V-TAB is one of the largest printing companies in the Nordic region with six production sites across the south and middle regions of Sweden.
The organisations’ core business comes from national newspapers, however its customers also include well-known magazines and business chains. The company is able to handle large capacity printing materials, but still endeavours to act as a creative partner to all of its clients, providing them with a bespoke and personalised service.
As a comprehensive printing supplier, the company has well-established procedures for logistics, distribution and other postal services, as well as a complete photo studio that is open for client use.
It is critical to the company’s success that its operations are supported by a robust IT environment that can meet high capacity orders, offer complete business continuity and high availability. The company was operating on a mixture of virtualised and non-virtualised environments from VMware and Dell EquaLogic, which had reached the end of its lifespan. The existing environment was six years old, and V-TAB saw this as an opportunity to upgrade. Built on a core customer base of national newspapers, the company couldn’t afford to experience any downtime and the IT team required technology that was simple and easy to manage.
Fredrik Bogårdh, IT Manager at V-TAB commented, “Our clients rely on V-TAB to be a creative partner that can offer a quality, but speedy service. For this reason, we needed a solution that was simple to navigate and gave us improved high availability and redundancy. Something we weren’t getting from our previous technology.”
Searching for a new solution with Data Resilience
With the help of its partner Data Resilience, V-TAB evaluated the IT market extensively looking for a robust solution. Keen to eliminate the burden of data management, the company first considered outsourcing its IT requirements, however after further research, hyperconvergence become a clear choice. “When comparing hyperconverged solutions with the cost of outsourcing, the figures just didn’t match up, and certainly didn’t point in the direction of outsourcing,” explains Bogårdh. “For this reason, we decided to opt for a hyperconverged solution that we could easily manage ourselves.”
As a result, the company considered options from Nutanix and SimpliVity alongside Scale Computing. Bogård commented, “We were 100 per cent committed to a hyperconverged platform and after considering a number of options, Scale Computing felt like the perfect choice. One of our core requirements was ensuring we could simplify IT management to save both time and money. We worked with our partner Data Resilience to ensure all of our IT requirements would be fulfilled and we have been extremely pleased right from the start.”
Per-Ola Mård, managing director at Data Resilience explained, “We are always looking to help customers meet their IT requirements, and for V-TAB, it was essential that the platform was not only simple but cost-effective. Scale Computing’s HC3 platform was a natural choice, it met all of the company’s requirements and the technology is uniquely designed with its own hypervisor and simple interface, providing the easy management V-TAB needs.”
Mård continues, “With VMWare, the customer traditionally uses a feature-rich, function-sprawled interface. However, whilst everyone pays for all of the features, most people only use a small number of them to fit their needs. With HC3 on the other hand, customers only need the basic survival-kit, which provides capabilities for managing the virtualisation, securing your VMs using high availability, disaster recovery, and highly efficient data optimisation functions – everything you need is included. Adding Scale Computing’s HC3 is like running a weight-watcher programme on your IT infrastructure – there’s less weight, meaning it’s easier to move your payload.”
V-TAB opted to deploy Scale Computing’s HC3 cluster as a centralised server platform across two of its sites in Sweden. With the help of Data Resilience, the company had the solution up and running within a day. Scale Computing’s technology now underpins all of V-TAB’s IT operations, offering data mirroring, high availability and disaster recovery – all features that the company required. “Data Resilience were extremely helpful throughout the process,” commented Bogårdh. “Scale Computing’s technology was simple and easy to set up and, as soon as we were up and running, the team was able to begin deploying VMs immediately.”
Reaping the benefits – simplified management
Scale Computing’s HC3 combines servers, virtualisation and management into one product, automating the overall management and allowing V-TAB’s IT team to focus on the core business objectives. Previously the IT team would have to spent time managing the IT environment, but now staff can focus on driving business value and running applications, rather the managing the underlying infrastructure. Bogårdh noted, “Using Scale Computing’s HC3 solution is simple and it gives us full control. Now we can handle all of our data, from both of our sites in Sweden, with one simple to use interface.”
With no additional software to licence, training or certifications needed to implement and run the Scale Computing solution, V-TAB has enjoyed a range of cost savings. The company has also been able to save 25 per cent of its administration costs due to the simplified management.
Enhancing business continuity
In addition, opting to deploy Scale Computing across two sites has allowed V-TAB to mirror all of its data, providing the company with an added benefit of data replication and protection. HC3 gives the IT team regular access to snapshots and cloning technologies to offer a full set of backup and recovery capabilities. As a production site, V-TAB offers services that are in constant use and being able to guarantee business continuity is of paramount importance to the organisations success and reputation. Scale Computing’s HC3 platform also offers retention, recovery and failover at no additional cost.
Improving high availability with on-premises IT
V-TAB is also benefiting from high availability since deploying Scale Computing. As Bogårdh explains, this was one of the key requirements of any new IT environment, and a major decision as to why the organisations opted for Scale Computing’s on-premises solution over a cloud based platform. Bogårdh noted, “At first, we did consider a cloud based solution. When looking to eliminate data management the cloud and outsourcing IT seems like a natural step. However, it’s also critical to consider other business requirements. For us, the cloud wasn’t an option due to latency. As a production site, high availability is key and the cloud couldn’t promise to deliver on this. With the cloud there is also the added risk of latency due to connection issues. Scale Computing’s HC3 platform provides the same benefits as the cloud, but with the added security of an on-premises solution. It really is as simple as putting your data in the cloud, but with added control.”
The future is HC3
Bogårdh commented, “Scale Computing is a perfect fit for our IT needs. No matter what the problem is, the support team are on hand to help.” As such, V-TAB is now in the process of deploying additional clusters at its production (ROBO) sites following its 12-month deployment with Scale Computing.
Bogårdh concluded, “To me, this is a great testament to Scale Computing and its product. We are looking forward to a continued partnership and seeing further benefits from a quality product.”