Nutanix drives a new era at Currie European Transport
A scalable virtual infrastructure to enhance resilience and efficiencies.
- Deployed in just one week
- 100% uptime of critical applications
- Public facing systems working more quickly
- Storage capacity to meet demands of five branches
Currie European Background
Since its 1977 inception, Currie European has emerged as a significant player in the logistics sector with a depot network that covers all of the UK and extends to France and Holland.
With a head office based in Dumfries, Scotland, the business has a number of household name clients spanning sectors including textiles, air freight, drinks, hi-tech, industrial and packaging.
From the outset, a commitment to technology has marked out the haulier’s offering from competitors. Fuelled by customer demands and expectations, the business has invested significantly in tracking technology with real time information available and accessible to customers on all consignments. It’s an approach and commitment that extends to all areas of the operation, following a major revamp of the IT infrastructure.
The issue: An ageing infrastructure that had reached its limits Based on a traditional enterprise server/SAN set up, Currie European’s six-year-old infrastructure was struggling to cope with the rising network demands fuelled by company growth.
As well as the heightened risk of component failure, basic tasks including running intensive database reports (SQL) and opening network files were taking far longer than they should.
With low RAM levels affecting performance and requiring regular maintenance and data storage almost at the end of the disc space, there was a growing need to expand the network infrastructure.
Principally, a robust solution was sought that would be both energy efficient and provide greater resilience to system failures. After many years of using traditional IT architecture, the upgrade was an opportunity for the business to try a fresh approach and take advantage of the new technologies available. The aim was to build on the level of virtualisation which had been introduced to the business in 2008 with the potential of incorporating VDI, either as part of the project or in the future a further consideration.
“Nutanix Nutanix seemed to come out of nowhere and became phenomenal as a business in a very short time. That tells us they got something very right.”
A solution for the future
“When I was doing my research, I found hardly any negative reviews about Nutanix at all, only positive ones and that really stood out because it’s so unusual.”
In need of advice, Currie European turned to one of its most trusted suppliers, the IT reseller, Misco, which proved to be unequivocal in its recommendation of the Nutanix virtual computing platform as the ideal upgrade solution. Misco worked with Nutanix, Currie European and partners to recommend, design and deliver the new Hyper-Converged Infrastructure.
Designed for virtualised IT environments with particularly demanding storage requirements, the hyper-converged server and storage solution simplifies the deployment of virtual machines (VMs) while negating the requirement for more complex SANs.
For the logistics provider, it represented a strong proposition, particularly the highly configurable nature and ease of scalability which transformed the usually complex process of network expansion. Capacity and performance could be enhanced simply by adding additional nodes that distributed the shared storage across the network. As a small IT department, the level of confidence that the solution inspires in terms of speed of deployment and reliability was a significant benefit.
For Currie European, it was this innovation and level of capability that represented a solution and investment for the future and one that could evolve and grow easily and would meet the business needs.
Fast installation, seamless integration
“The Nutanix solution captured our interest and imagination”. Deployed and up and running in just one week, compared to the three-month time frame spent integrating traditional architecture, Nutanix has quickly made its mark.
Storage capacity has been addressed with the solution able to meet the size and scale of the requirements of 130 users across five branches in Europe with 20 VMs, two SQL servers, exchange, file and printing servers and an accounts system running on the system.
Improvements have also been made to the resource database server with intensive reports handled in just half an hour as opposed to several hours as before. And after changing the backup solution to VEEAM, running upon the new Nutanix hardware, back up times have also been condensed to just one hour compared to the previous all night process.
Furthermore, the system has more than proven its robust credentials having been running 24 hours a day, seven days week since the installation without needing to be rebooted or shut down once.
Peace of mind
Crucially, Nutanix has brought a peace of mind to the business which is now safe in the knowledge that it has the scalable solution that can evolve and grow to meet the changing and future requirements with minimal disruption. It’s an efficiency which has translated to an enhanced customer experience with greater integration of public facing systems which are working more quickly as a result. For example, a system developed in-house that can scan all proofs of delivery is integrated with the tracking system which gives customers visibility of their freight in real time, at a much faster rate.
Added McFarlane: “If I need a virtual server I can build it and have confidence that it will work and I have resources for it. What we have now should satisfy our needs for the next five years.”