Tintri’s claims of simplified installation and management. The results more than validated the team’s expectations. When asked why InfoCert then chose Tintri, Gugliucci replied, “We searched for a storage solution with an enterprise write cache feature – other vendors still utilize a read cache feature. We felt that the Tintri approach was the best way to guarantee high performance during our heavy read-write peaks.”

IT and Business Benefits

One of the most significant business benefits InfoCert achieved by migrating to the Tintri solution was the huge simplification in storage administration. “Moving to Tintri reduced the time needed to manage our storage environment from 10 hours per week to just 8-10 hours per month,” noted Gugliucci. “Tintri is an amazing product that requires almost no management.”

Migrating to the Tintri platform has resulted in substantial cost savings for InfoCert. “We achieved a significant reduction in OPEX by moving to Tintri,” noted Gugliucci. “The Tintri platform is so easy to use, we were able to eliminate the specialized training needed to manage our previous storage environment. We can now reassign our storage admins to more strategic IT projects.”

Gugliucci also likes the rapid clone feature of the Tintri arrays. “It used to take 30 minutes just to clone a single VM with our old NAS storage arrays. But with Tintri, we can now easily clone a VM in less than a minute.”

With Tintri, InfoCert no longer has to worry about impacting service performance during storage controller upgrades. “With our previous storage platform, we had to take our systems completely offline for several minutes while upgrading the firmware controller. With Tintri, we can continue operations uninterrupted. Our storage arrays were not impacted at all during our most recent service upgrade.”

Summary

When asked what features were important in the decision to switch to Tintri Storage, Gugliucci concluded, “We really love the automatic start-up of all virtual machines, the high performance, and the huge reduction in maintenance we get with Tintri. Moving to Tintri storage was one of the smartest IT decisions we have ever made.”


Highlights

Geography

Italy

Virtualization environment

Hypervisor: VMware vSphere 5.1

Server: Cisco UCS Software, Release 2.0

Network: Cisco 10GB Ethernet Nexus 5010

VM profile

Applications: MS Exchange, Sendmail

Databases: Oracle 11.2

Key challenges

Reduce OPEX of storage installation and management

Eliminate slow service performance during read/write peaks

Minimize service impact during storage controller maintenance or hardware failures

Tintri solution

TintriVMstoreTMT540

Primary use case

Provide high performance storage for millions of digital signature certificates

Business benefits

Reduced storage management from 10 hours/week to 8-10 hours/month

Cut time to clone virtual machines from 30 minutes to 1 minute

Eliminated the need for specialized training on the storage infrastructure

Reduced OPEX of the storage environment

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