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Case Study

How to transition from traditional VAR services to also offer Managed Services with DataCore

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ERA’s Sean Baker kindly details why becoming a DataCore Cloud Service Provider CSP for their burst to the Cloud solution for media users has been a key differentiator to success and growth in the transition from traditional VAR to Managed Service Provider.

What made you consider DataCore’s CSP as a solution to offer your media customers?

ERA had already invested in DataCore’s enterprise licence solution for our internal VMware infrastructure which we had been running for over a year. Technically, our engineer’s love running DataCore due to the flexibility, performance and resilience it provides our VMware environment, so it ticks all the boxes for us. When the CSP solution was released, it was a no brainer to deploy DataCore into our data centre to bolt onto our client facing infrastructure. DataCore’s CSP model allows us to deploy DataCore as we need and we only pay for what we use, allowing us to easily scale on demand. That’s a critical differentiator we can now offer as a CSP.

When did you decide you needed a solution like DataCore’s?

Our interest was initially piqued by the levels of resilience claimed to be offered by DataCore for our VMware server estate. It offers fundamental VMware support but also performance caching algorithms to overcome bottlenecks so we were seriously compelled to look at the solution in depth. Extensive testing followed as our ERA internal engineers stress tested the system, but it very quickly became evident that it met its claims and would fit all out needs.

What specific problems has our product addressed/resolved for you and your customers?

DataCore has allowed us to deploy both highly redundant and high performance storage quickly and easily to our media clients who traditionally have large data sets. The features around redundancy configuration, and thin provisioning have transformed our storage infrastructure.

The ease in which we can now scale and upgrade as needed without downtime to our clients is very important, as well as the ability to roll DataCore out on commodity infrastructure, allowing us to control costs as we grow.

Is there any particular story you would like to share regarding your experience so far with DataCore at ERA that distinguishes DataCore as an infrastructure provider?

We have found that DataCore’s support and training has been excellent, allowing our engineers to come up to speed quickly on the product.

It’s a distinctly well matured solution and the resultant attention to detail at the design stage ensures we got the configuration right first time.

What do you think about DataCore’s CSP pricing model compared to other competition?

The CSP pricing model suits ERA’s Cloud model perfectly, allowing us to only pay for what we are using and there- fore what we are receiving revenue for. For clients this flexibility is appealing too – given we can now offer Burst to the Cloud for the media sector.

This ‘Burst to the Cloud’ concept means that we can offer flexibly service when they have lots of projects on and don’t have the internal capacity for storing all the versions of work prior to selection of the final version, so the ability to pay as they consume – up and down – on a an Opex model, is appealing to them.

The price point for the levels of protection is excellent allowing us to deliver a high level service competitively to our clients. It’s important to understand that through the way that the TBs are provisioned with DataCore, we can confidently allocate the same TB many times.

Has it allowed you to use existing technology in your media Cloud space?

Because DataCore is totally hardware agnostic, usage has allowed us to deploy the software on technology that our engineers are very familiar with.

Undoubtedly, by running on standard commodity hardware we have been able to keep our hardware and support costs under control.

How do the economics of using DataCore as a CSP infrastructure stack up? (paying for only what you use at a monthly price per TB)

Significantly so.

When you are setting up a Cloud service to a new vertical, you need to keep your infrastructure costs top of mind. We’ve avoided a large upfront CAPEX overhead using DataCore at the backend. This is significant as it has allowed us to grow and scale the service on demand.

Technically, has usage allowed you to increase SLAs by eg, zero storage-related downtime? More effective QoS? Faster provisioning?

Absolutely, probably covered this above.

Usage of the DataCore CSP programme has also allowed us to increase service provision to clients. Our Quality of Service has improved, we are confident of our SLA of <<99.99%>> zero downtime assurances and we can provision faster than ever without impact to users.

How is DataCore different to other vendors that you work/ed with? – technically and relationship?

DataCore’s different to other vendors in the infrastructure space. Its functionality and unique deployment aligned with support of commodity hardware are key stand outs. It has really simplified our infrastructure whilst increasing the level of performance, resilience and management. Its technical capabilities make onward recommendation easy.