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Cutting Costs and Upping Performance with Hybrid Cloud

When you outgrow your house and want to expand, you need a solid foundation to build on. But what if yours isn’t up to the challenge? That’s the problem a medium-sized SaaS company specializing in credentialing services faced last year. Read on to see how a hybrid cloud solution provided that foundation—with increased performance and agility.

The company performs extensive background checks for a variety of public and private industries, and having the most current, accurate and comprehensive data is critical to their business. So, when they acquired two new large clients last fall, they knew they needed help revamping the environment to support the deployment of their SaaS solution for both contracts. The client’s IT manager, CTO and CFO worked with MicroAge’s Michael Zitar and Schan Krug to make it happen.

Assessing the Problem

The client had unpredictable and wildly fluctuating costs for their Amazon Web Services (AWS) virtual machines, which they were using for both DevOps and TestDev. They also were experiencing service outages, which negatively impacted their clients’ experience. Moreover, they didn’t have on-prem data management tools, and therefore relied on a co-location with an outdated infrastructure. Meanwhile, their client base was growing.

“That was the crux of the problem, but we also had to give them the ability to support the growth of two new large clients,” Michael says. That led Michael and Schan to recommend a network upgrade along with a hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).

“They were so backdated that HCI was really the only consideration from the get-go,” Michael adds. “It was just landing on the right option.”

A Complex Hybrid Cloud Solution

The first step was to bring in Extreme Networks for the network upgrade. Then, to provide the client with a simple way to manage their data and the network, Nutanix had a clear advantage for the HCI piece with their built-in Linux OS.

MicroAge worked with Extreme Networks to replace all the switches and put in the new Nutanix nodes. Barracuda load balancers and Palo Alto firewalls helped shore up security and gave the client a hybrid cloud environment, with both on-prem and virtual cloud instances. The team opted for Eaton for power.

Now the client is able to bring data out of the cloud for manipulation and TestDev. They provide their client reports out of the Nutanix nodes, and then they send the data back up to the cloud, something they previously had issues with.

“They were trying to do it all in AWS—bringing in data and working on live active data in AWS. That’s just not feasible,” Michael says. “They needed a way to separate the two functions, and that’s where Nutanix comes in. Now, they take those reports, put them up in the cloud in the client’s portal, and so when the client logs in, their reports are there. And they look great.”

It’s also become their TestDev sandbox, where they’re able to do most of their code writing and testing in house before putting it into Amazon, which prevents the wildly fluctuating costs they previously experienced.

Smooth Deployment, Better Performance

By six months after a smooth deployment and implementation, the client had fully recouped their total cost of ownership. They’ve reduced their downtime by eliminating the service outages in AWS, and their performance has dramatically improved.

“They couldn’t support 24/7 access for their clients before, and now they can, so it’s a big impact,” Schan says. “As they grow and bring on new clients, we now have a standard they can follow with the Nutanix piece as well as networking. It really simplifies things for them long term.”

Want better performance and less downtime? Who doesn’t? MicroAge is here to help. Contact Schan Krug at 801-691-0224 or schan.krug@microage.com or Michael Zitar at 480-366-2120 or michael.zitar@microage.com.

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Article By

Schan Krug
19 Years Experience
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Michael Zitar
13 Years Experience
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