Consolidation & Virtualization
Financial services company avoids seven-figure compliance and build-out costs by using Mainline-managed virtual desktops.
COMPANY: Large financial services company
THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE
- Onboard an acquired company and its users with minimum disruption to operations
- Host acquired legacy applications which must run in a segregated environment
- Deploy new virtual desktop environment within severe space and power constraints
- Keep data and applications on premises for compliance purposes
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure design and deployment
- Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform
- Mainline Managed Services
- Ongoing virtual desktop operations for more than 1,800 employees
- 99%-plus availability for the past year, exceeding SLA and winning approval to expand the service
- 7-figure compliance and build-out costs avoided by providing critical applications through segregated, closed network
- Enhanced disaster recovery through addition of backup data center
- Can provision up to 50 desktops in 20 minutes to support growth of business; 1,800 users to date
The Business Challenge
Making one company out of two is difficult, especially when it’s time to integrate the acquired company’s IT infrastructure.
Now add these complicating factors:
- Both companies in the deal are in the payments industry, with millions of transactions a day that must be processed smoothly. Any disruption could have major impact.
- Regulations require that the two company’s applications be segregated until a complete integration plan is developed, which will take months.
- Regulations also require that all applications and data for both companies be hosted on premises only. Cloud services are not an option because sensitive customer financial data is involved.
A large financial services company faced all these challenges when it acquired a smaller payment processing company. The large company’s IT team wanted to deploy its corporate virtual desktop solution for the smaller company’s workforce, but discovered that the desktop wouldn’t successfully host some of the acquired company’s key applications. Time was short, and any disruption to business operations had to be minimized.
The larger company evaluated a new virtual desktop stack consisting of Nutanix, a hyper-converged appliance that combines compute and flash-based storage, and VMware Horizon virtual desktops. As the IT team set up a proof of concept, they ran into design and deployment challenges and realized they could add more value by outsourcing the virtual desktop project to a solutions provider with deep experience in the field. Then they would have more time to concentrate on their core business.
The team turned to Mainline Information Systems for design and deployment assistance, and Mainline Managed Services to run desktop operations.
Because Mainline Information Systems is a Nutanix and VMware partner, its engineers could draw on best practices learned in more than a dozen engagements with the two solutions, as well as access to U.S.-based subject matter experts. As a result, a number of new benefits have been delivered:
Unique flexibility to meet key goals
Mainline engineers developed a sandbox or envelope that enables the acquired company’s legacy applications to successfully run in the new virtual desktop environment. The Mainline solution design also enables corporate users at the acquiring company to run desktops from both companies side-by-side, achieving the segregation that compliance requires, yet letting all applications be accessed together for productivity purposes.
Mainline Managed Services provided the company with a custom plan that includes both on-site and remote support staff to manage operations, with dedicated staff who conduct an ongoing assessment of customer goals and adjust the solution accordingly. It’s a set of features and level of attention not available from public clouds. And because data stays on premises, the customer doesn’t have to worry about protecting data beyond its firewall, and doesn’t depend on a WAN link to a cloud, which would strain the network. At the same time, the customer gains the efficiency of outsourced virtual desktop management.
For the past year, the solution has delivered more than 99 percent uptime, exceeding SLA performance benchmarks and winning the customer’s approval to expand the service. One factor maximizing uptime is Mainline’s deployment of a redundant virtual desktop infrastructure at the customer’s secondary data center, enabling failover and disaster recovery capabilities.
Mainline Managed Services maintains, patches and updates the virtual desktops. This maximizes uptime and performance, and gives the customer’s IT team more time for new initiatives that help grow the business.
Seven-figure compliance and build-out costs avoided
Because the virtual desktop solution delivers critical applications through a segregated, closed network, it achieves security and compliance objectives and avoids potentially seven-figure compliance and build-out costs that would have been required to accommodate the acquisition.
The acquired company’s users are being accommodated without having to expand space and power capacity. Although the customer has severe space and power constraints, the Mainline-designed solution enables up to 300 user desktops to be hosted on each 2U Nutanix appliance.
The virtual desktop solution also simplifies audits and addresses security concerns because it enforces access management policies controlling which users can access desktops and what data they can see.
Up to 50 desktops provisioned in 20 minutes
The customer can grow its business faster because the IT team can provision up to 50 new desktops in 20 minutes. The solution’s hyperconverged infrastructure includes Flash-based storage that eliminates I/O bottlenecks, which can otherwise cause boot storms as a number of virtual desktops log on at once. The system has grown to accommodate more than1,800 users to date.