Case Study

Lifescript’s All-Flash Data Center Comes Alive with Pure Storage

12x Reduction in Latency Significantly Improves System Performance

Case Study Details

Solution

  • VMware ESX Servers with Pure Storage FA-420
  • Supports I/O-intensive Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL server application environment

System Improvement

  • 3.5:1 data reduction
  • 12x lower latency
  • Simplified storage management
  • Data center footprint reduced by two-thirds

The Challenge: Support I/O-Intensive Environment Without Raising Data Center Costs

One of the fastest-growing online healthy living publishers, Lifescript.com is a leading website focused exclusively on women’s health. Lifescript’s mission is to create a place where women find and share healthy living information. Lifescript’s website and frequent email communications inspire women to be proactive about life and health and help them build a support network of experts and other users.

Sending up to 30 million emails daily is no easy feat. Lifescript’s IT infrastructure is 99% virtualized and includes a large Microsoft Exchange environment that requires high amounts of I/O throughput. However, its legacy mechanical disk-based SAN arrays were unable to keep up with growing performance demands and were causing mission-critical applications including Exchange to freeze on a regular basis.

Pure is the disruptive technology we needed to change our entire data center
Jack Hogan, Chief Technology Officer Lifescript
graphic data illustration

The Answer: All-Flash Storage from Pure Storage Increases Performance and Reduces Costs Across All Workloads

Lifescript relies heavily on complex data analytics to deliver relevant articles and information to its users, requiring a considerable amount of processing. Over time, latency levels increased to 60 milliseconds forcing the IT team to consider introducing SSDs into the existing mechanical disk-based SAN to boost performance. Discouraged by the high cost of this approach, Lifescript chose the all-flash Pure Storage FlashArray for its significantly lower cost profile and ease of deployment. Recognizing the multi-workload capabilities of the FlashArray, in less than five months the IT team migrated all core processing applications and data storage to the FlashArray.

“After installing the Pure Storage FlashArray we saw an immediate reduction in latency. We are now able to provide our customers with the performance of SSD drives at a cost that is close to SATA drives,” said Gary Rizo, Vice President, IT Operations at Lifescript.

The FlashArray has reduced latency from 60 milliseconds down to less than 5 milliseconds, even when IOPS reach 40,000 during peak activity levels. Previously during peak usage levels, the legacy SAN array would experience 3-second latency. Pure Storage enables Lifescript to maintain a competitive edge by providing its customers with a better end user experience due to enhanced data processing speed.

The Solution: Pure Storage FlashArray Delivers 12x the Speed in One-Third the Space

Before implementing Pure Storage, LifeScript’s data storage was occupying three full racks with plans to add more. With the FlashArray, the company is now only using 8U of a single rack and has ample space to support future data storage requirements. Moving away from spinning disk to an all-flash data center has enabled Lifescript to significantly reduce power consumption and the storage footprint, resulting in lower data center location costs.

Lifescript is currently experiencing a data compression rate of 3.5:1 for all SQL server data. According to Rizo, “The ability of the FlashArray to do inline compression without causing performance degradation is one of the reasons Lifescript is utilizing the FlashArray for the entire company.”