Offering guaranteed performance

Offering customers an unmatched level of scalability with guaranteed performance

One of the first companies in Europe to offer cloud computing services, Carrenza is a global cloud service company based in London that provides award-winning infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to offerings. Delivering business-critical applications to customers as diverse as government agencies, leading retailers, and financial-services firms, Carrenza has vast expertise in public-cloud integration. Key partnerships support customers using Amazon Web Services, VMware’s vCloud Air, and Microsoft Azure.

Key highlights

  • Non disruptive linear scalability
  • Economies of scale
  • Increased efficiencies
  • Fast and predictable performance

The solution

  • SolidFire SF Series nodes in data centers in the U.K. and in the Netherlands
  • IaaS and public cloud integration
  • Support for Microsoft SQL and MySQL workloads and Oracle databases

Meeting Customers’ Needs for High Availability and High Performance Simply put, Carrenza customers are demanding. They need capacity that scales instantly to meet whatever needs a changing market requires.

These customers range from the U.K. government to leading retailers such as the world-renowned Selfridges Group department store, De Bijenkorf, and Majestic Wine, the U.K.’s largest specialty wine seller. Customers cannot afford to have their systems fail or even slow down, especially during critical sales periods.

One customer, for example, generates 20% of its annual online revenue in just three days!

“They depend on us to deliver high-performing infrastructure that never goes down”, said Matthew McGrory, Managing Director of Carrenza. “If we don’t deliver performance they can’t transact sales and they loose money.

NetApp® SolidFire® scale-out all-flash storage delivers the predictability and scalability required to achieve those needs now and in the future.

“SolidFire allows us to further differentiate ourselves as a service provider,” said Kevin Cooper, Chief Technology Officer of Carrenza. “With the scalability of SolidFire, we can promise our customers that no matter what performance or capacity they need tomorrow, we can deliver. We have the ability and flexibility to quickly and cost efficiently adjust storage resources according to business needs.”

“No one else in the U.K. market is putting pen to paper and saying,‘We will give you a service credit if we don’t deliver the performance requested.’ That’s how confident we are thanks to all- flash storage from SolidFire.” Matthew McGrory, Managing Director, Carrenza

What this means for Carrenza customers

Already differentiated by its compliance and security capabilities, Carrenza added yet another distinguishing feature to its standout services: guaranteed performance offered by the NetApp SolidFire scale-out all-flash storage platform. As a result, Carrenza customers can deliver services they never could before.

For example, the U.K. government relies on a Carrenza platform to promise a high-performance, highly available gov.uk website to every U.K. citizen every time they use it.

“DELIVERING SUCH SERVICES RELIES ON EXEMPLARY COMPUTING, NETWORK, AND STORAGE PERFORMANCE. WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO 100% RELY ON ALL VENDORS THAT PROVIDE THE CRITICAL PIECES OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE, AND WITH SOLIDFIRE WE CAN DO THAT,” SAID MATTHEW MCGRORY, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CARRENZA,

“IN ADDITION TO PREDICTABLE PERFORMANCE, WE NEED STORAGE THAT ALLOWS US TO REMAIN COMPLIANT – TO KNOW WHERE OUR CUSTOMERS’ DATA IS AND WHERE IT’S GOING – AND TO DELIVER THAT DATA QUICKLY.”

The Whole Story

Carrenza serves customers that have resource-intensive, business-critical applications that they need to automate and scale up and down in an elastic fashion according to demand. Before turning to NetApp SolidFire, Carrenza faced the challenge of lengthy upgrade cycles. With the SolidFire linear scale- out model, Carrenza accomplishes infrastructure changes and upgrades in days rather than months.

“ADDING AND REPLACING EXISTING NODES IN LESS THAN A WEEK WAS UNHEARD OF,” SAID COOPER. “THE ABILITY TO REDISTRIBUTE NODES BETWEEN OUR TWO U.K.-BASED DATA CENTERS AND OUR AMSTERDAM FACILITY BASED ON EVER-CHANGING CAPACITY NEEDS WITHOUT DISRUPTION IS ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING FEATURES OF THE SOLIDFIRE SYSTEM.”

Solution

By deploying the NetApp SolidFire platform, Carrenza increased its infrastructure agility and responsiveness by delivering capacity and performance on demand. Carrenza can now scale storage resources linearly just in time – without upfront capital expense – in anticipation of future customer storage needs. In turn, Carrenza customers no longer have to plan for performance or capacity changes in advance, avoiding unnecessary upfront costs.

In Carrenza’s multi-tenant environment supporting a wide range of workloads, including Microsoft SQL and Oracle databases, the SolidFire scale-out all-flash storage solution delivers guaranteed performance to thousands of application workloads side by side. Doing so enables consolidation under a single platform. SolidFire storage provides performance with fine-grain quality-of-service, performance virtualization and the ability to adjust resources on the fly. Through its REST-based API, SolidFire is integrated with Carrenza’s VMware vCloud-based environment alongside other best-in-class equipment such as HP C7000 blade enclosures and Cisco Nexus switches.


