As a social enterprise and registered charity in New Zealand, PlatformPlus Limited is always looking for a way to improve how it served local businesses and healthcare providers in their digital transformation journeys.
It is part of the Community Living group, whose mission is to help people with intellectual disabilities live their dream through community connections. PlatformPlus also serves as a "one-stop-shop" for both community and commercial organisations seeking IT reliability, high business continuity and swift disaster recovery.
To do so, it seeks out and delivers the most cost-effective and efficient solutions for each organisation. To propel its expansion plans into the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and the Pacific in 2018, PlatformPlus wanted to enhance its own storage capabilities at its data centres in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand.
In 2017, PlatformPlus upgraded its data storage and servers with Huawei equipment that enabled it to improve data security and responsiveness. Its production systems at its data centres – from applications and database servers to virtual desktops – were enhanced after this leap forward with the new technology.
An important part of the setup was a storage solution that delivered leading performance with large bandwidth and high input/output operations per second (IOPS).
This was necessary as PlatformPlus was facing exponential growth in business data. It had to minimise its backup window, ensure data security and business continuity, and prevent operational downtime from, say, everyday emergencies or natural disasters. Upgrading its storage capabilities was key.
High-performance, reliable and secure
In 2017, PlatformPlus invited major industry players, including Huawei, to propose a high-performance and reliable storage solution, including high-density servers.
In the end, PlatformPlus picked Huawei for its OceanStor Dorado5000 solution that featured an All-flash Array (AFA) to deliver the performance and large bandwidth that was needed. As part of the package, Huawei's HyperSnap and HyperReplication technologies brought stability and reliability, along with security.
This was another win for Huawei after PlatformPlus first picked the Chinese-based company for its storage and high-density servers back in 2014. In both cases, Huawei's rock-solid performance won over the customer.
"Since 2014, Huawei has consistently earned our trust with their fast response, dedication and excellent service," said Stephen Smith, ICT manager at PlatformPlus Ltd.
"Huawei earned our vote again for the proven leadership and maturity of its end-to-end storage solution — clearly exemplified in their detailed solution proposals and demonstrated during our visit to their research and development centers," he added.
Expanding storage performance
Huawei's storage and server solutions were initially set up in PlatformPlus' data centres in Dublin and London.
Through this, it could cut end-to-end Operating Expenses (OPEX) by up to 75 per cent. This was because Huawei Dorado's data reduction ratio of up to 5:1 helps improve space utilisation and reduces power consumption, cooling and maintenance fees.
So pleased with the Huawei solution was PlatformPlus that it later rolled more Huawei storage systems in its two New Zealand data centres, located in Auckland and Hamilton, in 2018.
While the initial deployment used Huawei OceanStor Dorado AFAs that offered latency as low as 0.3ms, the New Zealand rollouts used the even newer OceanStor Dorado 5000+NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) storage for production operations.
This supports exponential data growth and powers the performance requirements of PlatformPlus's storage equipment in the data centre. The inline deduplication and compression technology also helped PlatformPlus to more efficiently utilise the available space in its data centres without affecting performance.
In 2019, PlatformPlus started planning for a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), with initial support for 2,000 workspaces, and the capacity to scale up to 10,000 as the business grew.
PlatformPlus was convinced that Huawei's proposed Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) — featuring leading high-density servers and Storage Area Network (SAN), and the Huawei VMware VDI solution — would deliver the agility, scalability, and cost efficiencies it was looking for.
To further its digital transformation and better serve local businesses and communities, PlatformPlus is considering upgrading its data centres to embrace cloud computing technologies with Huawei Cloud Stack. This is a leading private cloud solution that has been adopted by more than 7,000 customers across 150 countries and regions.
Read on to get more information on Huawei's storage solutions.