Torti Gallas a Cisco and NetApp Customer Profile

Torti Gallas says that overhauling your IT infrastructure doesn't need to be a big ordeal. Technologies from Cisco, NetApp and VMware were a foundation the company is using to support its growth.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

From time to time, I like to communicate with someone actually using the technology the suppliers rave about during our conversations. This time, Omer Mushahwar, a Senior Associate at Torti Gallas, took a few minutes to answer my questions.  Thanks Omer!

Please introduce yourself and your company

I’m Omer Mushahwar, a Senior Associate at Torti Gallas where I’ve served as an IT administrator for the past 7 years. I am responsible for all of the firm’s IT activities and decisions including networking, firewalls, telecommunications and everything in between.

Torti Gallas is an architecture and land planning firm. Our philosophy is that we design residential, commercial, and institutional buildings to be in context with their environment, to be functionally and aesthetically innovative, and economically sensible.

What were you doing that needed this type of technology?

Torti Gallas continues to grow, and with growth came a need to reevaluate our IT infrastructure. We had data and mission-critical files spread out over six different servers leading to significant IT inefficiencies. We also suffered from periodic data center outages due to severe weather, an issue that could cost the firm up to $45,000 daily. This data growth, server sprawl, and storage inefficiencies led to significant IT man­agement challenges, system performance issues and outdated equipment. We weren’t providing an IT foundation that was deserving or supportive of our award-winning staff. We needed an infrastructure that would be more reliable, cost-efficient and agile.

What products did you consider before making a selection?

We began by working closely with technology partner and IT solutions provider Presidio to investigate options to suit our needs. The data center virtualization experts at Presidio zeroed in on the FlexPod data center solution from NetApp and Cisco. We were sold on VMware for virtualization, so it was crucial that the storage technology integrated seamlessly with VMware. The VMware on FlexPod from NetApp and Cisco solution was the clear choice for our virtualization and cost-efficiency goals and offers all of the capabilities we need for a scalable, agile, secure enterprise. Using FlexPod, we were able to design and implement a cost-effective solution, with a flexible finance option that allowed us to acquire the equipment up front and spread the costs over four years.

Why did you select this product?

The FlexPod architecture offered manageable and cost-effective solutions to all of our IT inefficiencies. For example, NetApp SnapMirror enhanced our disaster recovery plan by replicating data twice daily from the production site to the 100% virtualized collocation facility. This upgrade helps protect business-critical company and client data. NetApp solutions offered a way for us to eliminate much of our excess storage and servers, saving the company money while helping us to reduce our carbon footprint. Plus, we now have storage capabilities that enable us to grow without the need to constantly update our IT infrastructure. The overall package and seamless integration with VMware that FlexPod provided made the decision an easy one.

What tangible benefits has your company gotten through the use of this product?

The measurable benefits resulting from our IT overhaul were instantly noticeable. By deploying VMware vSphere on FlexPod from NetApp and Cisco, we’ve reduced our physical servers by 80%, eliminated 3 of 4 storage racks and decreased our data center power and cooling costs. We now meet 2-hour recovery point and 4-hour recovery time objectives with a solution that help prevents the possible loss of $45,000 per day during power outages or storms. The solution has empowered our employees to serve clients and generate revenue without the headache of having to deal with IT inefficiencies or failures.

What advice would you offer others?

Overhauling your IT infrastructure doesn’t need to be a big ordeal. There are simple, cost-effective technologies available that can revolutionize the way your business and employees operate on a daily basis. I would suggest exploring the market and your IT partners like Presidio for solutions that can make an immediate impact on your company. Your IT infrastructure truly does form the foundation upon which your company builds – I suggest you make sure your foundation is solid and offers room for growth.

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