Boosting Performance

PPS simplifies SAN environment, boosts performance with Datacentrix


PPS, the only mutual financial services company in South Africa that focuses exclusively on graduate professionals, has successfully upgraded its storage area network (SAN) platform with Datacentrix, creating a redundant environment that is less complex, easy to use and high performing. PPS provides tailor-made insurance, investment and healthcare solutions to its members.

Denny Ferreira, senior IT operations manager at PPS explains that the company has grown quickly over the past two years. “From a technology perspective, PPS’s Parktown-based head office provides support for an expanding head count at head office, as well as for our subsidiaries. We had been running a particular type of SAN for several years and wanted to see what else was available in the marketplace to address our Tier 1 application requirements. The objective of this project was to simplify our infrastructure environment, at the same time as improving performance.

The organisation shortlisted a number of vendors based on cost effectiveness, and ran several proof of concept projects – for a few weeks each – before selecting Datacentrix’ Tintri storage offering. “The Datacentrix PoC, which was a combination of flash and normal spinning disk storage, worked well for our environment. We also performed existing site visits prior to our final decision,” explains Ferreira.

Says Venesia Oxford, account manager at Datacentrix: “PPS required a storage platform that could support superior performance at a cost effective price. The proposed solution by Datacentrix was suggested specifically as it is ‘application aware’, ideal for this environment, and enhances the performance of applications running in a virtualised environment.

“As a long standing partner of PPS, Datacentrix is well aware of the criticality of its applications – should the company’s Tier 1 applications ever go down there is a direct business impact and serious repercussions to the PPS services delivered to its approximately 140,000 members worldwide,” she adds.

PPS clients are given direct access into this environment and can pull information on their policies. The company is also planning on launching a public PPS mobile application soon.

“Since going live with the new solution in October last year, we’ve managed to overcome the frequent data corruption issues experienced previously, and have seen improvements in both visibility and performance on our new system, as well as stability, simplicity and user friendliness,” states Ferreira.

“We installed one disk solution within our production environment, and the other at our disaster recovery (DR) site and this solution has already proven its complete redundancy in case of a production failure.

“Datacentrix has been a PPS partner for several years now, managing our service desk, desktops and some networking. Through this ongoing relationship, we know that this is a solutions and services partner that will remain accountable, is easy to deal with, and always goes the extra mile,” he concludes.

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