Dustin Group replaces VMware and Hyper-V with a New-Age IT Stack powered by StorPool
Data Centre Consolidation/Upgrade/Refresh Project of the Year
Project Overview - Dustin Group replaces multiple Tier 1 storage vendors with a Software-Defined Storage solution from StorPool Storage.
Dustin is a leading IT and managed services provider (MSP) with operations in Northern Europe. The Company offers IT products with associated services and solutions to companies, the public sector, and private individuals. Their main focus is on small- and medium-sized companies. Dustin has more than 1800 employees. Sales for the 2018/19 financial year amounted to ~€1.2 bln ($1.4 bln). More than 90 percent of Dustin’s income comes from the corporate market. Dustin Group has been listed on Nasdaq Stockholm since 2015 and has its head office in Sweden.
To meet the changing needs of customers, Dustin needed to have a highly efficient cloud platform. However, over time they acquired multiple IT platforms that had become too large, complex, and expensive to manage efficiently. Dustin launched a large-scale project with three primary goals:
- Consolidate its various hardware and soſtware platforms into a New-Age standardised cloud platform that serves all their business units and customers.
- Streamline their operating expenses by eliminating IT management overhead while simultaneously providing superior performance and service quality.
- Implement new technologies that remove old limitations and increase the flexibility of their platform, enabling faster responses to market dynamics.
Dustin wanted to replace their traditional soſtware stacks - VMware and Hyper-V with a New-Age IT stack powered by KVM. The project also involved replacing the siloed pieces of specialised legacy hardware infrastructure. This included replacing SAN/NAS storage and Fibre Channel networking with Soſtware-Defined Storage (SDS) and Soſtware-Defined Networking (SDN), running on standard hardware, as per the forward-looking Soſtware-Defined Data Center (SDDC) architecture.
To fill in the missing pieces, Dustin engineers did extensive research on the best-in-class innovative technologies and extensively tested several of them. They selected StorPool Storage (SDS) for their primary and secondary block storage needs and OpenNebula as their cloud management system, running the KVM hypervisor.
The end result is a powerful, scalable, API-driven, and efficient cloud platform, which was easy to deploy across all Dustin data centres. It allowed them to increase competitiveness, eliminate vendor lock-in, and improve service quality. All with low capital expenditures, optimised operating expenses and fewer internal IT operations experts.
The Implemented System
They implemented a new, simple, but robust solution in several geographical locations for primary storage, backup, and DR. StorPool’s highly efficient software-defined data storage platform allowed them to replace their existing diverse storage estate and replace specialised storage SAN arrays with software running on standard servers.
On the software side, the project replaced the traditional VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V software stacks with a New-Age IT stack powered by Linux and KVM, managed by OpenNebula’s Cloud Management Platform.
On the hardware side, Dustin’s new cloud design uses standard hardware from multiple vendors – HPE, Supermicro, Nvidia Networking (Mellanox) and the primary storage is running on NVMe devices.
The new cloud platform enabled Dustin to streamline business operations. The end result is a powerful, scalable, API-driven, and efficient cloud platform, which was easy to deploy across all Dustin data centres.
It allowed the company to streamline operations, increase competitiveness, eliminate vendor lock-in, and improve service quality. All of these achieved with low capital expenditures and fewer IT staff.
With the transition to New-Age IT and building a software-defined cloud, Dustin managed to expand its technological leadership on the European market.
“We are very pleased with the engagement with StorPool and their ability to meet our special needs. In addition to the unique data storage solution, they provide us with first-class support with which we are very happy!”, said Dan Mårtensson, Product Manager Infrastructure and Cloud-services at Dustin Group.
Dustin’s key benefits from implementing StorPool:
- Single technology stack, across all companies and all locations
- Faster and better service for all Dustin customers
- Seamless scalability & flexibility
- Offloading of IT staff to re-focus on core business
- Lower capital expenditures (CAPEX) and optimised operating expenses (OPEX)
- Reduced vendor lock-in
Technology Stack Used
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.