Fourth Scales Its SaaS Platform Without Disruption
Fourth, a Carrenza customer and a leading supplier of enterprise resource planning software for the hospitality industry, applies Carrenza’s platform to meet the needs of its own customers. Fourth’s cloud-delivered solutions enable hotels, pubs, clubs, and restaurants to manage inventory, procurement, payroll, and other business processes. Carrenza provides Fourth with a flexible IaaS environment that enables the company to have all the capacity it needs to deliver its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Because storage resources can be easily added as needed, Fourth can offer the highest-quality solutions while remaining cost effective and reliable.

“OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH CARRENZA ENSURES THE TECHNOLOGY IS ALWAYS IN THE RIGHT PLACE, DEPENDING ON HOW WE NEED IT, AND HELPS US BETTER ADAPT TO EXTERNAL PRESSURES. IF A NEW CUSTOMER REQUIRES MORE COMPUTING RESOURCES OR MORE STORAGE, WE CAN ADD THAT STRAIGHT AWAY WITHOUT ANY MAJOR MANUAL INTERVENTION THAT COSTS TIME AND MONEY,” SAID DAVE GIBSON, GLOBAL TECHNICAL OPERATIONS MANAGER, FOURTH.

CommuniGator Unleashes Corporate Growth
For Carrenza’s customer CommuniGator, a U.K.-based provider of automation software for e-mail marketing and lead generation, the ability to accommodate the rapid growth of its SaaS offerings is imperative. CommuniGator turned to Carrenza for an IaaS solution to underpin its SaaS marketing automation software with disaster recovery, reliable infrastructure, and on-demand scalability. At the back end of its e-mail communications, CommuniGator runs Microsoft SQL Servers. The company’s previous storage system’s response time was too slow.

With NetApp SolidFire, however, CommuniGator was able to ensure predictable, fast performance for its workloads.

“We cannot only scale virtual machines, memory, or the CPU usage, but we can now also scale storage performance,” Cooper said. “The more processor and storage power CommuniGator gains on its platform, the more users they can accommodate without increasing SQL licensing costs.”

“Carrenza has been a key enabler of our business transformation,” said Aaron Yates, CTO of CommuniGator. “We don’t want to have to double the size of our infrastructure when we double our number of customers; we expect economies of scale. Carrenza gives us the agility to scale our business up and down flexibly, at a low marginal cost per user.”

Empowering Customers to Do What Could Not Be Done Before “With SolidFire storage, our cloud architecture not only delivers the high performance our customers need, but it also gives them more bang for the buck on their software,” said McGrory.

“BECAUSE OF THE PERFORMANCE AND FLEXIBILITY OF THE PLATFORM AND ITS EASE OF USE, THE DEVELOPER TEAMS DON’T HAVE TO SPEND THEIR TIME MAKING THE CODE MORE EFFICIENT, BUT INSTEAD THEY CAN FOCUS ON NEW FUNCTIONALITY THAT DRIVES NEW OUTCOMES FOR THEIR OWN BUSINESS.”

With its inline and post process compression, always-on deduplication, and global thin provisioning, SolidFire increased Carrenza’s storage efficiency to the point of making previously unaffordable services financially viable. For example, CommuniGator moved forward with a disaster recovery service after SolidFire enabled Carrenza to deliver it at 25% less cost than it could with its previous storage technology.

“SolidFire’s de-duplication and compression technology increases our effciency, which in turn helps us drive the price point down and pass the savings along to our customers, enabling them to do things they couldn’t before,” McGrory said.

“Adding and replacing existing nodes in less than a week was unheard of,” said Cooper. “The ability to re-distribute nodes between our two U.K. based data centers and our Amsterdam facility based on ever-changing capacity needs without disruption is one of the most compelling features of the SolidFire system.”

Kevin Cooper, Chief Technology Officer at Carrenza comments:

“With SolidFire, every move is virtual, not physical. You don’t have to physically move data from one IP address or Fibre Channel target to another. And you don’t need to worry about expensive refreshes in three years,” added Cooper. “With the scalability of SolidFire, we can promise our customers that no matter what they need tomorrow, we can scale to meet that.”

“No one else in the U.K. market is putting ink to paper and saying, ‘We will give you a service credit if we don’t perform to the level required,’” McGrory said. “That’s how confident we are thanks to all- flash storage from SolidFire.”

About NetApp

Leading organisations worldwide count on NetApp for software, systems and services to manage and store their data. Customers value our teamwork, expertise and passion for helping them succeed now and into the future. www.netapp.com

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