Virtualization Technology News and Information
Leading IT & Managed Services Provider Runs on Nexenta Open Software Defined Storage Platform; Replacing Legacy Hardware-based Storage Systems
Nexenta, the global leader in Open Source-driven Software-Defined Storage (OpenSDS), today announced that leading IT and data center provider Northern Backup Inc. has chosen NexentaStor to ensure the highest levels of service, performance, agility, capacity, and redundancy.   Northern Backup Inc (NBI) is a firm that specializes in the design, implementation, and support of information systems, using sound business principles, leading practices, and proven technologies.  Using NexentaStor allows Northern Backup to deliver four times greater performance of IT application and data delivery at 60% of the price.  Nexenta not only helps Northern Backup to meet and exceed current requirements, but also enables the company to offer new services and chart a path to greater growth. 

Over the last several years, Northern Backup has experienced exponential growth.  Customers range from small companies storing an SQL database on a simple server to enterprises that employ large numbers of servers dedicated to sophisticated ERP systems. Northern Backup identified the ability to dynamically provide storage according to specific user needs while ensuring high levels of performance, security, and ease of management as a critical requirement for customers.  Companies use the data center and professional services provider to ensure their critical applications run at optimal levels and their data remains secure and accessible. 

Prior to moving to Nexenta, Northern Backup used traditional SANs from Hitachi, Dell and HP.  Their practice is run on the leading server virtualization platform, VMware vSphere. As their needs grew, they were forced to buy a large batch of storage every six months, yet they were also forced to retire SANs after 28 months due to restrictive storage hardware licensing and support cycles.

"While we were able to meet our customers' needs, we felt like we weren't in control of our own destiny when it came to storage," said Brent Thumlert, Chief Architect, Northern Backup. "We knew there had to be a better way, so we started evaluating alternatives.  Software-Defined Storage was rising in popularity, and gave us the flexibility not to be locked into anyone's hardware so we investigated further.  We found that not all SDS is created equal.  In fact much of SDS looks a lot like old school storage."

Northern Backup evaluated several storage alternatives based on storage capacity, performance, agility, reliability, ease of manageability and deployment.  They wanted the flexibility and performance of SDS coupled with the freedom and cost effectiveness of off the shelf commodity hardware.  The Northern Backup team evaluated VMware vSAN, Nexenta, Simplivity and Nutanix.  The company selected NexentaStor after it clearly out-performed all the options.

"With NexentaStor, we not only control our own ecosystem, but we're seeing impressive performance improvements.  For example, we measured performance using Microsoft SQL IO tool, a read/write-intensive application and the most demanding query for that application.  It is a random write to a bunch of disks in small increments.  We saw 27K IOPS performance with NexentaStor compared to 2K IOPS for our previous systems. This translates into faster delivery of data-intensive applications such as SAP reports and CRM application use.  Writes and the speed of writes are done at an incredibly fast rate and Nexenta doesn't affect the backend at all. Overall we're seeing a 50% average write latency coupled with a four times performance improvement," added Thumlert.

Northern Backup also compared each alternatives' cost per terabyte.  Compared to their typical SAN installation and the current alternatives, NexentaStor delivers these improvements at a 40% savings. Nexenta reduces the cost per terabyte by $100 yet increases performance and Northern Backup's footprint. NexentaStor also provides the level of continuity required of high availability customers including instant hot disk replacement of any failed disk.  This allows customers to set metrics for failover times.

"The bottom line is that NexentaStor is the best alternative across the board today and going forward.  As technology gets denser, we can increase density with any hardware vendor we choose.  We'll use the same Nexenta storage platform and it will easily adjust as content adjusts," concluded Thumlert.

NexentaStor has a proven track record of successful deployments across a diverse set of industries, including higher education, hosting, media and service providers. Customers have realized millions of dollars in cost savings, exponential increases in performance, and the improved flexibility and scalability required to support growing data volumes. Additional features of NexentaStor include:

  • Unified File (NFS and SMB) and Block (FC and iSCSI) services
  • Built on ZFS for enterprise grade data integrity, scale and performance
  • Scales from 10's of terabytes to petabytes
  • Unlimited file system sizes
  • Inline data reduction for additional storage cost savings
  • Unlimited space optimized snapshots and clones
  • Periodic asynchronous long distance replication
  • Seamless integration with VMware environments
Published Tuesday, September 22, 2015 6:09 PM by David Marshall
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