When Jason Snuggs joined Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA) as its new IT manager in 2018, he inherited an IT environment powered by legacy x86 servers running on-premises.
EPSA is an engine supplier and one of the world’s biggest Caterpillar engine suppliers. The company's operations span 15 offices across Australia and Papua New Guinea. Core technology resided in Mulgrave, Victoria, plus an under-utilised disaster recovery environment in Brisbane, and file servers at three other sites across Australia.
With the vendor of those servers - IBM - having long-since quit the business, Snuggs decided it was time for a server refresh and started reaching out to a number of resellers. He explored the options of either staying with a traditional on-premises server stack, move to a data centre, going with a cloud solution or with a hyperconverged solution.
“We have quite an aggressive growth strategy in the next four years, and so we needed an environment capable of growing and expanding,” Snuggs said.
“We also needed a better backup and disaster recovery solution as we keep adding nodes as we grow.”
Melbourne-based Honeylight Consulting emerged victorious with its proposal for EPSA to adopt HPE SimpliVity hyper-converged infrastructure.
The result became what HPE Australia calls the vendor's largest multi-site SimpliVity rollout in Melbourne, valued at more than half a million dollars.
“It was a real David and Goliath scenario with us beating out much larger competition,” Honeylight director Ajit Ambalavaner said.
“I think the reason why we came up on top was our edge in customer service and the one-on-one engagement we had on offer. We’ve also done a few rollouts in the past, and EPSA can see that we have the experience to do it.”
Ambalavaner said the company was also swayed when Honeylight showed how SimpliVity worked in real-time through another SimpliVity client, showcasing the speed of creating virtual machines on the fly.
Snuggs said SimpliVity offered the most cost-effective solution and that it was the quickest to implement given the current resources they had.
“There was no major redesign of the environment required as it was essentially drop it in, configure it, and since we were already running VMware, it was going to be a straightforward migration,” Snuggs said.
The solution resulted in what was essentially the creation of a private cloud that connects EPSA’s entire operation across Australia.
SimpliVity also overhauled EPSA’s backup and disaster recovery capabilities, transitioning to hourly backups from nightly backups in the previous setup.
“The time savings was also another reason why we opted for SimpliVity, as efficiency is a must for our small internal infrastructure team,” Snuggs said.
Snuggs said the company's backup effort has reduced by four to eight hours a day now that tape rotations are no longer required. IT staffers can now spend that time adding value to the business.