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Background

ACESI is a premium French digital services company that specialises in IT infrastructures. Headquartered in Entzheim, close to Strasbourg, its geographical reach spans from the Greater North-East of France to the French-speaking region of Switzerland. It is also present in Montreal, Canada. With almost 70 employees, this regional leader delivers optimised and comprehensive computing environments to customers, whether public or private, large or small, and across all business fields (industrial, medical, service-oriented, etc.).

To fully meet the needs of its customers’ changing environments, ACESI delivers solutions across six complementary businesses: IT consulting, IT Security, Solutions and Systems Integration, Managed Services, Hosting and Telecoms and Cloud Computing.

Providing quality and performance is ACESI’s cornerstone for sustainable business. Coupled with an innovative approach, it becomes a philosophy the company also follows when choosing its own IT equipment.

Challenges

As a cloud service provider, ACESI is constantly looking for new solutions, not just in terms of software but also the hardware infrastructure used by the teams to deliver the services. Indeed the choice of equipment is crucial to delivering reliable and effective cloud computing solutions to the customers and to remaining competitive in this highly demanding market. Manuel Kientzy, Co-leader and Technical Director, ACESI explains:

“While reliability and quality are prerequisites, we always pay careful attention to our cost of ownership before we choose our equipment provider. We need to make sure that our equipment will deliver performance for our customers and sustainable business for us.”

With a storage system that no longer met its performance requests and for which a costly maintenance contract was coming to an end, ACESI needed to replace a storage array at the beginning of 2017. Quite naturally it turned to Huawei, with whom it had been a partner since 2016.

“We had been working with Huawei since summer 2016 on a Proof of Concept to test a new fully integrated, open stack private cloud for a customer. In this context, Huawei had already unveiled its full storage equipment and server offering. Backed by our excellent partnership and the quality of their products, we asked Huawei to come up with the best storage solution for us. One that would meet the highest standards in terms of storage capacity, reliability and operational costs,” continues Manuel Kientzy.

Solution

ACESI’s existing storage unit was a traditional “hybrid” solid-state storage system that contained a mix of flash memory drives and hard disk drives. While ACESI had initially planned to replace it with the same technology, Huawei came up with a ground-breaking alternative that involved using its brand new OceanStor Dorado6000 - a high-performance full flash storage system that had not hit the market yet and was only available in test mode.

“We agreed to purchase the Dorado6000 V3 solution under try and buy conditions - as we were the first to use it in Europe. Not only did we benefit from reduced acquisition costs, but the solution truly exceeded our expectations in terms of performance and overall operational costs,” comments Manuel Kientzy.

Dorado also incorporates Huawei’s Active-Active HyperMetro application. With this functionality, two data centres can process services simultaneously and if one centre stops functioning, the other automatically takes over without interruption, data loss or any human intervention, thus providing a Business Continuity Plan with close to 100 per cent availability.

ACESI’s Dorado V3 is used to build core database and critical applications especially for the cloud activities. It also satisfies the storage requirements of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Virtual Server Infrastructure (VSI), smoothing the way to the all-flash era.

Benefits

The implementation of the storage system was smooth and easy as Manuel Kientzy explains: “As integrators, we are used to migrating data onto new equipment, so we did it in no time. A Huawei technician was there to support us with the administration aspects, but no training was needed since the Huawei interface is very intuitive.”

The benefits in terms of operational costs were immediate and substantial. Previously, there were two types of interface used for transferring data to and fr om hard drives (SATA and SAS). With full flash technology, the teams no longer need to worry about where to store the data. On top of that Dorado’s strong performance does not require any staff monitoring and manipulations such as moving disks or virtual machines. ACESI employees can therefore concentrate on more addedvalue tasks for their customers.

ACESI did look at other vendors but nothing beat Dorado’s performances in terms of storage capacity, data availability or replication possibilities, ease of installation and set up. But what truly sealed the deal was its long-term cost of ownership.

“We have been using Huawei’s full flash storage equipment since June 2017 and are extremely satisfied with it. We plan to move all our cloud storage to Dorado6000 V3 progressively and also foresee buying a second unit in 2018 to set up an Active-Active configuration with the Hypermetro functionality, thus allowing full service availability.

“By acquiring Huawei’s Dorado storage equipment, we are able to make the most out of our services with higher levels of commitment and increased performances for our customers. And with lower operational costs, we can concentrate on our core business: designing added value solutions for our customers’ IT infrastructure. It’s a true win-win acquisition!” concludes Manuel Kientzy.

About Huawei Enterprise Business Group

Huawei Enterprise Business Group (“Huawei Enterprise”) is one of the three business groups of Huawei, a leading global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions provider. Leveraging Huawei’s strong R&D capabilities and comprehensive technical expertise, Huawei Enterprise provides a wide range of highly effi cient customer-centric ICT solutions and services to global vertical industry and enterprise customers across government and public sector, fi nance, transportation, electric power, energy, commercial businesses, and ISPs.

Huawei Enterprise’s innovative and leading solutions cover network infrastructure, Unifi ed Communications and Collaboration (UC&C), cloud computing and data center, enterprise information security, and industry application solutions.

For more information, please visit our homepage: e.huawei.com/uk

About ACESI

Founded in 2004, ACESI Group specialises in IT infrastructures, offering a wide range of high value added digital services: from consulting, integration, managed services and security, to cloud computing and telecommunications. Independent and customer-driven, it delivers high-quality sustainable solutions to public and private entities (industry, services, medical), from small to medium sized businesses to major local players.

With offices in France (Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Besançon), Switzerland (Basel, Geneva) and Canada (Montreal) and almost 70 dedicated employees, ACESI achieved a turnover of €16 million in 2017, with promising growth prospects.

For more information, please visit: ace-si.com

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