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iStock_000008070565_SmallWachter is the leading national solution and service provider of electrical, data, communications, automation, and other complex building systems. Wachter provides turnkey services including analysis, design, engineering, installation, and maintenance in the United States and the United Kingdom across clients in retail, finance, healthcare, manufacturing etc. The company operates a highly virtualized IT environment across three different locations – Kansas, Arkansas and New Jersey.

As the business grew and data demands increased, the Wachter IT environment started running low on storage. Administrative workloads increased and the effort to reclaim unused storage and provisioning cycles for new business services grew longer. Moreover, they had limited datacenter footprint, so the IT team needed a scalable storage solution that would help meet ad-hoc business needs without demanding datacenter expansion.

Wachter weighed the pros and cons of upgrading their current storage versus going the hyper-converged route with Virtual SAN. Whichever way they looked at it, Virtual SAN made the most sense, especially from a bottom-line perspective where VSAN offered thrice the amount of storage for almost 1/5th the price of a traditional SAN option. Wachter deployed Virtual SAN on Cisco UCS C240 M3 servers, outfitting each with five SSDs and 19 HDDs, for a total raw capacity of 45TB. The Wachter team handled the Virtual SAN configuration themselves and found it a smooth process. The cluster runs various business critical applications like Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Servers, CRM applications with Oracle databases, web servers etc.

In addition to the aforementioned cost savings, Wachter also realized significantly better performance, almost 10x better than the old storage system. From an availability perspective, Virtual SAN fit in beautifully with their existing Site Recovery Manager setup allowing them to replicate VMs and automate DR workflows with little effort. Moving to a hyperconverged architecture allowed the Wachter IT team to simplify compute and storage end-to-end.

“We can now meet just about any request from the business side, and meet it quickly”, says Carl Shriver, Wachter’s IT Operations Manager. “If someone needs a new application installed or a new database, I can spin up a new VM with storage in 10 or 15 minutes. It’s such a fast process that it frees up time for a lot more things.”

Read the full story here.