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LUSH, Yahoo! Japan Tackle Storage Scalability

Two growing companies took on a storage scalability challenge and won, adding performance improvements along the way.

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If there’s a downside to business growth, it’s typically the urgent need for IT resources to keep up with demand. But that obstacle cannot impede forward movement, especially when it comes to storing critical data.

This was the challenge facing two companies. Their legacy storage systems couldn’t address demand for performance and capacity, causing rising IT costs and adding management complexity.

Here’s how they tackled the scalability challenge and cleared the path for business growth. 

Scale With Room to Grow

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics needed a makeover in the storage department. With 800 stores in 51 countries, the IT infrastructure was rapidly running out of capacity.

“We purchased our previous storage systems in 2013,” said Dale Hobbs, network and security team manager for LUSH. “We tried to size the environment with enough capacity to accommodate growth for several years, but we outgrew those systems in just six months.”

LUSH opted to deploy the HPE Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash Platform. Once the first three machines went over to Nimble, Hobbs said the immediate performance improvements won them over and “we moved the rest of our workloads over in a rapid-fire approach.”

The improvements haven’t stopped. Hobbs said the company’s most demanding, mission-critical workloads — including email, ERP, point-of-sale, financial systems, and manufacturing applications — are running better than ever.

“We are averaging around 3,500 to 4,000 IOPS on a steady rate,” he said. “We have spikes that occasionally reach 12,000 but they are nowhere near the 90,000 IOPS ceiling the Nimble array is rated for, giving us lots of room to grow.”

Optimizing Storage for New Business Growth

Yahoo! Japan has also been facing data storage challenges. The company has been experiencing sideways growth, as its users move from traditional PCs to mobile devices, and from using web browsers to smartphone applications.

These shifts necessitated that Yahoo! Japan find an efficient, flexible, and scalable system of servers, storage, and network capacity to support this new “on-demand” base of users.

Another challenge it faced was the requirement for numerous virtual machines to run its OpenStack cloud platform software, causing storage system volumes to reach dozens of sets. This hardware volume also increased the amount of physical space required to accommodate servers and storage racks.

To overcome these issues, Yahoo! Japan implemented HPE Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash arrays. The company’s senior manager of infrastructure engineering said racking only took two hours and the performance wins were nearly immediate.

“One of the improvements was to offload part of the OpenStack Block Storage and OpenStack Image functionality,” he said. “This enabled data copying within the Nimble Storage array, and the peak network traffic during copying was no longer an issue. We are now able to launch more than 500 instances of operating system templates within 20 to 30 seconds. This was a big win.”

In addition, Nimble Storage has enabled Yahoo! Japan to optimize its physical hardware storage space. “We have launched 2,000 instances in a single rack pod,” the engineering manager said.

Now the company is able to look ahead and maximize new business opportunities, knowing Nimble Storage’s integration and functionality provides the flexibility and scalability it needs.

How to Achieve Storage Scalability

Being able to scale storage flexibly and efficiently while hitting business performance targets is the goal of most organizations. Discover how HPE Nimble Storage helps make that happen.

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