Demand for cloud computing has never been higher, as companies look to unlock greater agility, cost-efficiency and scalability for their businesses. In response, the cloud services provider (CSP) market is growing increasingly competitive. How could OS systems AG stand out from the crowd?
For many companies, success can bring growing pains. As OS systems AG (OS systems) captured new business for its cloud services environment, it encountered challenges with scalability.
Marc Ott, CEO at OS systems, begins: “We were victims of our own success. New customers were coming to us for onboarding, while our existing clients’ environments were growing fast, which increased the demand on our IT infrastructure dramatically.”
OS systems provides cloud services to companies from a wide range of industries. Some of its customers operate highly time-critical operations, where any delays could have significant consequences.
“We support complex medical imaging equipment for some of our healthcare clients,” says Ott. “They generate huge amounts of data that must be accessible reliably and quickly, or else patient outcomes could be affected. Another client uses our cloud to provide ERP SaaS solutions to their customers. Slow performance or data loss simply cannot be tolerated. As a result, we assess our IT infrastructure continually to ensure it can support agreed service levels. We discovered that our storage platform was struggling to keep up with demand.”
To maintain or improve its position in the marketplace, it isn’t enough for OS systems to provide consistent performance to its cloud services customers. The company must also offer competitive pricing, which makes maximizing operational efficiency a high priority.
“The more complex the IT infrastructure underpinning our cloud services is to manage, the more costs we have to pass onto our customers,” comments Ott. “We wanted a simple, modern, and reliable storage solution that could support the next phase of our cloud business.”
OS systems found the ideal foundations for its cloud services offering in IBM® FlashSystem® storage, which unites performance, cost-efficiency and ease of management. Before making its choice, the company evaluated storage systems from four vendors.
“IBM FlashSystem stood out due to the intuitive user interface,” says Ott. “It’s also designed to be deployed quickly, which meant that we could start enjoying the benefits sooner. IBM FlashSystem includes many useful features out-of-the-box that you would have to purchase and license separately from other vendors. We were also impressed by IBM support, since we were matched with very knowledgeable, local sales and technical teams that remained consistent throughout the engagement and beyond.”
OS systems deployed five IBM FlashSystem 5200 and 5100 systems clustered across two data center locations for high availability and resilience. Currently, the company uses the platform to support 600 VMware virtual servers. For additional layers of redundancy against cyber threats and ransomware, OS systems saves data backups to IBM Storage systems at a third data center location.
Ott adds: “At the moment we host a mixture of Windows and Linux environments for 300 customers using IBM FlashSystem storage. By configuring the IBM storage systems in a high-availability cluster we minimize downtime for their business-critical applications.”
Using built-in storage compression tools, OS systems is increasing utilization of resources. At the same time, the company is boosting security across its cloud services environment by harnessing encryption capabilities built into IBM FlashSystem storage.
“In the past, we couldn’t use storage encryption because it affected performance too much,” recalls Ott. “IBM FlashSystem offers high performance even when both encryption and compression are enabled. We’ve achieved an overall compression ratio of 1:1.3, which translate into significant savings.”
Reduces onboarding times onto storage platform by 99.7% for new customers
Reduces storage management workload by 50%, supporting competitive pricing
Using IBM technology, OS systems is differentiating its cloud services to help win new market share. The company is driving down response times for customers, giving them the rapid access to data they require to excel.
“Thanks to the all-flash IBM Storage, our customers’ business-critical apps load much faster,” confirms Ott. “End-users have noticed the difference and have given us positive feedback. We’ve taken advantage of the high performance of IBM FlashSystem to promote our virtual desktop offering, which we can now roll out rapidly and efficiently to support hybrid working patterns.”
By building a more efficient data center with IBM FlashSystem storage, OS systems is finding the efficiencies that help it to maintain its profit margins. Ott comments: “In deploying IBM FlashSystem, we replaced six rack units with a single one, reducing our energy consumption by 75 percent. Considering we increased our storage capacity fivefold at the same time, that’s a major win.”
OS systems is also making significant savings on management and onboarding times using IBM FlashSystem storage. As a result, the company can provide more responsive, innovative services to customers, while keeping tight control of costs.
“With IBM FlashSystem, we spend 50 percent less time on routine storage administration tasks,” says Ott. “Before, we dedicated skilled personnel to storage management, whereas now it’s so simple and failsafe that anyone in the team can make adjustments to the environment. We’ve also cut storage onboarding times with IBM FlashSystem from as much as three weeks to just an hour. By providing more dynamic cloud services to our customers with help from IBM, we extend our competitive edge.”
OS systems has gained unprecedented control of and insight into storage resources, helping it to tailor cloud environments to match its customers’ needs. Looking to the future, the company is investigating the use of other IBM technology to further supplement its value proposition.
Ott concludes: “Thanks in part to IBM Storage, we can offer clients more flexibility than the big public cloud providers. We design right-sized solutions and avoid over-provisioning. This is another step in our journey with IBM. Next, we’re considering the cloud-to-cloud backup solution IBM Storage Protect Plus Online Services for Microsoft 365, which will help us to protect some of our customers’ most critical collaboration and productivity tools. Together with IBM, we’re building the next generation in cloud services.”
OS systems AG is an IBM Business Partner and IT service provider with three offices in Switzerland. The company offers personal and customized private and hybrid cloud services as well as solution design, implementation, and data center operations to small and medium businesses across all industries.
Trident deploys IBM FlashSystem 5200 to improve response times and developer productivity
Building on a global reputation for excellence with powerful, centralized IT infrastructure
IBM Cloud blog
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2023. IBM Corporation, IBM Systems, New Orchard Road, Armonk, NY 10504
Produced in the United States of America, July 2023.
IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and IBM FlashSystem are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml.
Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.
The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from the Linux Foundation, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a worldwide basis.
This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates.
The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.