Established as a family business in 1934, The Cartwright Companies is now a leading supplier of global mobility services. With 13 divisions, the company provides relocation services for residential, corporate, military and government clients, as well as management, mobility and payroll solutions for their customers worldwide.
Transpo Services, their technology division, provides IT solutions for the entire company, ensuring the best customer service possible. Using advanced analytics, Transpo helps Cartwright customers manage and reduce their expenses through world-class reporting capabilities, efficient claims handling, and convenient flat-rate pricing.
The Challenge: Finding an Affordable Solution that Could Keep up with Performance Demands
Every day, Transpo Services has a Herculean task: an IT team of just seven people must provide world-class IT for 13 different companies that help federal government employees and military families move across the globe. “Our bread and butter are helping military households move overseas. However, we also provide services for the State Department and other federal agencies,” says John House, Network Administrator at Transpo. “Our mission is to make the relocation experience as smooth as possible for our nation’s finest individuals.”
However, running IT for 13 companies is no easy task. It doesn’t just require a great team – it also requires excellent equipment. And when House joined the team, their IT infrastructure was not up to the challenge.
“We inherited a situation where we were having all kinds of application dropouts, which was of course extremely problematic for our teams and customers,” said House. “We did a deep dive on the situation and found all kinds of dropouts on our networks that impacted our VMware infrastructure. We’re talking about a 100 millisecond lag times on our main Oracle database – it was completely unacceptable.”
The main culprit was the company’s EMC array. “We worked tirelessly to try to resolve the situation with EMC, but in the end, we realized we purchased a product that couldn’t handle the work we needed it to do,” said Todd Stanley, IT Director at Transpo.
The Solution: Tegile Hybrid IntelliFlash HD
With their mission clear, Transpo Services cast their net far and wide for an array that could support the nation’s premier global relocation services provider.
“We looked at just about everyone – Pure Storage, HP, EMC, etc. – and finally narrowed it down to Nimble,” said House. “We were actually on the verge of signing the contract when a vendor of ours told us about Tegile. Admittedly, we didn’t know much about the company, but when we started asking around, we heard nothing but great things. So we decided to give them a shot before committing.”
Transpo was more than just impressed – they were sold on Tegile immediately. “Nimble had a lot of nice things to offer, but in the end, they couldn’t deliver on what we needed – an affordable hybrid solution in a single box. We were going to go with them and buy two arrays because we didn’t know a better solution existed. But Lo and behold, Tegile appeared right in front of our eyes,” said House. “People always say there is no such thing as a single solution – but Tegile provided us with just that.”
Tegile IntelliFlash HD arrays are fully redundant with no single point of failure and deliver unprecedented levels of performance, data consolidation, simplicity, and economics. All media are dual-ported and accessible through a pair of active/active controllers. Users can also take instantaneous, space-efficient snapshots for easy replication during disaster recovery. Inline compression and deduplication on SSD and hard disk throughout the array help significantly reduce storage acquisition and operational costs. Redundant operating system images in a virtual server platform reside in a single instance stored in flash storage. Hundreds of thousands of persistent VDI instances are shrunk down to one single boot image that can launch in seconds.
The Results: 100x Faster Speeds, More Than $50,000 in Savings, and Over 2:1 Data Reduction
Tegile is now the backbone of the entire Cartwright organization. Transpo uses its flash storage pool to store all of its terminal servers and its primary Oracle, SQL, and MySQL databases. The company then uses its hybrid pool for tier two and three storage – e.g., disaster recovery, exchange servers, etc. Whether using iSCSI or NFS, both pools work seamlessly with each other.
“The fact that we can have Flash and hybrid in the same array is huge for us. We can move files back and forth, no problem,” said House. “Best of all, expansion with Tegile is effortless. We can add more hybrid or flash shelves with ease, and mix and match file and block protocols with no issues – for example; it wouldn’t be a hassle at all if we wanted to switch to Fiber Channel.”
For Transpo, switching between block and file-based storage is just the tip of the iceberg regarding benefits. They are operating at blazing fast speeds now for a fraction of their prior costs. “On the Flash side of things, we’re running with a latency of less than one millisecond (0.4 on average),” said House. “On the hybrid side, we’re getting latency down to 1.1 milliseconds. We’re getting speeds that are about 100 times faster than before. The whole experience is terrific. We didn’t know these kind of speeds were possible for the price.”
Transpo is also reeling in the benefits of data reduction and deduplication. “We’re currently reducing data at a rate of more than 2 to 1,” said House. “It’s pretty incredible, especially when you think about the fact that many other vendors – including Nimble – don’t even have this feature. It makes a huge difference. It’s like having a brand new array without actually having to purchase one.”
Best of all, Transpo was able to revamp its entire IT infrastructure at an extremely reduced cost. “We saved over 50,000 dollars by going with Tegile,” said Stanley. “The whole experience just blew us away. A vendor we had never heard of came in, outdid the competition, and made our finance department happy to boot.”