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Case Study: Fixing Ineffective File Distribution And Expensive, Unreliable Backups

Dave De Young knew something needed to change. JSJ Corporation’s engineers across the globe were struggling to load CAD drawings, while the finance hawks were wondering why so much was being spent on a centralized storage system that didn’t meet expectations. His quest to find a solution eventually led him to the cloud.

Dave De Young knew something needed to change. JSJ Corporation’s engineers across the globe were struggling to load CAD drawings, while the finance hawks were wondering why so much was being spent on a centralized storage system that didn’t meet expectations. His quest to find a solution eventually led him to the cloud.

De Young is the vice president and chief information officer at JSJ Corporation, a 95-year-old durable goods company based in Grand Haven, Mich. with manufacturing and design teams distributed across 28 locations worldwide. This global manufacturing footprint means that employees in multiple locations share key resources, requiring access to the same files and information.

His IT organization provides services to all of JSJ’s businesses, and, given their global needs, they’re constantly looking for better ways to offer cost-effective, efficient storage, data protection and global access to the company fileshare.

The Problem: Ineffective File Distribution and Expensive, Unreliable Backups

The distributed team structure at JSJ requires different locations to work on the same fileset, so providing fast access to shared data was a top priority and a serious challenge. The IT organizationinitially relied on centralized storage in headquartersand deployed a WAN optimization system to deliver files when and where they were needed. It didn’t solve the problem.Engineering teams were complaining about long wait times forfile access. In some locations, they were reporting upto a 20-minute wait to load a single set of CAD drawings.

The existing centralized storage system was also extremelyexpensive. One specific resource drain was enterprisebackup in the data center, which required extensive management and personnel time beyond the initialfinancial investment. In addition, some remote locationsstill required local backup. China, in particular, experiencedsignificant challenges with unreliable and frequently failingbackup systems.

The Solution: Storage Infrastructure as a Service

De Young and his team evaluated Nasuni Storage Infrastructureas a Service (SIaaS) along with several similar solutions.The improved data protection, distributed access to data,and cost-effective solution drove JSJ to select Nasuni forfile services in all locations. Nasuni’s storage controllers look and feel like the traditional appliances that JSJ already used, but instead of spinning disks, Nasuni uses public cloud storage as the back-end. The gold copy of the global fileshare resides in the cloud, while the most frequently used files are cached locally, which provides high-speed access. As changes are made to files, these changes are propagated throughout the entire global storage system, and with an unlimited number of snapshots of the fileshare, individuals can roll back to any previous version of the file.

JSJ implemented Nasuni to deliver fast, localaccess to files with true centralized management for IT.Files are now available locally in each location, eliminatingtime wasted waiting for files to download. Design andmanufacturing teams distributed across the globe areaccessing the same files, increasing productivity and end-user satisfaction.

To address the challenges with unreliable backupsolutions, the SIaaS storage controllers include built-indata protection for each location. The result is reliabledata protection delivered uniformly across all locations.The previous 24-hour data-loss window was reduced tominutes, and IT now centrally manages data protection withoutadditional investment required for a backup solution.

With Nasuni, data is always available in every location, withaccess provided by on-site storage controllers. New offices are up and running in no time. When a virtual storage controller is deployed and connected to the service, the new location can immediately access all corporate data stored in Nasuni. The availability of virtual appliances increases flexibility of data access, while keeping costs low and hardware footprint to a minimum.

“I no longer hear complaints about slowness of file access. On top of that, our customers are also confident that their data won’t be lost and is recoverable from any point in time,” De Young said.

All for a lower cost

Lowering costs were of paramount importance to JSJ.Switching to the Nasuni storage service resulted in a 40%($300K) data storage cost savings for JSJ, with significantsavings originating in these key areas:

      • MPLS Bandwidth – file traffic now travels over the public internet as opposed to MPLS
      • Backup Systems – built-in data protection eliminates the cost of separate backup systems
      • Hardware NAS – virtual storage controllers replace traditional hardware NAS solutions

In addition, the Nasuni service is a consolidated storage solution sold based on volume; this allows JSJ to have an accurate view of storage costs and charge each individual business based on usage.

“With Nasuni, we will save over $300,000 in five years and give our customers better service. It’s hard to beat that,” De Young said.

Why Nasuni

The fully integrated Nasuni solution including storagecontrollers, cloud storage and end-to-end services andsupport means that JSJ has a true storage partner and asingle point of responsibility for file services. JSJ deliversbetter files services and achieves better management andcontrol, all while realizing a significant cost savings. Thesolution is a win-win for the entire organization as IT is ableto significantly reduce costs and the end-users have faster, more reliable access to data.

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