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Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare Moves Up to Tintri Storage

Tintri Systems Eliminate Application Latency, Simplify Storage Management, and Enable the Launch of new VDI Initiative

Company Background

Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (“Terveyden ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos” in Finnish, or THL) is a research and development institute operating under the country’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. THL’s mission is to promote the welfare and health of the people of Finland, preventing diseases and social problems, and developing social and health care activities and services.

IT Challenges

“We were having constant problems with our EMC storage systems,” noted Antti Lipponen, System Specialist for the Government ICT Centre at THL. “Our virtual environment was creating a lot of stress on the legacy storage systems, with latencies in excess of several hundred milliseconds. We knew it was time to look for a more powerful storage solution for our virtual machines.”

Evaluating the Alternatives

Lipponen started the search by evaluating storage solutions from nearly every enterprise infrastructure vendor, including IBM, NetApp, Hitachi, Fujitsu, and several others. “Our IT partner in Finland recommended that we take a look at Tintri,” Lipponen said. “Their advice has always been excellent, so we decided to run a proof of concept demo on the Tintri T540 system.”

Choosing Tintri

Lipponen and his team then conducted a three-month proof of concept on the Tintri system. “The test was so successful that we made the decision to purchase the Tintri system,” noted Lipponen. “We kept the demo unit from the POC and bought one more. Both systems are now running our production workloads. The two T540s are located in separate data centers, and we replicate our most important VMs between the two locations every night.”

A Fast and Easy Deployment

“The Tintri deployment was really simple,” according to Lipponen. “They sent a technician out to our site, and the installation took less than an hour. We were quite amazed at the speed, since it always took several days to deploy the legacy EMC systems. All of our applications are running extremely well on Tintri. Latencies have been reduced from several hundred milliseconds to well under 1ms in all cases.”

Simplifying Management

“Tintri is the easiest storage system to manage that I have ever seen,” noted Lipponen. “You don’t have to do any major maintenance on the systems at all. Once you set the values for protection on each virtual machine, you’re done. You don’t have to worry about underlying LUNs, RAID groups, or anything else. Our storage admins had been spending a lot of time trying to solve problems in the legacy EMC environment. All of that administrative overhead has gone away with Tintri. The systems always work as expected without any intervention.”

Proactive Support

“Tintri support is top-notch,” Lipponen reported. “The devices are continually sending their current status back to Tintri. We know immediately if something is wrong or needs tuning, without having to submit a trouble ticket. Tintri Support is very proactive. If they see a way that we can improve performance or optimize our environment, they call us. That’s really quite refreshing, because with EMC, we had to call them for help or advice.”

Launching a New Virtual Desktop Initiative

The high performance and manageability of the Tintri systems has enabled THL to launch a new VDI initiative. “Tintri promised that we could easily support our VDI deployment on the T540 systems, so we went ahead and tried it,” said Lipponen. “The performance was so good that we are now expanding our VDI footprint from 30 desktops to 100 simultaneous users. It was a nice surprise that Tintri really could handle all of our virtual servers as well as our VDI environment. Moving to Tintri was one of the smartest IT decisions we have ever made.”


Highlights

Geography

Helsinki, Finland

Virtualization environment

Traditional storage: EMC

VM profile

Numerous large databases and enterprise applications

Key challenges

EMC systems were not able to provide adequate performance for virtual workloads.

Tintri solution

Two Tintri VMstore™ T540 systems

Primary use case

Tintri is being used for all production VMs and VDI environments

Business benefits

Eliminated all application latencies

Reduced storage system management burden

Provided the ability to launch a new VDI initiative

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