Challenge: Boost performance to handle growing enterprise storage requirements.
Solution: Utilize and enhance infrastructure with Hitachi flash and tiering solutions.
Infosys Limited is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions. The company is headquartered in Bangalore, India, and has development centers across the world. It caters to a diverse group of industries, ranging from aerospace and defense to education and publishing. For customers in each of its target industries, Infosys Limited provides applications or other forms of expertise to boost operational and organizational efficiency, among other improvements.
The Infosys IT team provides end-to-end management of platforms designed to host both custom-built applications as well as packaged solutions. With an oversight of applications designed for a wide range of Infosys business operations, the team is responsible for the operation and uptime of more than 1,800 servers, as well as the safety of 500TB of data.
Information Technology and Consulting
Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000 flash modules (FMDs)
Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System
Hitachi Dynamic Tiering
Consolidation and virtualization services provided by Hitachi Global Services Solutions
As business grew at Infosys, so did the demands on its enterprise storage infrastructure. While the latter was scalable and the Infosys IT team could add more servers to handle the new workload, there was still a growing performance lag, especially when it came to critical business processes that called for short response times. Always alert to cutting-edge solutions that it could adapt to its needs, the team believed that flash technology would provide the support and performance it sought. Cost was a barrier, however, as was the challenge of obtaining the level of enterprise reliability that Infosys had come to expect of its storage infrastructure.
Growth in business and employee numbers translated into a higher workload for the Enterprise Platform Management team at Infosys. The team was on the lookout for cost-efficient and painless storage upgrades to handle this increased demand with lower response times.
The Infosys IT team evaluated FMDs on its Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) and later Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000, and were impressed by what they found. FMDs were able to deliver twice the performance and density of normal solid state disks (SSDs) at half the bit price. A closer look also revealed that FMDs supported enterprise levels of durability and consistent write behavior, attributes that were lacking in present day multilevel cell (MLC) SSDs. Its high-performance capabilities automatically lend themselves to enterprise needs involving big data management, large-scale transaction processing, multitasking and more.
“The decision-making process was further simplified for the Infosys IT team, by the fact we could add the flash tier to the Hitachi storage we already had. We also found that it could combine Accelerated Flash with other disk drives and create a dynamic structure within which data could be automatically promoted and demoted across flash and the disk tier, based on performance requirements,” explains Vice President at Infosys, Jitendra Sanghrajka.
Hitachi Dynamic Tiering software automates the data placement and access in a tiered storage environment. Dynamic Tiering self-managing and self-healing storage pools improve performance and eliminate the need for labor-intensive manual data placement.
Following this comprehensive evaluation, the team decided to deploy FMDs for mission-critical applications, such as billing and customer relationship management (CRM), among others.
“Many of our critical workloads run on Hitachi solutions. Hitachi Accelerated Flash along with Dynamic Tiering addressed our need for higher performance commensurate to our high data growth, consistently delivering sub-millisecond response times. The solution also protected our existing investments while seamlessly integrating with our storage architecture without any disruption,” explains Sanghrajka.
Chief benefits of the Hitachi solution include:
1) Reduced I/O time. Infosys found that I/O response times for the applications involved in the upgrade, was drastically reduced from 7+ milliseconds to less than 1 millisecond. During peak quarter-end processing, the complete application response time was less than 2 milliseconds at the user experience level.
2) New enterprise standards for response times. Business users are so happy with the unprecedented results in terms of reduced response times that they are pushing for similar levels with all other applications. A new business drive within the company is aimed at migrating all key application databases onto the FMD tier.
3) Increased storage efficiency. Due to the high-performance ability of FMDs, Infosys was able to migrate data from a large number of small capacity disk spindles to a small pool of flash drives and large capacity disk drives.
4) Reduced power usage. By reducing the number of active disk spindles, Infosys realized significant power savings of approximately 4 KVA.