Thanks to StarWind, we integrated with a cloud service and offloaded
long-term backups to cold storage further reducing our net spend for
on-premises storage without impacting recoverability times.
Technology Architect, Server & Cloud
Prior to implementing a StarWind solution, Formica UK & Ireland used a traditional blade and fibre SAN approach to compute and storage resources. With a new focus on cloud services and a shift away from on-premises development, the company’s IT infrastructure was aged and oversized. Maintenance costs for a system now running at 1/3 of its capacity were not viable so the decision was taken to resize the environment in line with the new cloud strategy. Formica UK & Ireland also wanted to refine its backup strategy and develop a well-balanced data protection plan meeting the company’s needs. To this end, Formica UK & Ireland reviewed its plan for future on-premises projects and decided on a disruptive vendor to the market to help achieve those goals. A 12-month evaluation of performance vs cost against multiple vendors including Nutanix, VMware, HyperGrid, SimpliVity, Pure Storage, and StarWind was initiated.
StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) and Virtual Tape Library (VTL) were selected as the products of choice due to their performance and cost. Formica UK & Ireland was able to integrate the StarWind platform into its existing technology stack. By using off-the-shelf branded components and purchasing StarWind ProActive Premium Support, the company had an on-premises solution that was monitored by both the business and StarWind Support Team. A 57% decrease in scheduled job runtimes and a 30% increase in SQL performance validated the decision to select a StarWind solution running all-flash. A reduction in the global footprint from 60+ compute nodes to 8 has had a corresponding drop in software licensing costs, power consumption, and maintenance downtime. By combining VMware with StarWind VSAN, Formica UK & Ireland has significantly improved its hypervisor performance and availability, but with a simplified architecture. Support for both Wintel and Linux environments has allowed migration activities to progress and further reduce software licensing costs. The modular approach to adding not just compute nodes but dedicated storage nodes to the platform also played a factor as the company looked at long-term growth of the platform against its transformative plans for group IT services, and these could be costed out well in advance due to flexibility with StarWind’s purchasing options. The ease of adding nodes and migrating to a single virtualized cluster now means Formica UK & Ireland has 3 copies of its data available at all times, satisfying a revered 3-2-1 backup rule.
The company is in the middle of deploying a StarWind VTL service into its data centers worldwide as part of its backup strategy improvement. Already at this stage, Formica UK & Ireland has ensured high availability and additional data redundancy, reducing maintenance costs at the same time. Overall, the company is very happy with the decision to move to StarWind and expects to use it for a long time.
About the Company
Formica UK & Ireland is a subsidiary of the Formica Group, the globally recognized, leading provider of branded, designed surfacing solutions for commercial and residential customers worldwide. The company specializes in the design, manufacturing, distribution, and sales operations of High-Pressure Laminate (HPL).
Server & Cloud