Flexibility at a time of change
Organisations of all types and sizes are facing unprecedented levels of economic and technological uncertainty, and one of the biggest challenges for enterprises and public-sector bodies today relates to how they can prepare for the changes they will inevitably face.
For Stockport Council in north-west England, finding a future-proof IT infrastructure service that is powerful and flexible enough to deal with the unforeseeable demands of the coming years is a vital component in the organisation’s current digital transformation programme, Digital by Design.
“Local public services are experiencing significant change and it’s hard to know what services requirements will be over the next five years,” says Stockport Council’s IT operations manager Adrian Davies. “We need a highly flexible cloud solution that will evolve as the requirements of the council change. It needs to support potential expansion, collaboration with partners and the demands of new ways of working, all without disruption to services,” he says.
Following a competitive tender process, Stockport has chosen to partner with enterprise cloud leader Nutanix. The Nutanix solution will replace the council’s ageing legacy SAN architecture, which has become slow, inflexible and expensive to operate and maintain, and consolidate computing, virtualisation and storage into a single, highly scalable appliance.
We need a highly flexible cloud solution that will evolve as requirements change
Mr Davies adds: “Enterprise cloud solutions appeal as they break down so many barriers and offer the level of flexibility required during complex change – it’s a big step and a very exciting one.”
Working with Nutanix means the council can scale up its virtual server environment much more quickly, easily and cheaply, while the time taken to recover and back up data has also been slashed.
The efficiency, reliability and flexibility that Stockport Council is benefiting from are also translating into a significant competitive advantage for Nutanix’s private-sector clients. For online trading and spread-betting firm London Capital Group (LCG), installing Nutanix’s on-premises Enterprise Cloud Platform means the company’s IT infrastructure is more efficient, easier to run and more resilient than its predecessor. This has resulted in faster and more reliable deal execution times, which is of huge value to LCG and its customers.
“Our first Nutanix demo was a real light-bulb moment, alerting us to the availability of an equally scalable alternative that could be both quicker to deploy and simpler to manage,” says Blair Wright, chief information officer at LCG. “The reduction in the complexity of installation and diverse skillset requirement we would have had with other vendors has been a
major factor in keeping to our deadlines. We’ve managed with far less headcount than we thought and haven’t had to hire any specialist storage staff.”
Paul Phillips, Nutanix’s senior regional director, says his company’s solutions complement the public cloud services offered by the likes of Amazon Web Services. “We liken the public cloud to going on holiday and renting a room in a hotel,” Mr Philips explains. “All the services you need are provided, but you know you’re paying a premium.
“On the other hand, if you move to a country permanently, you’re not going to stay in a hotel for the entire period. You might eventually want to buy your own apartment, so it makes sense from a cost perspective and you can customise everything to your own taste and practical requirements – the same as with the private cloud.”
This customisation, Mr Phillips adds, could apply to security levels, for example. “We have a lot of public-sector customers and, for them, data like health records need maximum security,” he says. “Whereas more mundane, day-to-day data that has less sensitivity can be set with a different level of security which allows wider and quicker access for efficiency.”
The pace of technological and economic change means that, more than ever, enterprises need to innovate to survive. Installing a cloud-based IT infrastructure that is cheaper, more efficient and more reliable than the alternatives frees up time for them to do exactly that.
For more information please visit www.nutanix.com