UCS Solutions, a leading provider of IT managed services and hosting services to the retail industry and the retail value chain, has improved its delivery of services and applications to customers and in doing so becomes one of South Africa's earliest adopters of an Enterprise Cloud solution from Nutanix.

    "We were faced with a real dilemma in that our legacy X86 systems were becoming increasingly costly to scale and services were slow to roll out because of the series of processes they entailed," says Edward Evans, Managing Executive, Cloud Operations of UCS Solutions. "To remain competitive we needed to overcome this – preferably by leveraging IT infrastructure to the greatest extent possible – and to improve our private cloud offerings to customers. We simply sought a solution to achieve this."

    Whereas at first glance it seemed apparent that UCS, with its x86 landscape should opt for a Storage Area Network (SAN) and the associated high capex and management costs, due diligence revealed that hyperconverged Web-scale infrastructure was the better solution.

    "The Enterprise Cloud solution offered by Nutanix was a revelation. Not having the high cost constraints of a SAN on us, was probably one of the biggest deciding factors," said Evans. "Now, with our Nutanix solution, we are leveraging our people better, and are able to spin up services faster to simply repurpose and reuse our resources far more effectively."

    The Nutanix solution in place at UCS Solutions comprises of two production clusters (1 x Acropolis and 1 x VMWare) and two disaster recovery clusters (soon to be consolidated into one cluster), hosted on Nutanix Xtreme Computing Platforms consisting of Nutanix NX-1000, NX-3000 and NX-6000 appliances. The Nutanix Xtreme Computing Platform, comprised of the Acropolis and Prism product families, is a wholly software-driven infrastructure solution that converges storage, compute and virtualisation into a single turnkey appliance.

    "Without getting into the technicalities, suffice to say, this new solution has allowed us to reduce silo walls and reduce the complexity in our business. Moreover, we can build and deploy infrastructure much faster. In addition, rather than retain a bolt-on SAN environment, our storage now sits in the network layer and leverages our existing network. Finally, all the significant cost-savings from a more streamlined and efficient system can now be passed directly on to our clients," concluded Evans.

    Hyperconvergence may not have been first choice for UCS Solutions when it embarked upon the search for an improved solution to its needs, but it is certainly a staunch advocate of the technology today. In fact, its relationship with Nutanix has evolved from being a customer to a partner. The company has signed up as an authorised Nutanix Managed Cloud Service Provider – a move that will enable it to leverage and partner with Nutanix to bring to market new solutions for the retail value chain.

    A detailed case study on the Nutanix solution installed at UCS Systems is available to read online at http://www.ucs.co.za/images/Case_Studies/Nutanix_Case_Study.pdf