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Tintri Enables Polycom to Keep Pace with 400% Growth in Customer Training Environment

Tintri Application-Aware Systems Provide Easy Scalability and Fast Performance for Hundreds of Instructor-Led Classes

Company Information

Polycom helps organizations unleash the power of human collaboration. More than 415,000 companies and institutions worldwide defy distance with secure video, voice and content solutions from Polycom to increase productivity, speed time to market, provide better customer service, expand education and save lives. Polycom and its global partner ecosystem provide fexible collaboration solutions for any environment that deliver the best user experience, enterprise-grade solutions, the broadest multi-vendor integration and customer choice.

IT Challenges

Doug Futch is the director of curriculum development and the global education network for Polycom. His group is responsible for supporting Polycom's training, global sales, and service enablement teams. "We provide training for our internal employees and external partners who sell our solutions," noted Futch. "As we increased the amount of training we provide over video, we had to build a more powerful network that would support high performance and easy scalability in the background."

Polycom's Educational Services division is expanding rapidly. "Our division grew over 400% in IT resources last year alone," said Futch. "We originally launched our video training services on a diferent storage solution. But as we grew, that legacy platform could not keep up with demand. Our instructors were complaining about slow response times from the servers and data storage systems, and we also struggled with reliability issues. Since we were also running out of capacity for our training environment, we decided it was time upgrade to a more powerful storage solution."

Choosing Tintri

The Polycom IT team started the search for a new storage platform better suited to the company's training environment. "We began by looking at the brochures and datasheets on Tintri's website," Futch said. "What stood out for me was the high I/O that the Tintri array supported. It wasn't even close in magnitude to our existing legacy solution. I was actually a little skeptical of the marketing claims, but I decided to give it a try. We were pleasantly surprised when our Tintri systems performed even better than advertised."  

"Our engineering group was also looking at the Tintri systems during the same timeframe," added Norman Yee, global education network manager at Polycom. "We originally thought about just leveraging what they purchased, letting them cross-charge us for capacity on that single array. But we ended up purchasing the Tintri system before they did." 

Fast Deployment

After checking references with several Tintri customers, Polycom's training division purchased one T540, two T620s and a T850 system. "We placed a Tintri system in every data center of our global education network, including: Beijing, China; Singapore; Austin Texas; and one in our Slough, UK data center," Lee reported. "We originally placed the T540 in Austin, but our North American datacenter is growing so rapidly that we quickly upgraded that unit to a T850 and moved the T540 over to Europe."

"Deploying the Tintri systems was incredibly easy," noted Yee. "We just racked the systems, plugged in the cables, and confgured the network. As far as managing the volumes, it's quite diferent than our legacy environment. I don't have to carve out disk space and allocate it to this server or that server anymore. It certainly saves us a lot of time."

Higher Performance

"We never told any of our instructors that we upgraded our legacy arrays to Tintri," Futch shared. "Once we put the Tintri system into the Austin data center, we immediately stopped hearing the complaints about slow response time for the course materials. The Tintri systems are able to handle a lot more IOPS than our legacy systems."

Support for Multiple Hypervisors

"We ofer close to 100 instructor-led training classes every quarter," Futch explained. "We also provide a lot of self-paced courses, where one of our channel partners or a Polycom SE will access our virtualized network and work independently with the Polycom solution. Each one of those courses requires access to approximately 10 to 20 virtual servers. Our virtualization environment runs on VMware vSphere for the most part. We do have one solution coming aboard that may use Hyper-V, but Tintri works with the Microsoft hypervisor as well. It's nice to have the fexibility to choose the right virtualization solutions for our environment."

Tintri Support and Global Center

"We haven't had the need to call Tintri Support yet because the systems are so reliable," Yee reported. "Our Tintri sales rep comes by fairly regularly to check up on us and see if we need anything. If we ever have any questions, a simple email to Tintri Support is all it takes. The systems are much less complex than our legacy environment. It was nice not having to attend any specialized training classes to manage the systems."

Polycom's education division also purchased Tintri Global Center. "As we grow, Tintri Global Center will make our environment even easier to manage," noted Futch. "We now have a Tintri system in every theater that we are managing. Global Center's single-pane of glass monitoring provides the ability to troubleshoot any issues quickly, allowing us to focus on more strategic IT issues."


Highlights

Industry

Software Provider

Geography

San Jose, CA

Virtualization environment

VMware vSphere 5. 1 and 5.5, 2,000 VMs

VM profile

Video, voice, and content collaboration and unifed communication (UC) applications

Key challenges

Inadequate performance and reliability issues with legacy storage platform 

Tintri solution

Tintri VMstore™ T540, T620 and T850 systems

Primary use case

Tintri is delivering high performance and easy scalability needed for Polycom's Unifed Communications network

Business benefits

Obtained higher performance for all of Polycom's employee and customer training courses

Simplifed storage management

Increased user satisfaction, eliminated all instructor complaints about system performance

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