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Denmark’s Syddansk Erhvervsskole Technical College Graduates to Tintri Storage

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Application-Aware Storage Systems Provide VM-Level Visibility and Control, Increasing Insight and Agility

Overview

Syddansk Erhvervsskole is the largest technical school system in Denmark, with approximately 5,277 students and 872 employees. Erhvervsskolernes IT Samarbejde (ESIS), is an IT department within the Syddansk Erhvervsskole college system.

Sebastian Kim Morsony is one of the IT architects and system consultants in the ESIS department. “Our group is part of an IT cooperation between eight of Denmark’s technical colleges, where we provide back office support to local IT staff and support all network- related configurations,” Morsony explained. “We host all servers and route their Internet through our main datacenter in Odense, Denmark.”

IT Challenges

“Our Dell EqualLogic storage systems were starting to exhibit serious performance issues and required too much maintenance,” noted Morsony. “Everything was fine in the beginning when we only had a few servers, but we quickly outgrew that environment. Today we have around 600 servers in our data center, and all of them are virtualized using VMware. The Dell environment was simply not up to the demands of virtualization.”

Tintri Solution

“We had to decide if we were going to keep expanding our EqualLogic investment or look at other options,” Morsony recalled. “That’s when Tintri popped up. I spent a lot of time researching options and looking at different storage vendors, ranging from Nexenta, Oracle, EMC, and NetApp, to Tintri and also Whiptail. Tintri was the only solution that fit our needs exactly, since it was designed for virtual environments. Tintri has established a good reputation in Denmark as a fast, next-generation storage solution that is simple to use.”

Morsony contacted the Tintri sales team to schedule a POC. “We wanted to see if the Tintri systems could solve the performance issues in our live production data,” Morsony said. “We asked for two boxes so we could make sure all data was replicated off-site during while testing our production environment. Tintri agreed to that and brought us two T540 systems for the POC. Everything went extremely well – the Tintri systems surpassed all of our expectations.”

After the successful POC, Syddansk Erhvervsskole purchased and installed a Tintri T880 at the college’s main data center. “We will be purchasing a second T880 very soon for our DR site,” Morsony reported. “We would have done it immediately, but we had to wait for additional budget. We are currently using Veeam to back up everything to a secondary site every day – but we will be receiving the second Tintri system very soon as our backup target.”
Better Performance on Tintri

Before moving to Tintri, the college’s end users were frustrated with poor application performance. “Everything was lagging and exhibiting very high latency,” Morsony said. “We now have close to 600 virtual servers running on Tintri -- from our MS SQL databases, to our Exchange servers, SharePoint, domain controllers, file and print services, and Web servers – running everything from IIS to Linux, as well as our accounting and CRM systems. All of our applications are running much faster on Tintri.”

Easy Deployment and Management

“The Tintri system was very easy to deploy,” according to Morsony. “We just booted it up, gave it an IP address, connected it to our VMware hosts, and started migrating everything over. Our entire environment was up and running in 30 minutes. We were extremely surprised and pleased with the fast and simple deployment.”
Morsony also stated that the Tintri system is easy to manage. “The Tintri system requires almost no management, it takes care of everything for us. Everyone on our IT team can work with the storage environment very easily, without having to attend specialized training sessions.”

Reduced Footprint and Power

By moving from the Dell environment to Tintri, Syddansk Erhvervsskole was able to reduce datacenter footprint and power. “We were using five Dell EqualLogic boxes for all of our applications and services, but we can now run everything on just one Tintri box with room to spare,” Morsony reported. “We achieved a five to one reduction in both footprint and power costs by moving to the Tintri systems.”

Tintri Support and Training

“Tintri support has been very responsive,” noted Morsony. “They automatically get statistics from our Tintri box and contact us if they see anything we should be aware of. We received an email last week that said, ‘We noticed that the flash hit ratio isn’t as good as it could be, what kind of workloads are you running?’ Even though we hadn’t noticed any slowdowns, we were able to make a quick adjustment to a few settings and performance improved even more.”

Final Thoughts

“We have been extremely pleased with our new storage environment,” Morsony concluded. “The Tintri systems have provided much higher performance than our Dell EqualLogic arrays and have essentially eliminated all management tasks. Tintri is now our storage platform of choice going forward.


Highlights

Geography

Odense-Vejle, Denmark

Virtualization environment

VMware vSphere

Previous Storage: Dell EqualLogic

VM profile

Microsoft SQLServer, Exchange, SharePoint, domain controllers, file and print services, and Web servers

Key challenges

Poor storage performance

Management complexity

Tintri solution

Tintri VMstore™ T880 systems

Primary use case

A Tintri system is being used to support educational services for eight technical colleges in Denmark.

Business benefits

Obtained higher performance

Simplified storage management

Received proactive support from Tintri

Reduced data center footprint and power

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