Virtual computing environment saves customer a million

Save operational costs and offload management burden

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Client
The client is a value-added distributor of communications and IT technologies with a global network of specialty resellers. It provides technology solutions to help businesses operate and grow. 

Business Issue
A leading specialty distributor wanted to reduce costs by consolidating two data centers and set an IT strategy to support scale and agility for its IT infrastructure required for future business growth. 

It relied on over 175 physical servers at multiple locations for the core of its business operations. A couple of years ago, the customer conducted a risk analysis and business impact study, and concluded that they could make substantial improvements to both their cost structure and network performance by consolidating and migrating their servers to a single, virtualized environment. 

CBTS Solutions 
In this project, CBTS provided the following services to help the customer achieve its goals and exceed its expectation of cost reductions.  

Solidify the Solution
CBTS analyzed and tested a variety of products by different vendors to solidify the cutting-edge VCE solution adopted by the customer. In this process, CBTS offered unmatched experience, expertise, and flexibility to support the consortium, comprised of leading vendors delivering the best-of-breed solution.

CBTS had extensive experience with the products provided by the vendors in this project, including Cisco, EMC, VMware, and EM7. In particular, CBTS provided first-hand user experience of the new EM7 virtual environment monitoring software, which is used in our own Enterprise Network Operations Center (ENOC). CBTS also holds the following prestigious Cisco certifications for implementing its Unified Computing System (UCS):
  • Data Center Unified Computing Authorized Partner Program
  • Vblock 1 Qualified Partner Program for VCE 
  • Data Center Network Infrastructure (DCNI) Program 
  • Data Center Storage Network (DCSN) Program 
CBTS was truly flexible in delivering its services and completely worked within the customer’s parameters. Often times, our engineers would take the extra mile to exceed the customer’s expectation.

Deployment 
As a certified implementer of the VCE components, CBTS helped deploy Cisco’s UCS, EMC SAN and VMware technologies. Cisco’s UCS technology was new when the customer decided to adopt it. CBTS engineers worked with the technical specialists from Cisco, EMC, and the customer’s IT team to deploy the advanced technology, ensuring that the process went as smoothly as possible.  

Data Migration and Virtualization 
CBTS’ virtualization specialists helped migrate and virtualize the customer’s data and servers. Using Double-Take software, the engineers replicated a copy of the customer’s data and server configurations to the Cisco UCS servers and created a virtual computing environment. The virtualized servers and the customer’s original physical servers were kept in synchronization until the conversion window opened. The original servers were then automatically shut down by the replication software as the virtualized servers became operational, practically instantaneously.  

Managed Services
CBTS was contracted to provide managed services for the customer’s servers and networks in the virtual environment. Through our state-of-the-art ENOC, our engineers provide primary monitoring of the performance of the customer’s networks. The ENOC provides the first level of support in the event of a network or system problem and can perform high-level problem diagnosis.  

Another managed service team of Tier II/III engineers provides the management of the networks, the virtual servers, the Cisco UCS hardware platform, and data backup. When a problem is detected, the team will perform trouble shooting or request the equipment vendor to fix the issue if needed. The customer’s operations will not be affected and they may not even be aware of the trouble shooting. 

Benefits
CBTS was one of the very first partners to implement the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) solution, which created a robust virtual environment with reliable backup and recovery capabilities. Utilizing the VCE solution and CBTS’ managed services for the virtual environment, the customer saved more than $1 million in operational costs through server virtualization, hardware consolidation and data center consolidation.
  • The customer was able to consolidate more than 175 physical servers into fewer than 40 Cisco UCS blade servers in a robust virtualized environment. This helped the customer dramatically reduce space, power consumption, and overall management costs, which generated $1 million in operational savings.
  • By utilizing Cisco’s high speed, high performance UCS servers and virtualization technologies, the customer’s operational performance has been greatly improved. The customer expects to be able to process customer transactions up to twice as fast, as well as generate reports more efficiently from its single, global ERP system. 
  • CBTS managed services allow the customer to focus on their business process instead of the system that runs the process. It frees up the customer’s IT staff from managing their environment so that they can focus on their core business and value-add services for their customers.