Enhance IT service delivery for clients by increasing storage performance while improving infrastructure efficiency and manageability.
Migrate to new storage arrays without disruption and facilitate administration and analytics with Hitachi Ops Center.
Improved mainframe batch processes performance Faster response time of open systems applications in sub-milliseconds
Reduced power usage, cooling, and rack space requirements by 66%
Near-zero downtime for most clients during live systems migration
Eliminated hours of spreadsheet work with easy storage analytics
Enabled cost-effective growth with a highly flexible commercial model
Gijima is one of South Africa’s leading ICT companies, providing cloud infrastructure, IT and outsourcing services for both enterprise clients and small to medium businesses. A proudly 100% black-owned company with Level 1 BBBEE status, Gijima employs 3,000 people across 16 regions, and serves over 1,000 satisfied clients.
Its state-of-the-art Tier-3 data center hosts business-critical systems for many of the company’s biggest clients. When Gijima acquired the data center they inherited most of the existing server and storage infrastructure and its client systems.
Much of the storage was reaching end-of-life. Gijima decided that upgrading could dramatically improve performance and manageability. However, the company needed to find a way to migrate its data to new storage arrays without any disruption to its clients’ systems. Moreover, to offer on-demand scalability at an attractive price-point, Gijima needed a partner that could offer a flexible commercial model.
Gijima works with many of the world’s leading storage providers and has deep expertise of storage platforms. For its storage refresh, the company chose Hitachi Vantara as a trusted partner.
“The upgrade path was so much easier with Hitachi Vantara’s non-disruptive migration tools, compared to the competition,” explains Marais De Bod, Team Leader: Technical Solution Engineer at Gijima. “And from a commercial perspective, the EverFlex model gave us a lot of flexibility. With EverFlex, we only pay for the storage capacity we need, and all the replication and management software we’re using is included in the price.”
Gijima successfully installed two Hitachi VSP 5000 Series arrays at its production data center and two VSP G700 arrays for disaster recovery. These all-flash storage systems replaced bulkier spinning-disk arrays, significantly consolidating the physical infrastructure, reducing from nine racks to three in the production data center, and freeing up an additional two racks at the disaster recovery site.
The migration of clients’ systems was completed within four months. For the vast majority of these systems, the Gijima team was able to use the nondisruptive migration feature of Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System RF and Hitachi TrueCopy Remote Replication software to transfer the data to the new arrays seamlessly, without any downtime.
Gijima also upgraded its storage management software, adopting Hitachi Ops Center including: Administrator for storage management and provisioning, Analyzer for reporting and analytics, and Protector for data protection and replication management. The team is also looking forward to use Hitachi Ops Center Automator to streamline and automate more complex storage-related processes in the future.
Gijima and its clients were delighted by the improved performance. In the mainframe environment, long-running batch processes now execute faster. Meanwhile, in the open systems landscape, application response times have dropped to the sub-millisecond level—providing a remarkable improvement in user experience.
The new infrastructure is more efficient. By harnessing the powerful data compression functionality in the new VSP arrays, Gijima has been able to slim down its total data landscape by about 25%. This equates to a significant cost saving, since the EverFlex pricing model means that the company only pays for the terabytes of storage that it actually uses.
Meanwhile, the physical consolidation of the infrastructure has resulted in a 66% reduction in power, cooling, and space requirements, with a similar impact at the disaster recovery site. As energy efficient solutions are a priority for Gijima’s clients, the company can highlight that its infrastructure supports their sustainability goals.
Finally, Gijima is saving time and effort on storage management, thanks to both the reliability of the Hitachi hardware, and the intuitive storage management and analytics capabilities of Hitachi Ops Center. For example, reporting on storage performance and capacity used to be a tedious task, involving data exports and manual processing in spreadsheets. Today, Ops Center Analyzer cuts the task down to just a few mouse-clicks. Similarly, Ops Center Protector makes it easy to manage replication and backups, with daily block-level rolling snapshots for open systems, and both synchronous and asynchronous replication for the mainframe.
Marais De Bod concludes: “We’ve built a close relationship with Hitachi Vantara here in South Africa, and the local engineering team is very strong. Both technically and commercially, we now have a solution that works for Gijima and will enable us to continue improving our service to clients, both now and in the future.”
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