Solution: Dell APEX
For a company that facilitates financial transactions across the US, service performance and availability are necessities. Regional banks and financial institutions from coast to coast rely on this fintech leader to supply the secure, fast technology that enables their core processes.
To serve its wide range of customers effectively, the company operates from two primary data centers and a handful of satellite offices, cutting down on latency to provide the high performance its customers need. It develops its own innovative software and applications, with all activities mirrored synchronously across data centers for high availability and access.
After all, the company operates in a sector where an outage could mean millions of dollars in loss.
An increasingly complex environment
As the company’s business evolved, its IT environment had naturally become more complex. The problem was it followed a seven-year refresh cycle that just couldn’t keep up with changing demands. To gain functionality, new hardware and software had to be bolted onto their existing infrastructure.
The result was multiple components and more points of potential failure. While, for example, their core storage array worked just fine, additions created incongruities, forcing the company’s IT team to spend more time keeping up with changes, introducing risk, and ultimately reaching a point where continued upgrades became unduly challenging. Worse: the problems had come to a head and the company started to experience outages.
After one more than 10-hour outage, just as they were coming up on their scheduled technology refresh, the company’s IT team saw they needed a new approach.
To save on cost and fight complexity, a decision came from IT leadership to move towards a cloud model for consumption IT; however, the organization wasn’t ready to completely move all its IT infrastructure and applications to the public cloud. Still, it knew it needed to move what it could to a consumption model, for example, its storage infrastructure.
Keeping ahead of the curve with a cloud experience
The company turned to Advizex, having worked with them already for several years, to implement Dell APEX. The private cloud-like server and storage solution provides them with on-premises gear that remains owned by Dell Technologies. The vendor then becomes responsible for maintaining the gear at service levels.
APEX provides a cloud experience — the agility, simplified operations, and ability to innovate — it would gain from the public cloud, all while maintaining the control, performance, and predictable costs of its own data centers. The shift has allowed the company to move from a CapEx procurement model to an OpEx one, paying monthly only for storage and servers as used.
Most importantly though, it allows the company to meet its new shorter refresh goals. Now as technology needs to be improved to meet demand, it simply is, with no need to over-provision equipment to meet future needs. It also laid the foundation for the company’s cloud goals, providing cloud-like consumption on-premises, while offering best-in-class technology to assure performance, uptime, and availability.
Service and support improvements
“What makes the public cloud so attractive is you don’t have to worry about the hardware. That’s what Dell APEX does only on-premises,” says Stan Sadler, Account Executive at Advizex. “And what we do is layer on additional support services, project services and proactively manage the environment for them.”
The additional services from Advizex are helping better maintain the company’s high-availability environment and security through regular patching and updates. Performance is ensured proactively, Advizex monitors the company’s infrastructure so that should slowdowns occur the customer is alerted immediately so it can be improved.
The partnership between Advizex, Dell, and the company has everyone taking a vested interest in its success.
“We provided an SLA for the customer, we’re so confident in our partner Dell, and because we recognize the customer experiences financial penalties if they don’t meet service levels,” Sadler said. “It’s a big deal for them, because it’s like a domino effect, and it’s something Dell couldn’t do alone.”
Showing early success
While only recently deployed, the Dell APEX solution promises to be a game changer. To simplify procurement, the company can wrap together multiple solutions into one monthly invoice through Advizex and can adopt further consumption-based procurement initiatives. For example, over time the company could move all servers, storage, and networking activities to an OpEx model.
The company’s new storage architecture will greatly simplify daily operations and facilitate the IT team’s ability to meet the needs for high performance, availability, and redundancy across its data centers and satellite offices. Equipment has been consolidated into a single architecture, reducing the complexity that the company was experiencing while improving reliability and robustness.
The combination of Dell’s consumption-based technology and an Advizex provided SLA has given the company the ability to confidently move ahead with its plans, while providing its customers with greater stability.
At the end of the day, this fintech leader is now more future-proofed and will be able to better manage costs, but most importantly can provide the secure, reliable service that its customers depend on to run their own businesses.