Blackpool Council is a forward thinking local authority with a track record in the exploitation of IT to transform service delivery and achieve efficiencies and savings. However, the Council’s previous data centre infrastructure was not capable of delivering its vision. The organisation had experienced an explosive growth in storage which was proving to be costly to maintain and expensive to back up (60+ terabytes). After experiencing a major system outage the council’s business continuity and disaster recovery strategies were also high priorities.
Nimble Storage’s SmartStack™ solution, designed, implemented and supported by NG-IT comprised of the following elements: Nimble Storage CS400 series storage array; Cisco UCS B200M3 Performance Blade Servers with 6296Fabric Interconnects, Nexus 5500 Network switches, Nexus 1000v and Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). UCS Director for orchestration and management; VMware ESX 5.1 & Site Recovery Manager; Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0 and Citrix XenDesktop 7.5.
The council’s virtual server and virtual desktop estates now benefit from a stateless compute environment specifically designed for today’s data centre challenges, with 10Gbe connectivity to flash optimised hybrid storage which provides 70,000 IOPS and 100’s of TBs of capacity in minimal footprint. The SmartStack™ solution is deployed in the council’s two data centres, allowing the organisation to run live services at both sites, whilst providing bi-directional replication of ALL data to protect against site failure. Using Nimble Storage data replication technology with VMware SRM provides the Council with the ability to resume some or all of their business services at the surviving site in a matter of minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.
The implementation of SmartStack was completed in only 2 weeks with the overall project delivered well within the pre-agreed timeframe. Smartstack has delivered significant performance and quality improvements with greater flexibility at a reduced price.