Agilis Networks Builds Business-to-Business Applications on Nutanix
Required a resilient, high-availability platform for customer-facing services
- The Nutanix Xtreme Computing Platform
- Nutanix hyperconverged systems
- Nutanix Prism management solution
- Obtained high availability for all applications using Nutanix three-node clusters
- Reduced data center footprint by 3x over Dell or HP
- Simplified storage and server management
- Savings of $12,000 on power costs for every 3 nodes, over three years
Agilis Networks is a B2B fi ber-based Internet, WAN, voice, and hosted services provider. Founded in 1997, it provides the backbone for the enterprise-level networking needs of many Northern Ontario communities and businesses. With a robust fi ber-optic network, Agilis Networks has earned its stellar reputation as the premier choice for businesses and organizations in need of top-of-line, reliable telecommunication services.
Agilis Networks was looking for a new storage system for its customer-facing services. “We needed a powerful, responsive platform that could support all of our external business-to-business applications,” noted Josey Frescura, Vice President of Competitive Services at Agilis Networks.
In the Agilis Networks business model, customers can buy cycles all the way up to the VMs, according to Frescura. “We provide data center hosting, power, air conditioning, server cycles, and VMs to our customers,” he explained. “But unlike a much larger service, we don’t serve hundreds or thousands of customers. We aren’t a commodity provider, we only serve clients with very rigorous uptime requirements. We offer a very high level of reliability and redundancy, so our solution is the perfect fi t for customers that need a robust service.
Agilis Networks started its search for a new storage solution by examining several options, including Nutanix. “We went through a very thorough process to choose the right systems,” Frescura reported. “We needed to provide greater than RAID 10 availability,” he explained. “We also wanted a highly reliable system, something with signifi cant uptime. We couldn’t have servers components dying all of the time. We also wanted something that we could port across locations, enabling us to place multiple servers in separate sites and have them replicate to one another. The Nutanix three-node clusters were the perfect fi t for our customer environments.”
Frescura also looked at the cost of power and footprint of the new solution. “Instead of buying 12u of a name brand competitor, we could get the same amount of processing power and capacity in a much smaller 4u package with Nutanix,” he reported. “That saves us a lot on footprint and the amount of heat being pushed into the data center. We calculated that Nutanix would save us $12,000 over 3 years, for every 3 nodes, in power and electricity costs. The lower costs are enabling us to offer more competitive pricing to all of our clients.”
“It’s great to buy good hardware, but you also have to be able to count on good service and support when you need it. Nutanix checks all of the boxes on my list.”
Agilis Networks purchased a Nutanix NX-6000-series system in June of 2014. “We received the hardware in just a few days, and had it up and running in less than two weeks,” Frescura admitted. “Since this was a new installation and environment for us, we didn’t know the best way to segregate it from a security standpoint at fi rst. So most of the time and effort during those two weeks was spent modifying our own internal environment. Had we fi nished all of that pre-work in advance, the Nutanix deployment probably would have taken less than an hour. It’s a very straightforward system to implement.”
Agilis Networks has added several additional nodes to the Nutanix environment since the original purchase. “Our team was surprised how easy it was to expand the cluster,” noted Frescura.
Using Nutanix Prism
Agilis Networks is now using the Nutanix Prism interface to manage the environment. “We keep an eye on the messages and alerts, and our storage admin checks in about once a day just to make sure everything is good,” Frescura said. “There haven’t been any problems since we deployed the systems, but it’s always reassuring to see the statistics. It really is a set it and forget it platform.”
Partnering with Zycom Technology
Agilis Networks partnered with Zycom Technology, an IT solutions provider and Nutanix Partner, for its new virtual server infrastructure deployment on Nutanix. “We were involved with the team at Agilis Networks early in the evaluation phase to size the initial virtual environment, assist in the total cost of ownership metrics, and we continue to work with Agilis in developing their private cloud solutions…it’s a true partnership,” explained Terry Buchanan, vice president technology and general manager of Zycom, the 2014 & 2015 Nutanix Channel Partner of the Year for Canada.
“The NX-6000 series was the perfect integrated solution for Agilis Networks and their clients’ needs, offering high density storage resources with very fl exible compute and memory confi gurations in the smallest footprint on the market,” he noted. “The smaller footprint leads to power and cooling savings, and also maximizes the data center footprint for maximum growth potential. And the upgrade process is so fast and seamless, Agilis Networks can focus on their customers not the underlying technology.”
Great Tech Support
“Nutanix provides the best customer service in the industry,” Frescura admitted. “We called in with some questions right after we deployed the fi rst system. It turns out we didn’t confi gure our internal environment perfectly. The Nutanix support rep knew exactly what to do and the issue was resolved very quickly. He also followed up with us several days later to make sure everything was working well.”
Frescura also appreciates the ‘Call Home’ functionality of the Nutanix systems. “I love the fact that Nutanix monitors the hardware remotely to make sure it’s always up and running. If it detects any issues, it proactively alerts us. It’s a fantastic feature and we are extremely pleased with it. It’s great to buy good hardware, but you also have to be able to count on good service and support when you need it. Nutanix checks all of the boxes on my list.”
Recommending Nutanix to Others
“We are now looking to leverage Nutanix for more internal use cases, including our server voice application,” concluded Frescura. “We are currently using the Nutanix snapshot feature for backups, but we would also like to purchase a second unit for disaster recovery in the near-term. We are extremely pleased with the new infrastructure and will recommend Nutanix to any organization looking for a better way to run IT.”