Amito uses CloudStack and StorPool Storage to build next-generation cloud infrastructure across several data centres
StorPool Storage
Category
Cloud Project of the Year
Entry Description
Project Overview - StorPool outperforms Nimble and Pure Storage for a multi-petabyte storage deployment with CloudStack.
Amito is a leading UK-based Managed Services Provider that received a £38.7 million investment round from Harwood Private Equity in March 2021. Amito offers public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions, colocation solutions, and high-bandwidth connectivity. They have been delivering bespoke cloud services since 2000 and have a presence in 28 data centres worldwide. They are a trusted technology partner for medium and large enterprises. The excellence of their clouds is critical for their success - therefore, they continuously invest in their infrastructure.

During the past year, they completed the re-engineering of their multi-petabyte cloud infrastructure across multiple locations owned or rented by Amito. They use CloudStack for cloud management and KVM as their hypervisor. StorPool serves all the storage needs of their managed infrastructure offerings by converting sets of standard Supermicro servers into primary or secondary storage arrays. The solution spreads a standardised installation across multiple sub-clusters with a unified global namespace to keep failure domains small and avoid putting “all the eggs in one basket”. As a result, Amito has a cutting-edge cloud platform that is exceptionally reliable and addresses the enterprise-grade needs of Amito’s customers.

Key Stakeholders Involved in the Project
Amito’s senior team has been working in the cloud and colocation hosting industry for nearly 20 years. Their expertise and experience with building reliable and agile solutions for their customers urge them to constantly improve their infrastructure, select and implement the latest performance-driving technologies. Without a doubt, before StorPool, the most challenging part of their cloud infrastructure was the storage. That’s why Ed Butler, the Chief Executive Officer of Amito, and Simon Utting, the Chief Operating Officer of Amito, were directly responsible for driving this project.

Challenges Addressed by the Project
Amito used many storage products - from big-name vendors to in-house developed ones. Since none of the products Amito used before matched what they needed, Amito assessed new vendors and their solutions. They shortlisted StorPool Storage, HPE Nimble Storage, and Pure Storage. Amito did not evaluate any legacy solutions because, quoting CEO Ed Butler - “the approach to storage has moved on, and they have not all kept up”.

The company had a crucial criterion for the new storage solution that would power their clouds - that it must correspond with their core company value of aiming for excellence. Additionally, they searched for a next-gen solution that would be agile, reliable, speedy, and would optimise their infrastructure. Choosing StorPool gave them powerful competitive advantages such as unbeatable performance, space efficiency, unmatched scalability, and TCO optimisations. The solution comes with an outstanding, utterly hands-off service that delivers 100% uptime for Amito’s services.

The Implemented System
StorPool’s team of storage experts initially deployed 12 storage systems (clusters) for Amito, each with hundreds of TBs of usable capacity. These clusters support the needs of Amito’s broad range of applications. In 2020, StorPool installed seven more clusters to complete the deployment. Amito’s storage systems work with various storage drives - NVMe SSDs, SATA SSDs, and SATA/SAS HDDs. The hardware platform uses AMD EPYC CPUs built into Supermicro chassis. Finally, the network backbone uses Juniper 25G/100G Ethernet switches. CloudStack orchestrates the whole cloud infrastructure, running many Windows and Linux virtual machines using the KVM hypervisor.

Business Outcomes
Amito deployed a next-gen storage solution that integrates effectively with their cloud infrastructure, optimises the consumption of usable capacity, delivers unbeatable reliability and speed, and comes with 24/7 proactive monitoring and maintenance included in the fully-managed service included in StorPool Storage licenses.

Due to these capabilities, Amito now uses approx. 35% less storage capacity than with their previous solutions. Most visibly to their clients, they’ve seen a dramatic increase in workload reliability and speed. All of Amito’s storage clusters have delivered 100% data consistency and 100% availability since their go-live date. Finally, Amito appreciates that StorPool collects hundreds of metrics per second from each storage server and generates automatic alerts that help pinpoint potential storage issues before they occur.

“We always aim to pick the right partners to build our solutions on, and StorPool has demonstrated their excellence to date. StorPool is a rare combination of great technology and a willing and very able support team!”, Ed Butler, CEO of Amito.

Technology Stack Used
CloudStack - Cloud Management Platform
KVM - Hypervisor
StorPool Storage - Software-defined Storage Solution
Juniper 25G/100G Ethernet switches
Supermicro chassis
AMD EPYC CPUs
NVMe SSDs, SATA SSDs, SATA/SAS HDDs

Transferability
StorPool is a leading software provider that develops the most reliable and speedy storage platform on the market. Public and private cloud builders - Managed Services Providers, Hosting Services Providers, Cloud Services Providers, enterprises, and SaaS vendors - use StorPool Storage as the foundation for their clouds. StorPool converts sets of standard servers into primary storage arrays for large-scale cloud infrastructure. The software comes as an utterly hands-off solution - we architect, deploy, tune, monitor, and maintain your StorPool Storage system so that your users experience a speedy and reliable service.

StorPool Storage systems are ideal for storing and managing the data of primary workloads that demand extreme reliability and low latency - databases, web servers, virtual desktops, real-time analytics, and mission-critical software.

Our customers’ specific benefits from StorPool Storage vary depending on their use cases, technology stacks, and scale. However, the core capabilities of StorPool are that it is reliable, agile, managed with ease, utterly hands-off, and speedy.

Under the hood, StorPool builds out shared-storage pools out of DC-grade storage drives directly attached to standard servers to create the ultimate storage solution. These pools provide standard block device interfaces to the virtualised and containerised workloads running in a cloud. StorPool has native plug-ins for Cloud Management Platforms like OpenStack, OpenNebula, CloudStack, Kubernetes, and OnApp. It also supports VMware, Oracle VM, Hyper-V, XenServer, and almost all Linux technology stacks.

We designed StorPool Storage for large-scale deployments, but it has efficient resource consumption and can start small. Each cluster scales seamlessly online - adding drives or servers expands both its capacity and performance. Adjusting StorPool volume capacity and performance also happens online without disrupting user workloads. The updates for StorPool are also carried out online, without any interruptions to your services.

StorPool doesn’t need specialised hardware components to deliver all of the above.
Supporting Documents