Protecting and Maximizing Mission Critical Applications with DH2i
Menigo, a subsidiary of the largest food service interest in Europe: Brakes Group, is Sweden’s premier provider of culinary arts products and supplies. Focused on six key Swedish markets (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Karlstad, Malmo, Sundsvall and Gavle) its comprehensive catalog boasts over 31,000 food, beverage, and non-food equipment offerings. Its core mission is simple: provide its customers with the highest quality products, at the right price, safely handled, delivered when they want them.
In order to help meet this mission, it is committed to maintaining a 24×7 operating environment that ensures continuous ordering access for its restaurant, public, chain and convenience store customers, as well as uninterrupted employee access to its business critical data warehouse containing information on everything from product inventory, to operations and logistics, to customer order status, etc… This is especially important, as one of Menigo’s specialties is fresh food. This infrastructure serves more than 1,000 users across over 650 clients.
Recently, Menigo identified the need to undergo a significant technology refresh, including the deployment of a new logistics system. One key element of the overall strategy was to find a high availability (HA) Microsoft SQL Server solution to replace its current PolyServe clustered file system technology from Hewlett-Packard (HP), which had been end-of-lifed. After a period of extensive research and testing, the project leader, Martin Persson, IT Technician Server/Storage, compiled and presented a highly detailed Decision Matrix to management. The Decision Matrix included a high level description of the recommended end-to-end solution, backed-up by a detailed analysis of each individual technology that was evaluated by him and his team, along with all associated costs.
Solution & Results
DH2i’s software emerged as the clear winner as the ideal solution for maximizing Menigo’s SQL Server environment – even over Microsoft and other third party solutions that were considered. While DH2i’s initial appeal was that it would ensure exactly the same enterprise-class “always-on” capability offered by Microsoft with its SQL Server 2012 product, at a fraction of the cost, the deal was sealed after Persson witnessed DH2i’s additional benefits, including:
- 50% Cost Reduction – DH2i’s on the fly application instance stacking capabilities enables Menigo to maximize CPU utilization, thereby providing the ability to reduce application hosts, both physical and virtual, by more than 50%. This reduction in servers consequently reduces the overall host software license and supports costs by more than 50%.
- Simplified Storage Management – By reducing the number of servers, the entire storage footprint for the application instances can be consolidated into a single pool. There is no longer a need to manage storage on a server-by-server basis or a requirement to have a backup job per server or separate monitoring for each server’s free space pool.
- Increased Virtualized Application Resiliency – As application instances can be automatically or manually moved to any server in less than 30 seconds, maximum high availability (HA) is achieved, without the need to double-up on hardware. Menigo can simply specify the physical, virtual or cloud server on which the application instance should be restarted, in the event of a failure, in order to eliminate downtime and ensure business continuity.
- Productivity Increase – DH2i’s application virtualization capabilities enables applications to be moved freely and transparently within and between heterogeneous environments – servers, storage, hypervisors, processors, memory, etc… can be acquired, mixed and configured based solely on individual business requirements and budget.
“It was really no contest,” commented Persson. “DH2i’s software won across the board – starting with cost – it’s usually about the money, right? However, DH2i completely beat the competition on features and functionality as well.”
Menigo’s refreshed data center is now comprised of DH2i’s software, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint, HP BladeSystem Servers, HP LeftHand P4000 Disk Storage and clustered VMware. This infrastructure supports both non mission critical, as well as Menigo’s most mission critical applications – including its website, ecommerce and logistics system. In order to stay dynamic, the DH2i software was deployed virtually, as opposed to on a physical platform, as was previously the case with the PolyServe technology.
“DH2i’s software has helped to take our data center to the next level,” said Persson. “While server virtualization helped us to control hardware acquisitions and maintenance costs, it did nothing for the basic deployment model for our enterprise applications – which was previously, one instance per host. With DH2i, we are able to reduce the overall host software stack, and enjoy the resulting advantages such as the creation of a centralized cloud platform to support our most business critical, revenue generating applications – including our website and logistics management system, as well as increased application instance mobility, ease of management, and a dramatic decrease in related expenditures.” He concluded, “I am happy to report that DH2i’s software has performed exactly as promised!”