For European investment company Gimv, keeping applications and large data volumes highly available to employees is business critical. To achieve that goal, their IT infrastructure relies on Nutanix’ hyper converged infrastructure. The entire transformation process was coordinated and implemented by Nubera. “We were especially impressed with Nubera’s in-depth knowledge of Nutanix and VMware.”
European investment company with over 1.8 billion euros of assets
Gimv is a European investment company with over three decades of experience in private equity and venture capital. Gimv is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels. The company has about 1.8 billion euros of assets under management. Gimv participates directly in companies, but also invests via funds, for which the company collaborates with external partners. Furthermore, Gimv also acts as a partner in third party funds.
“Instant access to applications and data is a prerequisite”
Some six years ago, Gimv renewed its server environment, choosing blades over traditional servers and opting for a fully virtualized solution based on VMware, including VMware View for VDI. The centrally managed IT environment allows Gimv to support all of its employees – working at 4 offices in 4 different countries – from its headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium. “VDI is a safe way of working since it doesn’t store any data on the local device”, says Kristof Poppe, IT Manager at Gimv.
“The only prerequisite is the environment’s high availability. Our employees are always on call. They need instant access to applications and data, especially when they are dealing with the tension of negotiations and deadlines. Availability is business critical. The same can be said about our email system which extends to nearly 10 TB. Honestly, we don’t need a monitoring tool for our mail environment. Within one minute of the mail server going down, I would receive a phone call from one of the employees.”
Nutanix’ hyper converged infrastructure
To deal with these challenges Gimv got in touch with Nubera. It was decided that the best way to go forward was to implement Nutanix’ hyper converged infrastructure, integrating storage, computing and virtualization into one single platform. Thus, Nutanix saves space and energy consumption in the data center, while avoiding the traditional complexity of storage. “We saw the evolution in SSD storage over the last couple of years”, Poppe explains. “We knew we would have to make a decision to keep our large data volumes available and manageable. Instead of acquiring extra hardware and trying to piece everything together, we opted for the all-in-one approach offered by Nutanix.”
“We were impressed by Nubera’s in-depth knowledge of both Nutanix and VMware”, says Poppe. Nubera implemented 2 Nutanix chassis, each containing 3 nodes, combined with a 10 Gbit/s low latency switch. Gimv used Veeam software to migrate the old blade servers to Nutanix, with VMware View as the largest chunk of the migration project. To address the company’s growth in data volume, Nutanix offers a storage capacity of 20 TB. “The data that the employees need on a daily basis is immediately available on SSD. Archives and data sources that are consulted less frequently are stored on slower hardware”, Poppe explains.
“A scalable IT infrastructure solution”
As Gimv’s data volumes keep growing rapidly, the organization’s IT department needs a highly scalable and flexible solution. “The one thing that makes Nutanix stand out even more is its manageability. Nutanix allows us to start rather small, then scale out the environment step by step, following our needs.”
“The next step in hybrid cloud environment”
Gimv already has a disaster recovery solution in the cloud, replicating the servers that are most business critical. “We consider Nutanix to be the next step in the direction of a hybrid environment, combining cloud services with on-premise infrastructure”, Poppe adds.
At Gimv, Nutanix’s converged solution is offering IT as a service, albeit based on infrastructure running on premise. “Nutanix allowed us to simplify hardware management, while improving the services rendered to our business.”
With only 4 employees, Gimv’s IT department made the choice to fully focus on applications with added value for the business. “Of course, the hardware has to be there to make it all happen”, Poppe concludes. “But having Nutanix running as smoothly as it does, that’s one thing less to worry about.”