Company forges partnership to offer customer-specific multi-cloud concepts
Hamburg-based Nexinto manages approximately 20% of the entire German e-commerce market from its two data centers, including the operations of some of Germany’s largest online retailers. The company provides customer-specific managed environments and services for IT-virtualization, digital workplaces, cyber-security, business intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Looking at the future – getting ready for the multi-cloud
In addition to being one of the leading providers of customer-specific IT-services, Nexinto also hosts customer platforms with varying requirements. The company plans, builds and manages complex IT-infrastructures from its own data centers, directly from customers’ environment or within the public cloud. As a result, Nexinto is at the forefront of cloud development and is in a unique position within the market to see how the cloud is being used and adopted in various use cases.
Philip Reisberger, Chief Strategy Officer at Nexinto, explains how the cloud market has been changing: “The infrastructure of the future is driven by software, offering full flexibility. In general, we don’t talk about infrastructure anymore as that is an approach that is too inflexible. The term ‘hybrid cloud’ is also too small to describe how cloud technologies are used today. The ‘multi-cloud’ is already a reality for customers with use cases that include all cloud concepts and aim to get the best possible solution for every scenario. However, this multi-cloud approach requires new technology on all levels to work effectively.”
As the market shifts to a multi-cloud environment, Nexinto is seeking to improve its offering at all levels to provide the best possible technology to customers. The key to offer a successful multi-cloud approach is a high degree of flexibility on all levels, including storage.
The next evolutionary step of storage: enabling cloud-technologies
After more than 30 years in business as one of the most successful IT providers in Germany, Nexinto had built up a storage environment that included several big parallel systems from established storage vendors. However, the existing storage environment did not suit the organization’s ambition to implement a multi-cloud strategy, so Nexinto began to search for a more intelligent and forward-thinking storage approach.
“When we look at how systems have evolved generally, not just storage, we see that all areas of the data center have changed,” explains Tobias Reisberger, Nexinto’s Chief Digital Officer. “For storage, we wanted to steer clear from the approach of needing a specific solution for every use case, to one that could cover many use cases from customers with varying objectives and strategies.”
Bearing in mind that Nexinto needed to address storage sooner or later, Andre Neumann, Director Supplier Management & Data Privacy at Nexinto, met with Tintri just at the right time: “We met Tintri at an industry event in 2016 and its feature set had us immediately interested. We continued the conversation over the next couple of months and ultimately came to the conclusion that we firmly believed in Tintri’s new approach and its vision from a technical point of view. Tintri’s approach is another evolutionary level of storage that will put us in a position to evolve even further, help us achieve our future goals and it fits ideally into our multi-cloud strategy.”
To test the solution thoroughly, Nexinto made several Proofs of Concept (PoC) with hybrid and all-flash systems and tested the hardware and software in detail, as well as the attached support processes. Neumann sums up: “After testing the solution, we were convinced that the software architecture and Tintri’s overall competency would be the right fit for us.”
Nexinto initially deployed two Tintri VMstore T880s as the basis for its public cloud offering and internal virtualized workloads. As a next step, Nexinto plans to start offering services enabled by Tintri’s technology and then to increase the Tintri footprint for its shared environment step by step, as well as including Tintri VMstore within new managed customer projects.
Advantages of using Tintri
Tintri gives Nexinto full flexibility to use the ideal VMstore of any capacity of all-flash or hybrid arrays for whatever project or customer it might have. One of the biggest advantages Nexinto can leverage is the possibility to guarantee QoS for all virtualized workloads.
Andre Neumann: “We have always guaranteed SLAs to our customers, but offering them on the Tintri platform enables us to prove them to customers in a very transparent way. SLAs have always been part of our work, but with Tintri and the possibilities the QoS feature offers us, including full visibility into all workloads, we can generate value out of these insights. In that sense, Tintri’s QoS feature is an evolutionary step to guarantee SLAs.”
Since Tintri’s architecture makes the management of virtualized workloads on the storage level so much easier, Nexinto can use its resources to work on more important projects than managing storage.
Tobias Reisberger adds: “Since Tintri is so easy to manage, even for non-experts, storage admins that previously had to use a lot of specialized knowledge to administer storage now have much more time to think about higher-ranking issues than managing storage LUNs. This makes those highly skilled specialists even more valuable to our organization.”
Another big advantage in using Tintri is the platform’s clean API, which makes it ideal to work with Nexinto’s existing automation platform and provide automatic storage provision, freeing up storage admins even more.
Building a successful partnership – one VMstore at a time
Working together in a true partnership is one of Nexinto’s core values and it tries to identify vendors that can live up to that goal.
Tobias Reisberger: “We looked at Tintri very thoroughly, not only from a technological perspective but it was imperative that we could work in a true partnership. The decision to work together matured over quite a long time, during that time Tintri demonstrated that it could even build special features into the product in a short time. Our team can now use quotas as a basis for automation and billing, which was not possible before. We are also looking at hosting some of Tintri’s cloud services in Germany, including Tintri Analytics, as they will be easier to market towards local customers wary about the public cloud.”
By simplifying storage management, providing full insight into all workloads and enabling Nexinto to offer new services, Tintri adds a key piece to its multi-cloud strategy. Nexinto is also in a position to offer state of the art services to customers – with the flexibility to be used in any cloud environment and with any hypervisor.