High Performance Storage Enables T-Media to Increase Capacity by 1.5x while Reducing CapEx by 50%
Culture Convenience Club (CCC) is a Japanese company that operates Tsutaya, a nationwide chain of video rental shops and bookstores. The company is headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo. Together with its franchisees, CCC currently operates over 1,000 Tsutaya rental shops in Japan. T-Media Holdings is the holding company that manages CCC Group's various Internet businesses. T-Media operates the on-line delivery service called Tsutaya Discas, and various Internet entertainment services, including a film distribution service called Tsutaya TV.
CCC and T-Media rely on common IT infrastructure to support the company’s Internet businesses. Due to rapid growth, the central datacenter was running low on capacity, and the performance of the existing storage systems was no longer adequate.
In April 2014, T-Media began an infrastructure refresh project to replace or upgrade the existing infrastructure. According to Ken Uneoka from T-Media, "Of course cost reduction and stable operations were the most important criteria for the construction of new common infrastructure. Storage was also emphasized during the discussion, due to our need for higher performance and ease of scalability in anticipation of the huge increase of data projected over the next five years."
In order to identify the best storage platform for their future, Hiroya Matsumoto from T-Media attended VMworld 2014 in the US to evaluate a wide range of potential solutions. When Mr. Matsumoto discovered Tintri VMstore—a storage platform designed for virtual environments--he described the experience as "love at first sight”.
“Many storage vendors emphasized performance and cost during VMworld 2014,” recalled Mr. Matsumoto. “Only Tintri provided a storage platform that was specifically designed for virtual environments. Because our company had a difficult time adapting our existing storage to our virtual environments, the concept was very encouraging.”
T-Media’s traditional storage systems made it difficult to identify what components were causing any performance issues in the virtual environment. “We had to make a guess at what might be causing the problem, make changes to the system, and then measure and analyze the effects repeatedly. Unfortunately, the results were usually inconclusive. Since Tintri VMstore visualizes the host, network, and the performance of storage level on virtual machine units, it is easy to identify where any bottlenecks are. This is exactly the kind of storage system we have wanted,” Mr. Matsumoto said.
As he listened to the product demonstrations at VMworld, Mr. Matsumoto realized that there were many more issues that could be solved by Tintri. "The design of storage in our previous virtualization environment was far too complex,” he reported. “In order to allocate capacity and guarantee performance, we had to pay attention to a lot of individual LUNs and volumes when we created each new virtual machine. Tintri VMstore has a much simpler storage design, and it reduced our operational burden greatly.”
The Tintri presentation also focused on the ability to maintain stable operations all of the time through the automatic tuning response for QoS (Quality of Service). "I'm so glad that high operational efficiency and stable operations can both be achieved at the same time," Matsumoto said.
After returning from VMworld 2014, Mr. Matsumoto reported to his team, "I have found a good storage platform and we need to use it!" He then introduced the Tintri features enthusiastically to everyone. T-Mobile issued an RFP to several vendors, and the proposal using Tintri VMstore was chosen. "We chose Tintri VMstore because it is specialized for virtual environments and met all our project requirements,” he reported.
Deploying into Production
T-Media started its Tintri deployment in November 2014. When the data migration is complete, over 1,000 virtual machines will be running on the common infrastructure based on Tintri VMstore. “By utilizing the advantages of flash memory and HDD, Tintri VMstore’s cost-effective high performance platform has enabled us to increase capacity by 1.5x, while reducing CapEx costs by 50%,” noted Mr. Matsumoto.
The Tintri systems are able to provide high performance, since over 99% of data is processed on the flash through repeated in-line deduplication and compression. Mr. Ken Uneoka, General Director of the IT Division at T-Media, added that Tintri enables them to create development environments much faster than the process of cloning of virtual machine units, which was the process used in the past. “This is an extremely helpful feature when multiple development projects are running simultaneously,” he noted.
The rapid growth of CCC Group’s Internet business is now supported by Tintri VMstore. “In addition to stable operational performance, Tintri VMstore also provides features that will enable us to improve our disaster recovery capabilities in the future,” concluded Mr. Matsumoto.
Traditional storage: NetApp
Web servers, in-house applications
Increasing capacity and performance while reducing storage costs
Obtaining efficiency and operational stability for managing virtual environment
Tintri VMstore™ T820
Primary use case
Tintri storage is supporting all common infrastructure for CCC Group's Internet business.
Obtained high-performance storage
Simplified storage administration
Increased storage capacity by 1.5x while reducing costs
Cut number of rack units in half