VM-Aware storage simplifies management, speeds recovery, and improves performance for all customer workloads
We Are Cloud (WAC) provides a wide range of hosted services for its customers, including MS Exchange, Citrix XenApp-based virtual desktops and servers, VOIP solutions, and online backup. Founded in 2015 in Berkshire, We Are Cloud is now one of the fastest growing cloud service providers in the United Kingdom.
We Are Cloud started searching for new IT infrastructure for its hosted services earlier this year. “We needed to find a high-performance storage platform that could support hundreds of desktops,” noted Andy Chapman, managing director of WAC. “We were looking for a solution that was scalable, easy to manage, and would enable us to enhance our disaster recovery capabilities.”
Evaluating the Options
Chapman looked at a variety of different storage options before making the decision to go with Tintri. “The one vendor we nearly settled for was EMC,” admitted Chapman. “The EMC solution was scalable and would enable us to do snapshots of our virtual machines and our LUNs. It also matched our IOPS requirements. But after seeing the number of different items on the PO—all of the different elements that were tacked on and bolted together—it became apparent that it was a very complicated solution. It also meant that we would have to retrain our storage team or hire a dedicated admin to manage that environment.”
After ruling out the EMC solution, WAC’s reseller S3 suggested they look at the Tintri VMstore systems. S3 Technologies is a leading MSP and one of the largest IT service providers and consultants serving the greater Montreal and Toronto areas since 2003. "Tintri's VM-aware storage is a perfect fit for We Are Cloud’s IT environment,” said Chris Barnes, vendor alliance manager at S3. "As soon as we showed them how easy it is to install, configure, and manage Tintri—they were on board."
The Tintri system was very easy to deploy, according to Chapman. “We built a complete Citrix domain with file servers all running from the Tintri, with 70 desktop users testing the platform. We had everything up and running within a few days. The POC showed us that the unit could easily cope with everything that we were throwing at it. The load we were testing wasn't even touching the performance limits of the unit. It’s an extremely fast system.”
“Our IT team has extensive experience with a lot of different SAN storage vendors,” Chapman said. “All of the other vendors’ management solutions are quite clunky and sluggish, and they don't deliver their promised ‘ease of use’ very well. Tintri management is like Apple management. You just click one button and everything is right there. There really isn't much you need to do—you just turn it on and then leave it alone. We only go into the management console when we need to restore a snapshot or look at performance. With Tintri, we can easily determine whether an issue is network-related, CPU-related, or due to the storage platform itself. With the comprehensive visibility, we can quickly rule out storage as the source of the bottleneck in a couple of clicks. It’s a really simple approach to managing IT infrastructure.”
“Tintri enables us to clone and build a new server in under two minutes,” Chapman said. “You just assign an IP to the new server and it is immediately available on the network. It’s ridiculous how long it takes to clone a server on other platforms. But it isn’t just Tintri’s speed, the space savings are also astonishing. We built 50 virtual servers from scratch using Tintri cloning and they are filling only a couple of hundred gigabytes. I find that extraordinary. And they're all superfast, because they are all looking at that one base image which is in cache. I absolutely love the Tintri technology platform.”
“The Tintri experience has been excellent from start to finish,” Chapman acknowledged. “From proof of concept, to placing the order, to delivery, installation, and even the after-sales support, Tintri has always been there for us. I know that I can pick up the phone and immediately get what I need. If the support reps don't have the answer at their fingertips, they find the solution and quickly get back to me with the answer. We have absolute confidence in all of Tintri’s products and services.”
“As a service provider, we need the ability to restore our customers’ environments very quickly,” noted Chapman. “We can’t be down for days while we recover a terabyte of data from tape or from another storage appliance at a remote site. With Tintri, we can take hourly snapshots of all of our customer environments. If there ever is a disaster, we can just switch on the clone of that VM, and within two to three minutes, the world is wonderful again.”
“Tintri is a rock solid platform,” concluded Chapman. “It really does perform well, and it manages itself. It's a fantastic solution that makes me smile from ear to ear!"
Information Technology and Services
Berkshire, United Kingdom
Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop
VDI, MS Exchange, VOIP, and other customer applications
Looking for storage that was scalable, easy to manage, with high performance for VDI environment.
Tintri VMstore™ T820
Primary use case
Tintri is being used to support all customer workloads, including VDI, MS Exchange, and other hosted services
Eliminated the need to hire or retrain a specialized storage admin
Provided high performance storage for all virtual workloads
Shortened recovery time from days to 2-3 minutes
Gained better visibility into servers, network, and storage to diagnose performance bottlenecks
Obtained the ability to clone and build new servers in under two minutes