For the past two years, at StorPool Storage we keep evolving our product and services so that we can provide the best of class primary storage platform on the market. Two of our latest success stories are our integrations with Amito and Dustin Group. For the great efforts we’ve put into these projects, StorPool Storage was nominated in two categories оn the DCS Awards 2021 – “Data Centre Consolidation/Upgrade/Refresh Project of the Year” and “Cloud Project of the Year“. We were also nominated in the category “Data Centre ICT Storage Product of the Year” оn the DCS Awards 2021. Learn more about these nominations and the challenges we’ve overcome so that StorPool Storage could build storage solutions that help our partners and clients thrive and excel.
Data Centre Consolidation/Upgrade/Refresh Project of the Year – “Dustin Group replaces VMware and Hyper-V with a New-Age IT Stack powered by StorPool”
“Dustin Group replaces multiple Tier 1 storage vendors with a Software-Defined Storage solution from StorPool Storage.”
Dustin is a leading IT and managed services provider (MSP) with operations in Northern Europe. The Company offers IT products with associated services and solutions to companies, the public sector, and private individuals. Their main focus is on small- and medium-sized companies. Dustin has more than 1800 employees. Sales for the 2018/19 financial year amounted to ~€1.2 bln ($1.4 bln). More than 90 percent of Dustin’s income comes from the corporate market. Dustin Group has been listed on Nasdaq Stockholm since 2015 and has its head office in Sweden.
To meet the changing needs of customers, Dustin needed to have a highly efficient cloud platform. However, over time they acquired multiple IT platforms that had become too large, complex, and expensive to manage efficiently. Dustin launched a large-scale project with three primary goals:
- Consolidate its various hardware and soſtware platforms into a New-Age standardised cloud platform that serves all their business units and customers.
- Streamline their operating expenses by eliminating IT management overhead while simultaneously providing superior performance and service quality.
- Implement new technologies that remove old limitations and increase the flexibility of their platform, enabling faster responses to market dynamics.
Dustin wanted to replace their traditional soſtware stacks – VMware and Hyper-V with a New-Age IT stack powered by KVM. The project also involved replacing the siloed pieces of specialised legacy hardware infrastructure. This included replacing SAN/NAS storage and Fibre Channel networking with Soſtware-Defined Storage (SDS) and Soſtware-Defined Networking (SDN), running on standard hardware, as per the forward-looking Soſtware-Defined Data Center (SDDC) architecture.
To fill in the missing pieces, Dustin engineers did extensive research on the best-in-class innovative technologies and extensively tested several of them. They selected StorPool Storage (SDS) for their primary and secondary block storage needs and OpenNebula as their cloud management system, running the KVM hypervisor.
The end result is a powerful, scalable, API-driven, and efficient cloud platform, which was easy to deploy across all Dustin data centres. It allowed them to increase competitiveness, eliminate vendor lock-in, and improve service quality. All with low capital expenditures, optimised operating expenses and fewer internal IT operations experts.
The Implemented System
They implemented a new, simple, but robust solution in several geographical locations for primary storage, backup, and DR. StorPool’s highly efficient software-defined data storage platform allowed them to replace their existing diverse storage estate and replace specialised storage SAN arrays with software running on standard servers.
On the software side, the project replaced the traditional VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V software stacks with a New-Age IT stack powered by Linux and KVM, managed by OpenNebula’s Cloud Management Platform.
On the hardware side, Dustin’s new cloud design uses standard hardware from multiple vendors – HPE, Supermicro, Nvidia Networking (Mellanox) and the primary storage is running on NVMe devices.
The new cloud platform enabled Dustin to streamline business operations. The end result is a powerful, scalable, API-driven, and efficient cloud platform, which was easy to deploy across all Dustin data centres.
It allowed the company to streamline operations, increase competitiveness, eliminate vendor lock-in, and improve service quality. All of these achieved with low capital expenditures and fewer IT staff.
With the transition to New-Age IT and building a software-defined cloud, Dustin managed to expand its technological leadership on the European market.
“We are very pleased with the engagement with StorPool and their ability to meet our special needs. In addition to the unique data storage solution, they provide us with first-class support with which we are very happy!”, said Dan Mårtensson, Product Manager Infrastructure and Cloud-services at Dustin Group.
Dustin’s key benefits from implementing StorPool:
- Single technology stack, across all companies and all locations
- Faster and better service for all Dustin customers
- Seamless scalability & flexibility
- Offloading of IT staff to re-focus on core business
- Lower capital expenditures (CAPEX) and optimised operating expenses (OPEX)
- Reduced vendor lock-in
Technology Stack Used
Cloud Project of the Year – “Amito uses CloudStack and StorPool Storage to build next-generation cloud infrastructure across several data centres”
“StorPool outperforms Nimble and Pure Storage for a multi-petabyte storage deployment with CloudStack.“
Amito is a leading UK-based Managed Services Provider that received a £38.7 million investment round from Harwood Private Equity in March 2021. Amito offers public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions, colocation solutions, and high-bandwidth connectivity. They have been delivering bespoke cloud services since 2000 and have a presence in 28 data centres worldwide. They are a trusted technology partner for medium and large enterprises. The excellence of their clouds is critical for their success – therefore, they continuously invest in their infrastructure.
