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South Eastern Trust: It Just Can’t Be This Easy

The Need for Scalability

We came across Tintri at VMworld in 2012.  They were a bit behind the scenes before that, but [Tintri] was our strategy for VDI going forward.  We wanted to do VDI but we learned that you really have to be careful with the storage so we had to look for a good storage partner on that.  On our initial POC we used our existing storage partner and that was okay.  We had 120 users but we could see clearly that that was not going to scale.  So we had seen a lot at VMworld, we came across a lot of the new storage-type vendors, and we asked for some POCs. 

Amazing Simplicity

The POC with Tintri was amazing.  It couldn’t have been easier.  We were absolutely blown away.  It took us longer to take it out of the box and put it onto the rack, which was the hardest bit.  From there, I went back to the office, gave it an IP address, went back to the office, set it up, and moved the VMs over.  It took 35 minutes to move our environment over.  Then we went to lunch going, “It just can’t be this easy.  I’ve worked in the storage industry for 25 years, and I’ve never put a storage platform in in 35 minutes, it just doesn’t happen.  So we used it for a while, seeing how it performed, expecting that it just can’t be this simple.  But it was.

We have a very, very small staff, with 30 operational IT people and we’re serving 12,000 users so it’s quite a busy environment. Our plan for the VDI which is new technology we’re putting in, was to remove the complexity, we wanted to make it as simple as possible.  And Tintri just plays to that, it just makes it easy.  We just don’t have to worry about the storage.  If we need to do a recompose for an urgent reason, we just do it.  The storage can cope with it. 

From the POC we had one unit installed and actually that could have coped with a lot of our scenarios but we’ve got a split data center.  We actually purchased two units so that we could cope with it at any time, but that also gives us the scalability to grow to whatever we needed.  At a minimum we run about 1,200 desktops, that’s what we’re licensed for, and the Tintris are comfortable in that space. 

Easy Management

Management is a dream.  It really is a dream.  We honestly barely need to look at them but whenever we do, if we have performance issues (but generally we don’t), the console within Tintri is fantastic for that.  You can really drill down to see where the problems are: is it the host, is it with the guest, is it with the disk…it’s hardly ever the disk.  At the moment because it’s a captive SAN just for the VDI environment, the only workloads on there are VDI, and we’re using linked clones.  We’re not even really touching the performance headroom that is in the appliance.  It’s working really well, we’re very pleased with it.  As we grow, the next step for us is just to buy a couple more boxes and put them in, and we’re quite happy to do that. 

- Darren Henderson, ICT Manager, SE Trust

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