5-node cluster of SolidFire 19210

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Customer Profile+-


Tavria V (tavriav.org), an innovative and fast-growing company, is a leader in Ukrainian retail business. Founded in 1992, Tavria V is a multiformat retail company that operates more than 80 facilities: shopping malls, including VIPclass; delicatessens; convenience stores; fast-food restaurants; a VIP-class restaurant; production units equipped with powerful modern equipment; large logistic distribution centers; foreign economic department; construction and development divisions; a private label unit; and an online store.

The company, which employs about 7,000 people, is most widely represented in the Odessa region. Key success factors include a commitment to innovation, the ability to develop and implement new ideas, and the ability to create products and services. Modern, highly automated, and continuously improved business processes enable the company to achieve its main goal: to serve customers merchandise at an affordable price as quickly as possible.

Tavria V was the first company in the south of Ukraine to open an online shop and offer home delivery service. Today, the popular online shop tavriav.ua carries about 60,000 SKUs.

The large retail business requires an innovative and flexible IT infrastructure. Fast and reliable data management of business applications is the key to success.

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The Challenge+-

Accelerating business applications
The business of Tavria V is supported by dozens of highly loaded systems and applications, from the central retail system and POS, business intelligence, and CRM, up to standard service systems, such as e-mail, enterprise content management, conferencing, and desktop virtualization. Most of the systems and applications are business critical and have high requirements for storage performance, resiliency, and management. Every minute of downtime or critical issue of storage performance can lead to risks that include loss of revenue, loss of customer loyalty, and even damage to the company’s reputation.

To improve the performance and flexibility of business applications and to increase the efficiency of storage resources, the company’s IT department decided to build a private cloud with virtualization of all business applications.

Since 2011, the company has used a NetApp high-end solution based on FAS6240HA with NetApp Flash Cache™ module extensions as its primary storage. This solution significantly improved the performance of key business applications and the efficiency of data management. It also significantly reduced backup time. However, by 2016 the solution did not meet the requirements of the storage platform for the new private cloud project. For example, the extension of the number of disks did not always provide the expected and required performance increase for the whole system, as well as of individual business applications.

For a business optimization project, Tavria V teamed up with consultants from Inforada systems integrator company. They decided to apply a fundamentally new approach to the system architecture and to move to a system with horizontal scale-out architecture. Considering the high-performance requirements for various applications, an all-flash storage array was selected. The company evaluated all-flash solutions from the leading vendors, including NetApp, Violin Memory, EMC, HP, and IBM.

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The Solution+-

Deployment of NetApp SolidFire All Flash Array
After a thorough evaluation of all characteristics of the offered allflash arrays, Tavria V’s IT specialists selected NetApp SolidFire for its new storage platform. CIO Sergey Konkov explained that SolidFire far exceeds its competitors in terms of scaling capabilities. It also offers significant savings in disk space and cost through its global in-line deduplication and compression.

SolidFire also features powerful functionality, including advanced Quality of Service (QoS), which allows it to guarantee the high quality of service for business-critical applications with different storage capacity and performance requirements. SolidFire is the leading solution for environments in which applications with various load profiles are used, in terms of both storage capacity and performance. This means that NetApp SolidFire is an ideal solution for building a private cloud with the next-generation data center approach.

The SolidFire product line was added to the NetApp flash portfolio just a year ago, and it’s a new product for the CIS market. Therefore, Tavria V was originally concerned about moving its business-critical applications to the new system. Konkov explains, “NetApp and technical specialists of the system integrator Inforada, the first certified partner of the NetApp SolidFire solution in Ukraine, convinced us of the reliability of the chosen solution and approach.” The NetApp SolidFire 19210 all-flash array in a 5-node configuration was deployed in Tavria V’s data center, using Inforada’s consultants. All production data and applications were migrated to the new system from the old FAS6240HA, which is now used for backup and disaster recovery. Customers’ IT specialists attended a workshop given by NetApp SolidFire and Inforada experts.

According to Konkov, the company originally planned to migrate to NetApp SolidFire only some of its most resource-intensive business-critical applications and to migrate the remaining workloads after purchasing additional nodes. However, practical use of global in-line deduplication and compression has reduced the data volume by more than 8x. Therefore it was possible to migrate all data and workloads to the new SolidFire system and still leave more than 40% of storage array capacity available in the system.

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Business Benefits+-

The use of state-of-the-art all-flash technology significantly improved the performance of applications. Guaranteed QoS, implemented in NetApp SolidFire, allowed Tavria V to improve, control, and manage the quality of data storage services for critical business applications. By using global deduplication and compression, it was possible to migrate the data of all business applications to the new solution, which significantly reduced the cost of data storage and management.

Before the migration, according to Konkov, scaling and performance tuning were major challenges. The deployment of NetApp SolidFire provided additional storage resources to applications with increased capacity and/or performance storage requirements, so that it was no longer necessary to go through long and complex processes of sizing to select the optimal upgrade options. This process sometimes required the involvement of consultants and vendor experts. Now, through the powerful monitoring and QoS functions of SolidFire, Tavria V can quickly identify the problem with a particular application and allocate additional resources in real time without affecting the performance of other applications.

Thanks to the solution’s scale-out architecture and the flexibility to mix different nodes with capacity and performance characteristics in a cluster, it’s possible to linear scale the system, depending on the needs of applications and workloads. This simplifies and accelerates the procedures and business processes, and it also allows the system to respond to rapidly changing business demands for IT infrastructure. This takes IT planning and budgeting to the next level of predictability and transparency

In addition to scaling the current system, in the future the company plans to build its second data center on a NetApp SolidFire solution and to organize replication between sites for disaster recovery.

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