Tintri Simplifies Storage Management, Reduces Datacenter Footprint, and Provides Faster Time to Value
Panasonic System Networks Co., Ltd. was launched in 2013 by merging three Panasonic branded companies. The new company offers a wide variety of solutions, including advanced products, installation, construction, maintenance, and operation in the areas of security, communications, offices, and terminal systems.
Panasonic integrated their main servers onto a virtual platform years ago. Their internal operations were migrated to a cloud system.
“Several challenges that arose when Panasonic implemented its cloud environment,” said Tomoaki Hamayama, Senior Coordinator of Panasonic’s Cloud and Operating Service Center, “One particular problem was the complexity involved, particularly with storage– so much so that it was a challenge finding people on the team with the right expertise to manage the infrastructure to optimize service levels,” noted Hamayama. “In order to reach the goals we set for ourselves, we decided to re-build our existing cloud platform.”
IT Challenges: Storage Management Complexity
Panasonic System Networks then launched a new project to refresh the entire storage infrastructure for the company’s cloud platform. “Our traditional storage was divided according to LUNs and volumes, and any modifications dealing with capacity excess or deficiency were very difficult,” Hamayama explained. “During the design, it was also necessary to understand the performance requirements for each virtual machine. Since we have three service levels, “High,” “Middle,” and “Low,” the complexity and time invested really stretched our IT team to the limits. Moreover, as the legacy storage itself could not recognize the virtual environment, it was also difficult to manage each virtual machine running on the cloud platform.”
Tintri was chosen as the new storage platform after testing showed that it resolved all of Panasonic’s storage issues. It was an added benefit that virtual machines can be viewed from the Tintri GUI (graphic user interface) through Tintri Global Center and operation management can also be done in the same way. As a result, even IT administrators that are not focused on storage can now manage the system.
“Tintri is like a big bucket, and you just have to put more water into it when building up the virtual machines,” Hamayama said. “As we don’t have to manage the creation of LUNs and volumes in our storage design as before, it is now possible to efficiently realize our goal of simpler cloud operations. I really feel Tintri is a product with an excellent design concept.”
Cutting Storage Build Times and Datacenter Footprint
Tintri storage is now being used for Panasonic’s “High” and “Middle” service level systems that have strict performance requirements. “Speaking from experience, the design of a storage environment that meets our system requirements used to take about two weeks,” noted Hamayama. “However with Tintri, the process was completed quickly and the build times were cut in half. Plus, the power savings with Tintri are also significant, as the footprint is only one-third of the previous architecture.”
Faster Provisioning Leads to Improved Service Levels
In addition to shorter build times and a smaller datacenter footprint, Panasonic has seen a dramatic reduction in the time it takes to provision virtual machines. In the past, the process of creating a virtual machine from a previously defined template took several tens of minutes at least.* “It now only takes a few seconds to create a virtual machine with Tintri,” said Hamayama. “This really surprised me. The fact that virtual machines can be created in such a short time means that we can continue to improve service to our end users.”
Better Performance Leads to Happier Users
Implementing Tintri storage performance resulted in better performance for the company’s cloud platform. With Tintri, Panasonic is now able to optimize its Quality of Service (QoS) for the company’s web and database servers. Hamayama smiled, “Although the actual Tintri storage implementation went live just recently, almost 100% of our processes are already running on SSD. The response time for all applications is much faster than before, and we are receiving praise from our users as well.”
*Time to create a virtual machine using a template and VMware vSphere Storage APIs - Array Integration, to enable communication between VMware ESXi hosts and storage devices.