- VSI – VMware vSphere
- Database – Microsoft SQL Server
- The business required a modern infrastructure solution with higher performance to support a hybrid cloud and migration strategy across the entire organisation.
- Physical management of storage was time consuming due to reliance on traditional on-premise workloads.
- Maintenance and co-location space costs continued to increase.
- Significant cost savings: the Evergreen storage plan will result in saving AUD$400,000 over the next 4 years.
- All applications respond instantly with zero latency, which benefits personnel across the entire organisation, from IT managers to end users.
- As less time is spent maintaining backup infrastructure — from 3 days per week to a few hours per week — time and resources can be deployed back into strategic business initiatives.
KordaMentha is an advisory and investment firm that provides turnaround and restructuring, real estate and forensic support for companies and their stakeholders. Established in 2002, KordaMentha has grown from a heritage in insolvency to one of Australia’s foremost multidisciplinary advisory firms; assisting clients in a variety of complex commercial matters.
BUILDING A BEST-OF-BREED SYSTEM FOR THE FUTURE
Headquartered in Melbourne with offices in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Townsville, Auckland, Singapore and the recent addition of Jakarta, KordaMentha provides services to corporations, creditors and equity holders, financiers and lenders, legal firms and government bodies in Australia and across the globe.
In addition to its supportive and collaborative culture, IT has been a crucial factor in driving KordaMentha’s growth. Storage is a core requirement for the business, underpinning everything from the speed of IT operations to simplifying applications for end-users. Ryan Wadsworth, Director of Technology, has seen KordaMentha go from strength to strength as a tier one advisory firm in his nine years with the company. “Slow storage means slow everything, from generating finance reports to running maintenance and replacement checks, and time is valuable in our business. Selecting the right storage solution removes the bottleneck and simplifies the environment, which filters down through the business right through to our clients, so finding the ideal match was extremely important.”
KordaMentha had what it considered an ‘adequate’ infrastructure solution for its environment, but reliance on traditional on-premise workloads resulted in ongoing heavy maintenance costs, which were counterintuitive to the business. Looking to refresh the environment as part of an overarching cloud migration strategy, KordaMentha required a forward-looking solution; one that would offer a smaller physical footprint, provide higher reliability, increase compliance, remove lengthy migration timelines and significantly reduce maintenance bills.
To continue as a best-of-breed advisory firm, KordaMentha required the newest storage solution — one that would support its hybrid cloud infrastructure model. It investigated the flash space with EMC XtremIO, however Wadsworth said the simplicity and cost savings were unrivaled. “The Pure Storage ‘scale up’ option provided a more suitable solution than EMC’s ‘scale out’ option as we weren’t required to introduce extra hardware. Once you buy the Pure solution and plug it in, it’s ready to operate within 15 minutes, which bodes well for the future simplicity of the product.” The scalability wasn’t the only thing that made sense for Wadsworth. “The Pure Storage maintenance model is ground-breaking: the longer you hold on, the less it costs over time.”
PERFORMANCE, SIMPLICITY, SCALABILITY AND PRICE MAKE PURE AND FLASHSTACK A PERFECT MATCH
All of KordaMentha’s workloads — with everything from finance and analytics reporting to Microsoft® SQL Server® and Remote Desktop Services — now sit on FlashStack, which includes a FlashArray//m20 from Pure Storage, Cisco® UCS® B-Series blade servers, a Cisco Nexus® 5000 data center switch, and VMware® vSphere®. Wadsworth said KordaMentha’s FlashStack deployment could not have been simpler. Pure Storage engineering team physically installed the Pure Storage FlashArray//m20 in half a day and a week later the entire environment was running on it. In stark comparison, the former storage vendor deployment took three months. “Pure is a highly driven, highly intelligent organisation. It took the team less than a day to configure FlashStack, which is the best infrastructure experience I’ve ever had.”
FlashStack is a flexible, all-flash converged infrastructure solution combining “best-ofbreed” in compute, network and storage hardware, plus virtualization software. These highly efficient components reduce power, cooling and data center costs. As a single, integrated architecture, FlashStack speeds time to deployment, lowers overall IT costs and reduces deployment risk.
The benefits of the Pure implementation were noticeable immediately. The Pure footprint is significantly smaller than the former storage vendor deployment as multiple racks have been reduced to a single rack, while performance has improved significantly.
INCREASED PERFORMANCE AND SIMPLIFIED MAINTENANCE DELIVER SAVINGS BACK TO THE BUSINESS
Most noticeable is the speed with which processes are now completed. Wadsworth said generating a financial report would previously take six and a half hours and virtual machine deployment time up to ten minutes. With FlashStack, these same tasks take fifteen minutes and ten seconds respectively. Business reports run faster and these time savings are a substantial benefit to the business.
Significant reductions in cost are another key benefit. KordaMentha’s former storage model resulted in massive maintenance bills. However, the Evergreen model will deliver a saving of AUD$400,000 on maintenance and replacement costs in the first four years following the deployment.
Simple, non-disruptive maintenance is also an important benefit. Since deploying FlashStack, KordaMentha has gone from spending three days to a few hours per week on system backups. The former storage disk needed to be replaced once per month which took several hours, but with Pure, the physical management of the device is much simpler.
Looking longer term, Wadsworth believes FlashStack will completely remove the storage management burden from his team. SAN upgrades will no longer be required, fundamentally changing the storage lifecycle. “The forklift replacement model is no longer required; Pure provides new controllers every three years, ensuring the hardware is modern and up to date. This happens seamlessly and while online with zero down time. If things remain status quo, we’ll never have to replace a SAN again. This is a significant change to the legacy storage model.”
Wadsworth knew the simplicity of the solution would be a key advantage from the outset, as the Pure installation was conducted in less than one hour. The resulting reduction in admin time spent monitoring and maintaining storage infrastructure on a regular basis has freed up Wadsworth and his team to focus on more strategic initiatives within the business. “Improved performance results in a significant uplift for staff; they can do their job more efficiently and focus on new projects rather than managing storage,” Wadsworth said.
KordaMentha is now in its fourteenth year of operation. Throughout all of that time, FlashStack with the Pure Stroage FlashArray is one of the only solutions that has delivered obvious benefits to the personnel across the entire organisation, from the IT team to end-users including accountants and personal assistants. All of the applications are instantaneous with zero load time. Wadsworth summed this up: “For such a complex operation, the use is so simple.”
As well as being a superior technical solution, Wadsworth said the Pure team has been fantastic to deal with. “The engineers are the smartest people on the planet. They simplified the decision even further.”
Based on its outstanding experience with Pure, KordaMentha is currently evaluating FlashStack’s advanced features such as snapshots and the replication option for disaster recovery. “We’re only three months in to our deployment — we’ve got the right foundations in place so the future is looking extremely promising.”