During the past year, they completed the re-engineering of their multi-petabyte cloud infrastructure across multiple locations owned or rented by Amito. They use CloudStack for cloud management and KVM as their hypervisor. StorPool serves all the storage needs of their managed infrastructure offerings by converting sets of standard Supermicro servers into primary or secondary storage arrays. The solution spreads a standardised installation across multiple sub-clusters with a unified global namespace to keep failure domains small and avoid putting “all the eggs in one basket”. As a result, Amito has a cutting-edge cloud platform that is exceptionally reliable and addresses the enterprise-grade needs of Amito’s customers.
Key Stakeholders Involved in the Project
Amito’s senior team has been working in the cloud and colocation hosting industry for nearly 20 years. Their expertise and experience with building reliable and agile solutions for their customers urge them to constantly improve their infrastructure, select and implement the latest performance-driving technologies. Without a doubt, before StorPool, the most challenging part of their cloud infrastructure was the storage. That’s why Ed Butler, the Chief Executive Officer of Amito, and Simon Utting, the Chief Operating Officer of Amito, were directly responsible for driving this project.
Challenges Addressed by the Project
Amito used many storage products – from big-name vendors to in-house developed ones. Since none of the products Amito used before matched what they needed, Amito assessed new vendors and their solutions. They shortlisted StorPool Storage, HPE Nimble Storage, and Pure Storage. Amito did not evaluate any legacy solutions because, quoting CEO Ed Butler – “the approach to storage has moved on, and they have not all kept up”.
The company had a crucial criterion for the new storage solution that would power their clouds – that it must correspond with their core company value of aiming for excellence. Additionally, they searched for a next-gen solution that would be agile, reliable, speedy, and would optimise their infrastructure. Choosing StorPool gave them powerful competitive advantages such as unbeatable performance, space efficiency, unmatched scalability, and TCO optimisations. The solution comes with an outstanding, utterly hands-off service that delivers 100% uptime for Amito’s services.
The Implemented System
StorPool’s team of storage experts initially deployed 12 storage systems (clusters) for Amito, each with hundreds of TBs of usable capacity. These clusters support the needs of Amito’s broad range of applications. In 2020, StorPool installed seven more clusters to complete the deployment. Amito’s storage systems work with various storage drives – NVMe SSDs, SATA SSDs, and SATA/SAS HDDs. The hardware platform uses AMD EPYC CPUs built into Supermicro chassis. Finally, the network backbone uses Juniper 25G/100G Ethernet switches. CloudStack orchestrates the whole cloud infrastructure, running many Windows and Linux virtual machines using the KVM hypervisor.
Amito deployed a next-gen storage solution that integrates effectively with their cloud infrastructure, optimises the consumption of usable capacity, delivers unbeatable reliability and speed, and comes with 24/7 proactive monitoring and maintenance included in the fully-managed service included in StorPool Storage licenses.
Due to these capabilities, Amito now uses approx. 35% less storage capacity than with their previous solutions. Most visibly to their clients, they’ve seen a dramatic increase in workload reliability and speed. All of Amito’s storage clusters have delivered 100% data consistency and 100% availability since their go-live date. Finally, Amito appreciates that StorPool collects hundreds of metrics per second from each storage server and generates automatic alerts that help pinpoint potential storage issues before they occur.
“We always aim to pick the right partners to build our solutions on, and StorPool has demonstrated their excellence to date. StorPool is a rare combination of great technology and a willing and very able support team!”, Ed Butler, CEO of Amito.
Technology Stack Used
CloudStack – Cloud Management Platform
KVM – Hypervisor
StorPool Storage – Software-defined Storage Solution
Juniper 25G/100G Ethernet switches
AMD EPYC CPUs
NVMe SSDs, SATA SSDs, SATA/SAS HDDs
About StorPool Storage
StorPool is a leading software provider that develops the most reliable and speedy storage platform on the market. Public and private cloud builders – Managed Services Providers, Hosting Services Providers, Cloud Services Providers, enterprises, and SaaS vendors – use StorPool Storage as the foundation for their clouds. StorPool converts sets of standard servers into primary storage arrays for large-scale cloud infrastructure. The software comes as an utterly hands-off solution – we architect, deploy, tune, monitor, and maintain your StorPool Storage system so that your users experience a speedy and reliable service.
StorPool Storage systems are ideal for storing and managing the data of primary workloads that demand extreme reliability and low latency – databases, web servers, virtual desktops, real-time analytics, and mission-critical software.
Our customers’ specific benefits from StorPool Storage vary depending on their use cases, technology stacks, and scale. However, the core capabilities of StorPool are that it is reliable, agile, managed with ease, utterly hands-off, and speedy.
Under the hood, StorPool builds out shared-storage pools out of DC-grade storage drives directly attached to standard servers to create the ultimate storage solution. These pools provide standard block device interfaces to the virtualised and containerised workloads running in a cloud. StorPool has native plug-ins for Cloud Management Platforms like OpenStack, OpenNebula, CloudStack, Kubernetes, and OnApp. It also supports VMware, Oracle VM, Hyper-V, XenServer, and almost all Linux technology stacks.
We designed StorPool Storage for large-scale deployments, but it has efficient resource consumption and can start small. Each cluster scales seamlessly online – adding drives or servers expands both its capacity and performance. Adjusting StorPool volume capacity and performance also happens online without disrupting user workloads. The updates for StorPool are also carried out online, without any interruptions to your services.
StorPool doesn’t need specialised hardware components to deliver all of the above.
Before starting your new storage project, ensure you make the right choice for ensuring performance and reliability for your data. Talk with a StorPool Storage expert!