SoftLayer delivers a competitive edge in the fast-paced film industry

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Established in 1977, IBM Business Partner Chouinard & Myhre, Inc. (CMI) is an IT solutions provider that has earned industry accolades for strategy, architecture, cloud computing, virtualization and storage management expertise. They are now leading technology innovation through the Adaptable Data Center framework.CMI.png

According to Jeff Guenthner, Senior Director of Solutions Architecture at CMI, “We primarily serve Northern California. We’re headquartered just north of San Francisco; we’ve got two offices. And it’s intentional that we’ve never grown outside of Northern California because first of all, we believe firmly in taking care of our clients and feel like we need to be local to them. And, second, it’s probably the Number 1 or Number 2 market in the world. There are always companies born here that end up being big companies. We see a lot of innovation in the tech space.”

CMI needed an adaptable and robust cloud hosting solution to help one of its customers, a visual effects postproduction company, address a significant IT challenge. Having failed to acquire enough servers during its annual IT purchasing period, the customer needed to expand its infrastructure quickly.

Guenthner said, “The customer called me and said, ‘We underestimated the capacity we needed by 50% , so we need to order exactly what we just ordered and we need it in 3 days”

Guenthner knew the client needed a flexible, low-latency cloud platform to accommodate its fluctuating workloads and working with CMI’s Adaptable Data Center framework was ideal for this client as it allowed them to scale back during their lower operation times. Guenthner’s proposed solution was a dedicated bare metal server environment in the SoftLayer San Jose data center, which would provide a quick, powerful boost in computing power.

Experienced with other cloud solutions, including the Amazon Web Services platform, Guenthner knew that only SoftLayer technology met the visual effects organization’s specific requirements. Softlayer would serve to bridge the client’s current data center to the Adaptable Data Center framework for improved cost to serve and agility, positioning its future success for their data center needs.

“Our client’ data center in the San Francisco Bay Area and the SoftLayer Data Center is in San Jose. So the proximity meant that it would be really low latency, which right out of the gate was extremely attractive to the client,” he continued. “They were really concerned about putting their 1PB storage environment out on the cloud, and then they realized, ‘No, no. We don’t have to because it’s in San Jose. It’s low latency. We’ll just let you guys launch compute into the SoftLayer cloud. All of the storage can stay local here in San Francisco.’ The client’s next concern was security. To alleviate the concern, we utilized dedicated bare metal resources and then once you’re were done, SoftLayer provided a certificate of destruction.’

“So the fact that we had close proximity, they didn’t have to move their storage and we met their security requirements – and we could get this thing up and running in a matter of hours or a day – was immediately attractive to them. And they’ve been doing it now for the past 2-1/2 years.”

The visual effects firm runs up to hundreds of SoftLayer bare metal servers during the busiest months of its operations, scaling back as needed during the remainder of the year. Data center adaptability was key for this client.

Through the Adaptable Data Center framework and with SoftLayer cloud technology, CMI met its customer’s critical demand for powerful infrastructure that it can deploy quickly and easily. By flexibly and cost-effectively accommodating fluctuating workloads, the visual effects business has agility that offers a competitive edge in the fast-paced film industry.

“The fact that they can get hundreds of servers through a portal provisioned in hours is like gold to them,” Guenthner concluded.

The SoftLayer solution safeguards the visual effects company’s intellectual property. After the business finishes using SoftLayer servers during its busy season and scales back its infrastructure, the servers are scrubbed and the customer receives certificates attesting to the removal and destruction of all data.

In addition to the SoftLayer infrastructure in San Jose, they are tapping into SoftLayer in Singapore to support Asia Pacific workloads. For more information on CMI’s Adaptable Data Center framework, please visit CMI’s website.



View the SoftLayer case study here.

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