6 min read

SAP-HANA Hosting Provider Reduces Latency by 75% and Saves $100k with HCI Solution

We recently had a fun conversation with 1st Basis Consulting, a rapidly growing SAP and VMware-certified partner offering technical managed services and IT consulting for customers worldwide.

To keep up with growing demand for their SAP HANA-based hosting services, they needed to add more CPU, RAM and replace their storage. Fortunately, they agreed to take time out of their busy schedule to tell us how they got it done.

So, we know you’re wondering – what was their secret sauce?

Well… Their journey was so captivating that we asked them to share their success story on webcast so you could hear about it. And they didn’t hold back, they revealed every detail of the evaluation process and how they found that “secret sauce” solution that saved the day.

To watch and hear directly from them on how they did it, click here – SAP HANA on Steroids: Hosting Provider Achieves 75% Reduction in Storage Delays.

Our customer, Jeremy Schulthess – Infrastructure Administrator at 1st Basis Consulting – was leading this highly critical project of revamping their old SAP HANA test/dev environment as their SAN was not fast enough for the most recent workloads they were generating. They knew it was time to transform their shop to a more modern infrastructure.

They ended up choosing a unique mixed model they had never seen before. You will learn more about it in a bit. The importance of picking the best solution was all placed on Jeremy’s shoulders and he knew his decision would have a massive impact on the company business objectives.

1st Basis Consulting pride themselves in offering affordable, flexible, high-quality solutions that ensure secure, high-performing and stable environments for its customers—at a typical savings of 20 percent compared with competitors or in-house staffing.

If Jeremy was to choose the wrong solution, all these attractive benefits would be in jeopardy and it could cost 1st Basis millions of dollars in revenue. Instead of doing it alone, Jeremy decided wisely and reached out to a trusted advisor of his at MNJ – Taylor Grove, Sr. Account Manager. Taylor knew immediately what to recommend.

Here are the challenges they needed to address:

  • Replace their slow SAN
  • Add more compute power for SAP HANA
  • Replace old VMware hosts
  • Complete project on a limited budget.

On their first attempt they looked at HP 3PAR, Tegile and Dell SCx series but these options would cost them an additional $100k and no room for new VMware host servers, but these options did not provide the flexibility they were looking for.

Taylor then proposed looking at Virtual SAN software option that turns any x86 server into an HCI solution. The idea was very attractive, but they weren’t sure if such solution would provide enough power to sustain their SAP HANA databases workloads in addition to other heavy workload from their production systems.

In terms of the cost/benefit ratio, DataCore gave us everything we were looking for without the massive added cost of a physical SAN

To their surprise, this Virtual SAN solution was already certified for SAP HANA and it was a proven platform capable of handling heavy workloads. In addition, the savings this software solution was providing allowed them to buy 2 additional servers for VMware. Essentially upgrading from old Dell servers running Xeon Quad Core CPU’s to 2 new Dell servers with dual 32-core CPU’s. Plus, consolidating from 12 hosts to just 7 in total and increasing their VM density for future growth.

“In terms of the cost/benefit ratio, DataCore gave us everything we were looking for without the massive added cost of a physical SAN,” noted Schulthess.

This new solution gave them everything they wanted;

  • Flexibility to use commodity hardware
  • No vendor lock-in and freedom to switch vendors anytime
  • More performance by using a proven SAP HANA solution
  • More compute power with 32-core CPU’s and more memory
  • Added new hosts while consolidating from 12 to 7 hosts
  • Saved $100k and modernized their infrastructure

As soon as they deployed their new Hybrid HCI environment, they witnessed the performance boost DataCore Virtual SAN was known for. Their database boot-up times went from 20 minutes to less than 5 minutes, even for the largest database. That equates to a massive 75% reduction in storage delays. Jeremy was excited and proud to have made the best decision for 1st Basis.

Here is what Jeremy had to say about their new secret weapon, “Since DataCore was installed, I haven’t had to worry about anything, including overloading the VM servers, networking, etc., because DataCore just works,” said Schulthess. “I can load up 10 VMs with massive SAP HANA databases and it doesn’t even faze the system at all.”

Obviously, we must give credit where credit is due and that goes to Taylor and his team at MNJ. They are well known for providing highly customizable and flexible solutions for businesses and IT providers. Based out of Illinois, they focus on transforming data centers through modern technology such as DataCore’s Hyperconverged Virtual SAN. Their custom-made solution for 1st Basis Consulting is proof of their level of excellence.

One of the biggest advantages that DataCore provides is that it solves the problem of vendor lock-in because its storage agnostic—it works with any storage

1st Basis Consulting is still growing at a rapid pace and their infrastructure is future ready for expansion. Thanks to their new HCI infrastructure they have the freedom and flexibility to add disks for more capacity or add more hosts for compute power.

“One of the biggest advantages that DataCore provides is that it solves the problem of vendor lock-in because its storage agnostic—it works with any storage,” said Schulthess.

In fact, the Virtual SAN software is only running in 2 of their 7 VMware hosts. Yet all hosts have provisioned vDisks presented from the 2-node HCI solution. If one Virtual SAN fails due to power or hardware failures, no problem, the 2nd Virtual SAN can run 100% of the VM’s workloads with Zero downtime. That is true High Availability at work with active/active Virtual SAN instances.

Here is a sample diagram to represent 1st Basis Consulting’s new HCI solution, but instead of 3 external hosts, they have 5 in total.

To best summarize 1st Basis success story, they needed a solution that they could grow and evolve—without having to do a forklift upgrade or add another large shelf. And that’s exactly what they found in DataCore’s Hyperconverged Virtual SAN running on Dell servers with commodity drives.

“With DataCore, we can put anything that we want in and it will work. Furthermore, we have the ability to add storage easily at any time, as well as to migrate other components of our physical SAN to DataCore in the future.” – Jerremy Schulthess, 1st Basis Consulting.

Do you want to learn more about how 1st Basis Consulting created a high-speed, cost-efficient virtual SAN for SAP HANA host environments?

Watch this on-demand webinar or see how you can create your own storage success story by requesting a live demo today!

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