Non-stop availability of IT systems is becoming a must in every industry. IT hosting services provider TM-Solutions and IT security specialist Sourcecom teamed up to offer 24/7 services to clients.
TM-Solutions and Sourcecom created a new IT hosting service offering built on all-flash IBM Storage solutions and IBM Spectrum® Storage management tools, deployed in an active-active configuration.
Up to 20xperformance boost translates into short response times for clients
50%energy saving and low TCO enable competitive pricing
Sky-highavailability allows clients to service their own customers without interruption
Business challenge story
Staying ahead of the game
TM-Solutions was born out of the hotel industry, when the IT services division of a leading chain was split out as a separate hosting business. Since then, the firm has expanded to serve other markets, including transportation and logistics.
One thing that all TM-Solutions’ clients have in common is a need for high-performance, high-availability IT services. As TM-Solutions’ client base grew, the pressure on its infrastructure increased, and the company decided that the time was right for a technology refresh.
Michael van Doorn, Cofounder of TM-Solutions, explains: “In the last two years, the data we host for our customers has increased by 50 percent, as we win new business and client environments grow. Increasingly, our customers have a requirement of 100 percent uptime: with no compromises. These two factors led us to reevaluate our IT infrastructure and look for a way to deliver on these key requirements.”
At the same time, TM-Solutions saw an opportunity to partner with Sourcecom, an IT security specialist firm. By teaming up to purchase and install a new platform, the two companies could build on each of their respective areas of expertise: management and optimization of resources for TM-Solutions, and leading-edge security for Sourcecom. Van Doorn comments: “Through a joint venture, we knew that we could bring something special to market and exceed our clients’ expectations. We just needed to find the right technology to enable our vision.”
Accessing big-league expertise
With ideal timing, IBM reached out to TM-Solutions and Sourcecom just as they were reviewing storage offerings. The companies carefully compared the IBM proposal to competing solutions.
“Quickly, we realized that the high-availability solution that IBM had proposed blew the others away when it came to simplicity and price,” recalls Van Doorn. “Since we’re relatively small compared to some of IBM’s clients, we were also really impressed by the level of attention the team gave us. The sales team brought a technical expert when they met with us, giving us real confidence in the ongoing support and expertise we could expect to receive.”
Creating a future-proof platform
TM-Solutions and Sourcecom chose to implement all-flash IBM Storwize® V5030E and IBM Storwize V5010E (now known as IBM FlashSystem® 5000) storage systems at two data centers. Using the built-in IBM HyperSwap® function, the companies copy data to both locations and enable active-active, dual-site access to volumes at all times.
“When planning our new platform, we assumed we would need different tiers of storage, with flash reserved only for the most business-critical applications,” says Van Doorn. “But IBM all-flash solutions are so cost-effective we can support all workloads with premium storage. With IBM HyperSwap, we can offer a true business continuity solution, with no interruptions to services even if one of our sites fails.”
To monitor, manage and analyze storage resources, TM-Solutions and Sourcecom selected IBM Spectrum Control. In combination with the IBM Storage Insights feature integrated into IBM Storwize systems (and IBM FlashSystem 5000), the IBM solutions give the companies unprecedented visibility of their storage environment.
Van Doorn adds: “We’ve got a direct line to IBM if we ever have any problems, which will allow us to resolve issues before they come anywhere near to affecting our customers. With granular insight into performance and utilization, we can share stats with IBM to help us get the most out of our storage investments.”
Ramping up performance and efficiency
With the new IBM solutions in place, TM-Solutions and Sourcecom will be able to offer more responsive services to clients. Van Doorn explains: “We expect that IBM Storage will offer between 10 and 20 times the IOPs performance of our previous infrastructure. While our customers won’t realize when we cut over seamlessly to the IBM platform, they will notice a big impact on response times.”
The IBM solutions provide internal efficiencies too, enabling TM-Solutions and Sourcecom to raise service quality to customers while protecting their own margins.
“Deploying IBM Storwize storage systems (now known as IBM FlashSystem) will decrease energy consumption by 50 percent, representing a significant cost-saving,” comments Van Doorn. “Using IBM Spectrum Control, we have a single management console for our entire storage environment that will make our storage administrators’ lives much easier. All this allows us to meet more demanding SLAs for our clients while keeping our prices competitive.”
Embracing a new era
With help from IBM, TM-Solutions and Sourcecom increased the rating of their data centers to Tier 4, meaning that they are completely fault-tolerant and have redundancy for every component. As a result, the companies’ clients can depend on the outstanding availability of their IT hosting services to support their businesses, with no exceptions.
Van Doorn concludes: “Whether it’s a hotel chain that needs to check in guests at any time of day or a transportation company that has to schedule shipments dynamically every day, we aim to be the IT hosting partner our customers can always rely on. Equipped with our new IBM Storage and IBM Spectrum Storage solutions, we’re ready to help 24/7 businesses operate to their full potential round the clock.”
TM-Solutions and Sourcecom
TM-Solutions is an IT hosting and cloud services provider based in Sweden serving clients across Scandinavia. Through its state-of-the-art data centers, the company offers tailored outsourcing solutions to suit a range of budgets and business requirements.
Sourcecom specializes in IT security, offering services that range from risk management, auditing and consulting to technical design and implementation of infrastructure solutions.