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GreenPower International Supercharges its Data Center with Tegile All-Flash
Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for databases, virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, has been chosen by GP International Holding N.V. following a competitive evaluation process which included HP, Pure Storage, Nimble, Violin Memory and EMC.  

Headquartered in The Netherlands, operating under the Dr Hittich Brand in Kerkrade, GreenPower is a wholesale organization supplying nutritional supplements made from 100 percent natural active substances and free from synthetic chemicals. For its mission-critical IT applications it was looking for an efficient storage solution that could support an infrastructure with an availability well beyond 99 percent.

"We needed to replace an existing all-flash solution and decided we wanted to take it to the next level," explains Guido Meijers, IT manager at GreenPower. "We were looking for a vendor who could offer hybrid and all-flash systems and data deduplication capabilities cost-efficiently, and who would support all relevant protocols and file systems for flexibility and diversity. Additionally, there was no longer any support for our existing systems so we had to find a solution that was easy to install and integrate. Tegile was the only solution that met all our requirements - in fact, Tegile was the only vendor to offer an all-flash system that supports a hybrid expansion shelf and inline data-deduplication and compression at all."

GreenPower runs a completely virtualized data center with a total of 300 virtual servers on 16 physical VMware ESX host servers. The main applications running on the servers are Windows, Microsoft SQL, Exchange, diverse file servers, BI Tools such as SAS Analytics and KXEN, and a Progress Open Edge application for its ERP system. The storage solution consists of two T3800 all-flash arrays combined with two hybrid extension shelves so that secondary data can be stored on less expensive drives. Additionally, GreenPower uses Datacore storage virtualization software to further optimize the performance. For high availability and disaster recovery GreenPower runs a mirrored data center (stretched cluster) with exactly the same setup. High-availability is improved by the fact that Tegile arrays in themselves are built highly available and fully redundant with active/active controllers, ensuring they do not suffer from a single point of failure - providing an extra level of security.

For the implementation Tegile engaged Dutch reseller, DMP, and the full installation was completed and pushed live within half a day. Based on the new infrastructure Meijers, with his team of five, provides IT-services to a total of 450 employees. The majority (95 percent) of end users are working on thin clients combined with the Citrix XenApp and the remaining five percent use heavy-duty workstations, which store data directly on the Tegile systems - made possible by the high performance and extremely low latency.

The storage infrastructure provides GreenPower with a total capacity of 2x 28 TB in flash and 2x 48 TB in hybrid storage. Due to Tegile's unique IntelliFlash operating system, which enables inline data deduplication and compression, GreenPower currently only uses 2x 20 TB of the total capacity. Meijers is sure that compared to Tegile's rivals this means a data reduction of more than 50 percent and significant cost savings.

GreenPower is only using a fraction of the solution's potential and the team plans to explore more options moving forward. This includes more closely examining the possibilities offered by the support of the NFS file system. For now though, Meijers and his team can be confident in having an infrastructure in place that is not only able to handle the most demanding workloads, but that also will future proof the business for the foreseeable future.

Published Wednesday, September 30, 2015 6:11 PM by David Marshall
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