[IT Case study] Through deduplication and compression, the total volume of data has reduced by 62.6%, which provides vast leeway for the company’s growth and expansion over the upcoming years.
Cygnia is one of the UK’s leading providers of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfilment services. With 420 employees across the UK, Cygnia supports its customers’ growth by providing tailored, quality-driven and cost-effective services that include order fulfilment, customer packaging, order tracking and worldwide returns management. Cygnia is respected for providing the scale of the largest 3PL businesses with a personal touch.
Cygnia was reaching the limit of the capacity on its legacy HP StorageWorks P2000 unit that stored the organisation’s virtualised servers, the majority of which ran business-critical applications such as warehouse management systems, file servers, and online transactional processing. “We could have bought another shelf for our existing solution; however, we were keen to invest in a new array of the highest quality that would future-proof ourselves for the next few years,” explained Grant Surridge, IT Controller at Cygnia.
While capacity was the main driver for the investment in a fresh storage array, other key considerations in the selection process were high reliability and data availability due to the business-critical nature of the organisation’s data, as well as cost and performance.
Initial outreach to its previous IT provider did not result in a suitable solution for Cygnia’s storage requirements, so Grant contacted Trustco to gain an independent view of the data storage market. Trustco’s pre-sales team worked with Grant to clearly understand the organisation’s infrastructure and workflows and after undertaking an appraisal process with Grant, Trustco suggested that Cygnia opt for a Western Digital IntellFlash hybrid array.
Trustco bought Western Digital and Cygnia together to arrange a proof of concept; sanity check the design and ensured the solution fully met the project scope.
After comparing the price and technology of a few competing solutions, Cygnia concluded that the IntelliFlash unit stood out both in terms of economics and technical specifications. “In particular, we were impressed by the advanced deduplication and compression techniques. Capacity was the key driver for our investment in a new storage solution. IntelliFlash shrinks the volume of data that actually needs to be stored without impacting the performance,” said Grant.
The IntelliFlash OS is a fast, flexible operating environment designed to leverage different grades of storage media in a single storage array. It understands the inherent characteristics of different storage media and intelligently manages the placement of data to deliver optimal performance with the best possible economics. It also includes advanced data services such as inline compression and deduplication, multi-protocol support, and flexible management capabilities, enabling customers to significantly shrink their storage footprints, maximize uptime, consolidate workloads, and simplify storage administration.
Fully meeting Cygnia’s reliability and data availability requirements, IntelliFlash hybrid arrays are fully redundant with no single point of failure. All media (flash and hard disk storage) are dual-ported and accessible through a pair of active/active controllers. As an extra layer of safety, users can take instantaneous, space-efficient snapshots that can be replicated for disaster recovery.
Through deduplication and compression, the total volume of data to be stored has reduced by 62.6%, which provides vast leeway for the company’s growth and expansion over the upcoming years. Since the implementation, Cygnia has added another ten servers that are stored on the IntelliFlash unit, and the organisation is continually creating more data. The hybrid system is more than capable of coping with this expansion both with regards to performance and capacity.
“We now have a solid storage system at the heart of our operation. With so many business-critical applications vital to the company and our customers running on the array, it was of the upmost importance that we found a unit that ensured our data was protected and readily available and that also offered high performance and good economics,” explains Grant. “The IntelliFlash array answers all our requirements, and with the data reduction techniques, we do not need to worry about our data storage for the next few years.”
Having established a strong relationship and deep understanding of the organisation’s IT requirements, Trustco is now also a trusted advisor to Cygnia when it comes to all aspects of its IT infrastructure.
Following the success of this storage project Trustco also provided technical consultancy and installation services to deliver a combined backup solution using Veeam and VMware to support VMs and VDI users.
Trustco also continues to provide responsive and personalised 24/7 support for Cygnia across its backup, storage and virtualisation infrastructure.