Global Marketing & Retail Analytics Company
Industry: Marketing & Advertising
Location: Toronto, Ontario

“We worked with the client to develop a cohesive strategy that would allow them to select the best unified computing platform for their business.”

With pressure to refocus IT operational resources to other areas of the business, a global leader in the design and implementation of loyalty programs developed a strategic long-term plan to move to a flexible converged infrastructure platform.

CDW has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with this client, acting as a strategic IT advisor and ‘go-to’ partner for architecture, design and problem solving. A few years prior, a plan was developed to replace aging equipment and introduce a converged infrastructure to centralize the management of IT resources and consolidate systems. Converged infrastructures combine server, storage and networks into a single framework, helping to improve the economics of running the data centre and achieve better business outcomes, faster.

“We worked with the client to develop a cohesive strategy that would allow them to select the best unified computing platform for their business,” said CDW’s Business Development Manager. A number of different vendor solutions were compared and rated through a formalized RFP process. The client selected the VCE Vblock system that integrates technologies from Cisco, EMC and VMware.

Replacing aging equipment to simplify management

After implementing Vblock, the company has continued to build on this foundation. It collapsed its aging storage and server environments, removing old, single-purpose equipment in favour of EMC Isilon and XtremIO. The IT team benefits from no longer having to manage disparate environments. “The addition of Isilon and XtremIO helps them simplify management as support falls under the VCE umbrella,” said CDW’s Team Lead.

Objective

• Consolidate disparate systems in the customer environment, supporting the long-term strategy of virtualized cloud infrastructure.

Highlights

• Implementation of EMC Isilon to manage storage and file sharing.

• EMC XtremIO All-Flash array deployment.

• Data centre consolidation and move into co-located facilities

“The client is now able to consolidate, manage and protect unstructured data for a wide range of workloads.”

Part of the company’s long-term plan involves the move from internally owned data centres to outsourced facilities, and ultimately to virtualized cloud infrastructure. It has consolidated, moving to co-located facilities, and is slowly moving out of physical environments and into a virtual cloud environment. This project was a greenfield approach – everything was deployed in net-new data centres.

EMC Isilon: The aging storage environment was replaced with Isilon, which provides flexible, ultra-high performance, scale-out NAS storage. The client is now able to consolidate, manage and protect unstructured data for a wide range of workloads.

EMC XtremIO: Replacement of adhoc servers and SSDs (solid state drives) with XtremIO consolidated functionality into the VCE platform. The all-flash array deployment helps the client keep up with application service levels, complex workflows, sprawling infrastructure and support costs.

The company now has a single VCE platform to manage traditional compute, the virtualized environment and specialty solutions it was using point solutions for previously.

Outcome: The selection of the Vblock platform helped lay the groundwork for the successful storage deployment. “We strive to understand our client’s needs and make recommendations that work in terms of return on investment, internal capabilities and future plans. This was a smooth deployment, in large part due to the strategic roadmap that was put in place with the converged infrastructure deployment,” said CDW’s Business Development Manager.

Technology Implemented

• EMC Isilon

• EMC XtremIO

What We Did

• Developed an IT strategy and platform recommendation

• Replaced aging storage equipment

• Reduced the pressure on internal IT workforce

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