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Private Cloud Vendor for NonProfits Upgrades to JetStor® All-Flash Arrays for Faster Primary & Backup Storage of Customer Data


THE ORGANIZATION 

StratusLIVE offers nonprofit organizations tools to meet their missions. Customers like The Epilepsy Foundation and many large United Ways use the firm’s StratusLIVE 365 suite of business applications to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the solution is a client relationship management platform that empowers nonprofits to manage fundraising, constituents, marketing, and engagement. Founded in 2008, StratusLIVE is based in Virginia Beach, VA.

THE CHALLENGE 

StratusLIVE 365 enables nonprofits to track all interactions with donors and stakeholders, such as emails, phone calls, and correspondence. StratusLIVE delivers its solution to most customers as a hosted, cloud-based service, and the firm stores and safeguards all these data in SQL databases at its data center. Some customers have as much as 15 years of history stored in the system, and StratusLIVE must also duplicate the data in its cloud for backup.

StratusLIVE relied on storage solutions from a major vendor, but while these systems were adequate when the company was smaller, they could no longer support its growth. The firm must store five terabytes of data every week, and its differential backups produce another terabyte daily.

“Adding more capacity was no longer an option because our legacy systems couldn’t keep pace with SQL queries,” said Pete LeMay, Director, Cloud Operations, StratusLIVE. “Worsening matters, nightly backups were taking too long.”

Additionally, the company’s datacenter is a co-location site three hours away in northern VA. “Not only did we need to upgrade to faster, enterprise storage, our solutions also had to be reliable and easy to manage remotely,” added LeMay.

THE SOLUTION 

• JetStor 826iXD 26 bay All Flash Array from AC&NC

• JetStor 826JXD All Flash JBOD from AC&NC

• JetStor 812iXD Array from AC&NC

SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

• One JetStor 826iXD 26 bay All Flash Array with 26x 1.6TB Seagate® Nytro® 3031 SAS SSDs

• One JetStor 826JXD All-Flash JBOD with 6x 3.8TB Seagate® Nytro® 3031 SAS SSDs

• One JetStor 826JXD All Flash JBOD with 6x 3.8TB Seagate® Nytro® 3031 SAS SSDs

• One JetStor 812iXD Array with 12x 4TB HDDs

• Two Dell PowerEdge R640 servers

• Two Dell PowerEdge R630 servers

• Four Dell EMC S4128F-ON switches 

BENEFITS IMMEDIATELY REALIZED 

By upgrading to a JetStor All-Flash 826iXD storage platform, StratusLIVE enhanced the performance of its SQL databases, delivering the responsiveness that customers demand. The firm also replicates data more quickly, improving its nightly backup windows. “We were pushing the limits of our legacy systems and knew it was time to upgrade from spinning disks to all flash,” said LeMay. “AC&NC made high-throughput storage affordable for us.”

StratusLIVE also gained flexible capacity to support future growth by linking the JetStor 826iXD system to a JetStor 826JXD All Flash JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks). The JetStor 826JXD JBOD ensures the firm’s storage needs will be met well into the future by offering nearly a hundred terabytes of additional capacity.

To accelerate backups, the company installed a JetStor 812iXD Array with 4 Tb spinning disks. “Our JetStor 826 solutions enabled us to convert our legacy storage to backup locations, and the JetStor 812iXD will allow us to retire them entirely,” said LeMay. “We’re migrating 20 terabytes from our legacy systems to the JetStor 812iXD without impacting our operations.”

LeMay and his colleagues rely on the management application bundled with its JetStor storage systems to proactively configure, manage, and monitor the chassis from any browser.

“When your storage is in a cloud off-site, you require robust remote administration,” said LeMay. “That’s what our JetStor solutions provide. Even better, our JetStor arrays have been utterly dependable, which is why we were comfortable buying more. We’ve done multiple firmware updates without a single failure or incident. These are the qualities we want in our storage platforms.”

HOW WE DID IT 

StratusLIVE initially purchased from AC&NC a 2U, 26-bay JetStor 826iXD system, fully populated with 26 1.6Tb Seagate® Nytro® 3031 SAS SSDs for 41.6 Tb of storage, as well as two Dell PowerEdge R630 servers to keep pace with the all-flash JetStor platform.

The company then purchased a 2U, 26-bay JetStor 826JXD All Flash JBOD with 6 3.8Tb Seagate® Nytro® 3031 SAS SSDs, a 2U, 12-bay JetStor 812iXD Array with 12 4Tb HDDs, along with two Dell PowerEdge R640 servers and four Dell EMC S4128F-ON switches. The 10 Gb/s Dell switches replaced legacy one Gb/s systems.

“Installing our JetStor solutions was straightforward,” said LeMay. “For example, we racked the JetStor 826JXD, connected the cables, and started using it immediately.”

The two JetStor 826 chassis link via two 12Gb connections, one for each controller. All three JetStor platforms feature dual active controllers, protecting services in the unlikely event a controller fails. The JetStor platforms are configured for RAID 6, which ensures no data is lost if even two disks fail in an array.

The JetStor 826iXD and JetStor 812iXD Arrays have redundant 10 Gb links to two Dell switches, which connect to two Dell servers running SQL databases. The switches also link to a HyperV cluster that includes the other two Dell servers. The other two Dell switches are used on the LAN to support non-storage traffic.

CONCLUSION

StratusLIVE bolstered its competitive position by delivering cloud storage with the performance and capacity to support its customers’ needs. When the firm needs more storage, it simply adds disks to the JetStor 826JXD JBOD.

“AC&NC understood that the cloud is essential to our core business and made upgrading our infrastructure easy,” concluded LeMay. “AC&NC provided complete storage, switching, and server solutions that were also the most affordable. AC&NC makes high-speed all-flash storage practical and cost-effective.”

ABOUT ADVANCED COMPUTER & NETWORK CORPORATION (AC&NC)

AC&NC™ / JetStor meets the evolving needs for data storage, protection, and management. We leverage leading technologies to offer high-value solutions for NAS, SANs, clouds, and hyper-converged infrastructures (HCIs).  Since 1994, our customers have spanned virtually every industry, and range from Fortune 500 enterprises to small and medium-sized firms.  We support environments from data centers and clouds to branch offices and remote sites.

ABOUT Seagate® Nytro® 3031 SAS SSD Series


The Seagate® Nytro® 3031 SAS SSD Series delivers high performance, industry leading security features, and a broad selection of capacity and endurance offerings optimized for demanding enterprise applications and improved TCO.

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