Case Study

Secure-24

Secure-24 strives to distinguish itself from competition in the managed application space through innovation and commitment. Secure-24 is standardizing on Pure Storage for its customers and helping to deliver a differentiated SLA. Depending on the application, Secure-24 customers are experiencing a 3x-10x application performance improvement.

Business Transformation

A highly differentiated SLA delivering the highest levels of secure and complex application hosting services

Challenges

  • Satisfy thousands of customers with advanced, differentiated offerings
  • Meet or exceed service-level agreements for enterprise-class application performance
  • Finding a storage infrastructure that reduces risk of downtime or service degradation

IT Transformation

  • 3x- 10x improvement in application performance
  • Up to a 90% decrease in MRP generation times for customers
  • Vastly simplified storage resulting in over 2,000 man hours in annual time savings

Case Study Details

GEO

  • Global

Industry

  • Technology

Company

Secure-24

Use Case

  • VDI
  • Database
  • Business Applications

Pure Storage Helps Secure-24 Live up to Its Name

As adoption of managed cloud services becomes a key strategy for many enterprises, the demands placed on providers of these services are soaring. Current and potential customers require assurances that their data will be protected, business-critical applications will perform reliably and costs will be controlled. One managed cloud service provider is finding that Pure Storage helps it deliver on all of these promises.

Secure-24 is an industry leader in IT operations, application hosting and managed cloud services to enterprises worldwide. The company focuses on business-critical applications – including SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Hyperion – for customers who require a high degree of availability, security and regulatory compliance.

Secure-24 strives to distinguish itself from competition in the managed application space through innovation and commitment. One of the ways it has achieved superiority is by standardizing on Pure Storage solutions and offering all-flash storage to all new customers in support of their most essential applications. Existing customer applications are being moved to Pure Storage as legacy storage equipment is rotated out. Secure-24 offers its customers unique service level agreements (SLAs), and reports that Pure Storage is instrumental in consistently exceeding expectations for key performance factors such as sub-millisecond application response times.

All-flash Storage Boosts Application Performance

Scott McIsaac, Chief Technology Officer for Secure-24, says several factors went into the company’s decision to make Pure Storage a key part of its offerings. First was the performance boost it gives to applications. “It’s been a very long time since anyone has seen an infrastructure component that has had the large impact on application performance that flash memory has,” he says. “And with the cost of all-flash arrays achieving near parity with spinning-disk, the choice is easy to make.”

McIsaac reports that virtually every application that Secure-24 hosts on Pure Storage flash arrays experiences performance improvements anywhere between 3x and 10x. As a result, flash storage allows Secure-24 to confidently deliver on its aggressive SLAs. “We want to significantly exceed our SLAs all the time, and Pure Storage allows us to do that comfortably,” McIsaac notes.

Secure-24 now has multiple Pure Storage FlashArrays operating in its three data centers.

We want to significantly exceed our SLAs all the time, and Pure Storage allows us to do that comfortably.
Scott McIsaac, CTO Secure-24

Pure Storage: "A Silver Bullet"

One of the satisfied customers who plans to fully benefit from Secure-24’s use of Pure Storage is Kraton Performance Polymers, a leading global producer of engineered polymers. Randy Rucker, Infrastructure Manager for Kraton, says all of the company’s critical SAP applications are hosted by Secure-24, which he calls “an extension of our IT department.” During a previous annual customer review, Secure-24 mentioned flash storage to Rucker, but he was skeptical about the cost and the ability of flash to support the performance loads of the multiple SAP applications that Kraton uses.

But Kraton started experiencing performance lags with its SAP Business Warehouse application, and internal customers were complaining about the impact on their productivity. So, Rucker revisited the flash storage discussion with Secure-24.

“I was impressed by the performance improvements some of their other customers were getting, and by the savings in rack space that Secure-24 was realizing. But what sold me most is their broad commitment to flash. It spoke volumes for Secure-24’s confidence in Pure Storage.”

Kraton’s testing of SAP Business Warehouse on Pure Storage showed immediate improvement. In one widely used big data analytics application, Kraton’s business analysts import large volumes of data into Excel. This data import process is 5 times faster using Pure Storage, Rucker reports.

With results like that, Kraton is considering moving all of its SAP applications to Pure Storage, as well as more than 50 Windows PCs. “If we ever have a problem from a performance perspective, our silver bullet now is to put it on Pure Storage flash.” Rucker also explains that he has worked with many managed services providers in the past, and the hardware his company used on day one was the hardware they had to use throughout the term of the agreement. With Secure-24, they are constantly adopting the latest datacenter technologies to help customers. “It’s like a car and Secure-24 is constantly dropping in a new engine for us. Pure Storage allows Secure-24 to do this for us from a storage perspective.”

Simplicity of Management Reaps Huge Benefits

One powerful measurement of Pure Storage’s impact on Secure-24’s business is a dramatic falloff in the number of trouble tickets received from customers reporting application performance problems. McIsaac notes, when most applications are moved to Pure Storage, the only time they see a trouble ticket is just after the applications have started running on the flash storage “because they will open a ticket about a report that ran so fast they didn’t think it completed correctly.”

For Secure-24, attracting challenging customers like Kraton, who now entrust their business operations to a managed service model, is the propellant for continuing growth. But the impact of using Pure Storage solutions goes well beyond better-performing applications.

High on McIsaac’s list of benefits is the ease of managing Pure Storage arrays – to the point that Secure-24 no longer has dedicated storage administrators; that headcount has been reallocated to the company’s virtualization team because managing Pure Storage systems “is just so simple.”

One aspect of Secure-24’s business especially impacted by Pure Storage is the reduced complexity of hosting applications for so many customers with differing needs. McIsaac notes, “It’s complex to have such a diverse set of application workloads with widely different characteristics for each customer. In the past we had to customize and fine-tune every single aspect of the storage environment custom for each customer. With Pure Storage, that all goes away. And that’s a huge benefit.”

Secure-24 also benefits from ongoing operational cost savings, such as rack space and energy consumption, by replacing six cabinets on average of spinning disks with two compact Pure Storage FlashArrays.

It’s like a car and Secure-24 is constantly dropping in a new engine for us. Pure Storage allows Secure-24 to do this for us from a storage perspective.
Randy Rucker, Infrastructure Manager Kraton Performance Polymers

More Pure Storage Equals More Happy Customers

The ultimate proof of Pure Storage’s impact on Secure-24 is the expanding base of satisfied customers capitalizing on the multi-faceted benefits of flash storage.

“We have an e-mail from one of our customers,” McIsaac says, “and the subject line simply says ‘Wow!’ There’s an MRP report they run regularly on JD Edwards that always took six hours to run. We did nothing other than move the SQL database supporting the report to Pure Storage, and it ran in a half-hour.”