Virtualization Technology News and Information
Tegile Shoots, Scores with Wild Customer Win

Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash driven storage arrays for virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, and now the official storage provider to the Minnesota Wild, today announced that the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League is utilizing its Zebi arrays as the storage component of a VDI deployment that provides the organization with more centralized, streamlined application management.

Established as an expansion franchise of the NHL in 2000, the Minnesota Wild is owned by Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE), which also operates the team's home arena, the Xcel Energy Center, and several other neighboring facilities.  In addition to supporting the hockey club, IT technicians for the Minnesota Wild also help run other events held at the company's arenas.  With only two people on the IT team supporting Minnesota Wild and related MSE facilities, its data centers must be as easy to manage as possible.

Minnesota Wild decided to invest in easily manageable solutions that position the company strongly for the future. By combining virtualized Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers with Tegile flash driven storage solutions, Minnesota Wild established a highly agile data center environment that supports current and future cloud initiatives with virtual desktop infrastructure.

"As part of the entertainment business, technology is an essential part of our services, but at the same time, we're a hospitality business, so it's important that even our IT staff can focus on interacting with clients rather than just on managing equipment," said Jim Ibister, vice president of facility administration for Minnesota Wild. "Since implementing Cisco UCS and Tegile, our IT staff is spending less time fixing system issues and more time addressing customers' needs. As we continue to grow, these solutions will become the cornerstone of our future implementations."

As an early adopter of Cisco UCS solutions, Minnesota Wild was already familiar with the flexibility and performance benefits from Cisco solutions, particularly when virtualized with VMware. Most applications are currently run on virtualized Cisco UCS servers.

Its data center previously contained Dell Compellent storage but Tegile delivered much higher scalability, smaller footprint and simple management for the small IT team. Minnesota Wild currently uses Tegile in three sites. The main site and disaster recovery site each contain a Tegile Zebi HA2100EP storage array with four Tegile Zebi J2100 expansion shelves. A third site contains a Tegile Zebi HA2100 storage array and two Tegile Zebi J1100 expansion shelves for backup.

Minnesota Wild implemented a VDI environment using the Cisco UCS and Zebi arrays for its finance department. Members of the department all use Microsoft Dynamic GP software as part of their daily business, but updating and managing the software on 15 separate desktops increased the load on the IT team. With a VDI, Minnesota Wild can centralize software management in the data center. IT staff only needs to update software once for all staff, improving productivity, and finance staff gain the flexibility to access software from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection, not just while at their desks.

Minnesota Wild plans to move towards a hybrid cloud environment, eventually moving applications and data into an offsite or managed environment. Building on the anticipated success of the virtual desktop implementation in the finance department, the IT staff hopes to demonstrate the savings and performance that can be achieved through cloud environments and eventually by outsourcing management tasks to experts.

"Organizations large and small are asking their IT departments to accomplish more and more tasks while keeping costs under control," said Rob Commins, vice president of marketing, Tegile Systems. "The Minnesota Wild decided that the best approach to meeting their goals of increased productivity, improved resource management and cost-contained growth initiatives was to ditch the traditional infrastructure and adopt a virtual environment instead.  By providing the performance and scalability that the Wild wanted at the reduced costs that it needed, Tegile and Cisco UCS have positioned the team for success today and into the future."

Published Tuesday, October 22, 2013 7:07 PM by David Marshall
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