Leading Storage Capabilities Drive One-Stop-Shop Efficiencies for PlatformPlus
Headquartered in Hamilton, New Zealand, PlatformPlus is a social enterprise (registered charity) within the Community Living group, whose mission is to help people with intellectual disabilities live their dreams through community connections. Since July 2014, PlatformPlus has been operating as a separate subsidiary serving local businesses and healthcare providers with an affordable, scalable and comprehensive platform for digital transformation.
As a “one-stop-shop” for community and commercial organizations, PlatformPlus specializes in IT reliability, high availability, resilient business continuity and swift Disaster Recovery (DR). PlatformPlus’s “customer-centered, best value” approach seeks out and delivers the most cost-effective and efficient solutions for each organization. To propel its expansion plans into the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, Australia and the Pacific in 2018, PlatformPlus wanted to enhance the storage capabilities at their data centers in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand.
Data security and responsiveness are critical success factors for PlatformPlus to enhance the production systems at its data centers — from applications and database servers to virtual desktops. PlatformPlus wanted a storage solution that delivers leading performance with large bandwidth, and high Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS).
With the exponential growth of its business data, PlatformPlus needed to minimize its backup window, ensure data security and business continuity, and prevent operational downtime for everything from everyday emergencies to natural disasters. Storage systems were therefore the top priority for PlatformPlus’s infrastructure design.
Having worked with Huawei since 2014, PlatformPlus was familiar with the company’s storage and high-density servers. When the time came in 2017 to revamp the storage systems at its data centers in the UK and Ireland, Huawei was invited, along with other major industry players, to propose a high-performance, reliable storage solution, including high-density servers.
Huawei proposed its OceanStor Dorado5000 next-generation, All-Flash Array (AFA) to deliver the industry-leading performance and large bandwidth PlatformPlus required. Key solution highlights were Huawei’s HyperSnap and HyperReplication technologies, ensuring system stability and reliability, to deliver data security.
“Since 2014, Huawei has consistently earned our trust with their fast response, dedication and excellent service. 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,” said Stephen Smith, ICT Manager, PlatformPlus Ltd.
PlatformPlus was pleased with the lightning fast, rock solid performance of Huawei’s storage and server solutions at its data center in Dublin, Ireland, and London, UK. Powered by intelligent chips to drive end-to-end data acceleration, Huawei’s OceanStor Dorado AFAs provided a significant increase in application performance with industry-leading IOPS and up to 0.3 ms latency.
Huawei’s Dorado storage solution also offered PlatformPlus industry-leading stability and reliability. With its full redundancy architecture, hot plugging of key components, certified magnitude-9 earthquake resistance capability, and RAID-TP technology — which tolerates the simultaneous failure of up to three Solid-State Drives (SSD) — the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) for hard disks is up to 3 million hours and field-proven availability for PlatformPlus’s mission-critical data center is 99.9999%.
In addition, Huawei’s HyperSnap snapshot capacity also reduced PlatformPlus’s backup window to zero with minimal impact on service performance. HyperSnap also offers high service data security with multiple layers of data protection, while allowing the efficient repurposing of backup data for testing, archiving, and analytics. To enable remote data backup and recovery, continuous support for service data, and DR, Huawei’s HyperReplication technology helped PlatformPlus effectively prevent the potentially devastating damage that could be caused by data loss, service interruptions or long recovery durations in the event of a disaster.
PlatformPlus also enjoys unprecedented scalability with Huawei Dorado AFA’s scalability to 16 controllers, while leading the industry with support for 32 Gbit/s FC and 100GE front-end protocols. It can also look forward to cutting end-to-end Operating Expenses (OPEX) by up to 75% with Huawei Dorado’s data reduction ratio of up to 5:1, which improves space utilization, and reduces power consumption, cooling and maintenance fees.
Recognizing how Huawei’s storage solutions have helped to accelerate the storage performance at its Irish data center, PlatformPlus went on to deploy OceanStor Dorado 5000+NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) disks for the production operations at its two New Zealand data centers, located in Auckland and Hamilton in 2018.
As the first to support NVMe architecture both in high-end and mid-range AFAs, the OceanStor Dorado 5000+NVMe features Huawei’s FlashLink® intelligent algorithms, which provide predictable 0.3 ms latency to improve concurrency, and enhance performance. This supports exponential data growth and powers the performance requirements of PlatformPlus’s storage equipment in the data center. The inline deduplication and compression technology also helped PlatformPlus improve the utilization efficiency of the available space in its data centers without affecting performance levels.
In 2019, PlatformPlus started planning for a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with the capability initially to support 2000 workspaces, and the capacity to scale up to 10,000 as the business grows. 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 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution — would deliver the agility, scalability, and cost efficiencies they were looking for.
Looking ahead, PlatformPlus plans to continue partnering with Huawei as it expands its data center footprint within regional centers in New Zealand. To further its digital transformation and better serve local businesses and communities, PlatformPlus is considering upgrading its data centers to embrace cloud computing technologies with Huawei Cloud Stack, a leading private cloud solution that has been adopted by more than 7000 customers across 150 countries and regions.