IT outsourcer boosts efficiencies and cuts costs as it transforms into SaaS company
Centric’s new data platform clears a path for modernization and innovation
backup cost reduction for Centric customers
staff freed up to work on new projects
To remain competitive, Netherlands-based IT outsourcing company Centric initiated a significant business transformation. The company has evolved from a traditional hardware and software reseller to a managed services provider.
As customers started using more cloud-based services, Centric rose to the challenge of offering a hybrid solution, bringing cloud and on-prem services together.
“Customers want organizations like Centric to build a total solution and deliver it to them as a services organization. The world is changing to become services-based.”
Pulling the plug on the old solution, earning employee buy-in
To support the business model shift, Centric’s IT leadership realized it needed to overhaul its storage environment. The previous solution was frequently plagued by disk drive failures, forcing the small IT team to work overtime to remedy issues. There was also ongoing concern about running out of storage or the compute power needed for necessary backups.
Centric enlisted the help of HPE and Scality, which led to implementation of the HPE Apollo 4000 and Scality RING storage solution. Employees were initially skeptical of the new environment. To counter this skepticism, Centric’s IT team did something extreme.
“Employees felt that, sure, we could tell them the new infrastructure would do what we said, but they actually wanted to see it in action,” explains Edwin Ruiter, an IT architect at Centric. “So in the middle of a backup, we pulled the plug on the system to prove that it was working. And, of course, everything continued to operate without a glitch. Employees started seeing for themselves that when issues come up, there’s no longer any downtime.”
“We now have the visibility to see if a data storage node or disk has an issue, which means we have zero downtime.”
Zero downtime increases efficiencies
After a successful proof of concept to test the new environment’s resiliency, replication, and data availability, Centric expanded to 15 storage nodes running on a three-site setup. Their shared storage from Scality RING load balances seamlessly between two Commvault data movers. If one fails, the backup keeps running, so any issues can be easily resolved during office hours.
The increased stability of the environment has also led to efficiency gains — the team that manages the system has shrunk from 12 people to a total of 7. The five additional team members are now freed to work on new projects, such as automation.
“We’re reducing the storage and backup footprint for our customers, lowering their costs, and allowing them to do better business.”
Scality and HPE support Centric in serving customer needs at lower cost
Centric set out to deploy a reliable, flexible, and scalable storage solution to ensure continuity, prevent outages, and raise the bar for employee innovation and better customer service. Scality and HPE delivered.
The new infrastructure enables Centric to store far more data and manage it in multiple environments, allowing the company to serve more customers at a lower cost than before. Because the new managed backup service is more efficient, a cost reduction of 25% is being passed on to the end user.