Companies must keep systems performing optimally and at a low cost, and the public cloud is an attractive option. How can providers of custom-built IT services out-compete these offerings?
By deploying VersaStack converged infrastructure from IBM and Cisco, Advanced enabled rapid scaling for its clients’ diverse workloads while minimizing management overhead and other costs.
3xfaster deployment and scaling of customized private clouds for clients
Saves1 FTE in costs per year, enabling competitive pricing
Attractsnew clients by combining the best features of public and private clouds
Business challenge story
Tailored IT, off-the-peg pricing
Increasingly, companies are drawn in by public-cloud providers that offer unlimited scalability and ultra-fast provisioning. The challenge for competing value-add providers like UK-based Advanced is to achieve the same for made-to-measure private clouds.
Marc Beder, Director of Technology, explains: “As a private cloud provider, we needed to meet client expectations around auto-scaling and provisioning. We had a typical three-tier architecture—network, compute, and storage—and orchestrating these disparate elements was a challenge.”
Advanced recognized that converged infrastructure could help it deliver tailored services that would compete with services in the public cloud. It sought a solution that would offer exceptional scalability and flexibility, at low cost and with simplified management.
Converged and software-defined
“We concluded that VersaStack from IBM and Cisco was the right converged infrastructure for us,” says Beder. “What stood out and made VersaStack the natural choice was its flexibility: a single framework for many different requirements that we could tailor to clients’ needs. The software-defined nature of the solution was key in helping us achieve the next evolution of our private cloud.”
As phase one of its transformation, Advanced has deployed four VersaStack chassis with 32 Cisco UCS blade servers, Cisco Nexus and MDS switches, IBM® Storwize® V7000, and IBM Spectrum Virtualize™. Client private clouds run Oracle Database, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Application Server, Microsoft SQL Server and more.
“VersaStack scales out to whatever workload we throw at it,” says Beder. “We are phasing out legacy infrastructure to make VersaStack our primary compute and storage layer, running thousands of virtual machines.”
Boosting efficiency, cutting costs
With VersaStack converged infrastructure, Advanced has the flexibility and ease of management to deliver tailored private clouds that can out-compete generic public-cloud offerings. Clients can get the best of both worlds: high-performance, highly secure services that scale at a low cost to any requirements.
Beder says: “We've seen quicker deployment and efficiencies through standardization that have taken strain away from our operations. There’s more consistency in our infrastructure, which has increased our uptime from 99.99 percent to 100 percent because we know how every piece fits together. And with VersaStack, we also have a platform that can integrate with the public cloud, enabling us to act as a cloud aggregator.”
He concludes: “Without changing headcount, we're able to deliver more solutions, on a bigger scale—a massive benefit. With VersaStack, we have cut our cost base by one full-time equivalent, which makes us more competitive in the private cloud space. Additionally, we now operate from a reference architecture, so our clients can be confident that this is a tried and proven solution backed by IBM and Cisco.”
Advanced enables more than 20,000 organizations to drive efficiencies, savings, and growth opportunities through focused, right-first-time software solutions that evolve with changing needs. Covering a broad range of functional needs across reporting and analytics, relationship management, infrastructure solutions, financial management, ERP, HCM, and market-specific solutions, Advanced employs 2,000 people and is ranked among the fastest growing technology companies in the UK.
- IBM Spectrum Virtualize Software for V7000
- Storage: IBM Storwize V7000
- Storage: VersaStack