With an emphasis on providing customized IT solutions and exceptional, personalized service, Zumasys, of Irvine, California, helps companies throughout the United States spend more time advancing their businesses and less time on IT concerns. Experts in server virtualization, centralized storage, and application delivery methodologies, Zumasys specializes in rejuvenating customers’ legacy applications and platforms and supporting them with cutting-edge IT infrastructure either on premises or in the Zumasys private cloud.
For SMB customers such as Equiant Financial Services Inc. (Equiant) of Scottsdale, Arizona, Zumasys’ trusted expertise and partnerships with industry leaders, including NetApp, VMware, and Cisco, offer a safer, easier, and cost-efficient way to advance their businesses using the latest IT technology.
Zumasys began the company with two lines of business, which are still in operation today. Its software development services focus on modernizing customers’ D3 (Pick) databases tied to core business platforms such as ERP. Its on-premises infrastructure solutions are designed to better support these critical platforms. Early on, Zumasys became a NetApp Channel Partner and member of the NetApp Service Provider Program, entrusting its own and its customers’ data to unified NetApp® storage platforms integrated with VMware® virtualization technology.
Zumasys entered its third line of business in 2006, when an on-premises IT solutions customer approached the company about hosting its infrastructure. In successful operation since that time, Zumasys’ cloud-based hosting services enable customers to take advantage of a 100% virtualized platform and powerful, high-capacity storage resources through pay-per-use, per-month licensing on everything from Microsoft® Exchange, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Great Plains applications to D3, Microsoft SQL Server®, and Oracle® databases to Citrix XenDesktop platforms.
“Expansion is in our DNA, and NetApp technology continues to grow and evolve with us to support our business,” says Paul Giobbi, CEO at Zumasys.With its cloud services now representing 40% of its business, with 42% annual growth, Zumasys is turning to NetApp’s newest and most powerful platform and clustered technology to support this growing line of business.
IT as a service
Strengthen company brand and grow the enterprise by providing on-premises and cloud-hosted IT solutions that deliver high business value.
Leverage technologies to provide high-performance cloud solutions with 24/7 availability for business-critical applications.
- Provides ability to scale up and out to support a hosting business that is growing by 42% a year
- Accelerated customer’s report processing and delivery times an average of 500%
- Saves hosted customers an estimated 50% in capex and opex costs
- Achieved a 98% contract renewal rate on hosted services
- Differentiated hosted solution, providing richer margins while passing along additional savings and benefits to the customer
Readying another customer for the cloud
Equiant, a long-time Zumasys customer, was supporting its mission-critical D3 database engine with an on-premises NetApp FAS2020 system. At the heart of Equiant’s receivables servicing business, this database supports approximately 400,000 accounts and processes 400 to 500 reports from millions of records on a daily and monthly basis. These reports are accessed by clients, lenders, and their customers through Equiant portals, the timeliness of these reports is vital to each of their operations.
As Equiant continued to grow, high transactional activity would sometimes reduce database performance and delay availability of these business-critical reports. The company needed better performance and more capacity to handle the load and keep customers satisfied. Rather than continue to manage its infrastructure internally, Equiant turned to Zumasys and its cloud services.
“Zumasys’ cloud hosting solutions provide us with continual access to the latest technology advances. This lets us focus on supporting our customer’s businesses for the long term, without us having to maintain the infrastructure or manage system upgrades.”
To support its rapidly growing cloud services business, Zumasys’ IT team deployed a FAS8060 storage system running the NetApp clustered Data ONTAP® operating system. The system is equipped with the latest Intel® Xeon® processors and NetApp Flash Pool™ technology, which accelerates reads and writes. Acting as the storage backbone for Zumasys’ private cloud hosting business, the new platform joins the company’s existing NetApp FAS3240 and FAS6210 stack equipped with performance-enhancing NetApp Flash Cache™. The systems are housed in a tier 4 SUPERNAP facility backed by NetApp FAS3170, FAS6030, and FAS3210 storage systems located in the company’s hardened CenturyLink disaster recovery (DR) site. NetApp SnapMirror® technology and VMware vCenter™ Site Recovery Manager are used to seamlessly replicate data between sites every hour.
“We’ve found the Holy Grail with the NetApp FAS8060 platform and clustered Data ONTAP,” says Giobbi. “The flexibility to quickly adjust performance and capacity without disrupting the business is a big win for us and our customers.”Part of a powerful, agile FlexPod® Datacenter solution, the FAS8060 unified clustered architecture integrates with Zumasys’ Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) servers with Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco Nexus® switches, VMware vSphere® virtualization, and VMware vCloud® technology to form a flexible, cost-efficient, and holistically managed private cloud. It is supported by built-in clustered Data ONTAP management tools, multi-tenancy capabilities, storage efficiency features such as deduplication, and NetApp API plug-ins for VMware and Citrix environments. NetApp SnapManager® for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle solutions provide fast and automated backup capabilities.
Within this tightly integrated server, storage, and networking infrastructure, Zumasys’ IT team can quickly accommodate fluctuating application and workload demands and freely expand without ever taking operations offline.
NetApp FAS8060 series storage systems running clustered Data ONTAP (primary data center)
Cisco Unified Computing System B-Series blade servers
Cisco Nexus 7000 Series switches
VMware vSphere 5, VMware vCloud Director
VMware vCenter with VMware Site Recovery Manager
Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop
Additional NetApp Components
NetApp FAS2220, FAS6210, FAS3240 (primary data center)
NetApp FAS3170, FAS6030, and FAS3210 (DR site)
NetApp Flash Cache
NetApp Flash Pool
NetApp System Manager and Unified Manager
NetApp Snapshot™ and SnapRestore® technologies
NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft Exchange
NetApp SnapManager for Microsoft SQL Server
NetApp SnapManager for Oracle
NetApp plug-ins for VMware vCenter and Citrix XenCenter
D3 (Pick), Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle databases
iSCSI, NFS, CIFS
With a need to comply with stringent Payment Card Industry (PCI) regulations, Zumasys worked with Equiant to create its own dedicated private cloud environment in Zumasys’ primary data center. The hosted solution includes a new FAS2220 storage system with 20 SAS drives, Cisco UCS blade servers, and various switches.
After a brief test drive, Equiant sought to further accelerate report processing and delivery capabilities linked to its core D3 database and other platforms, including a web server, an SFTP server, and a Microsoft SQL Server. Zumasys collaborated with NetApp to size and incorporate NetApp Flash Pool technology into the platform. Flash Pool mixes solid state disk (SSD) and hard disk (HDD) technology at the aggregate level to improve performance while minimizing cost, space, and power requirements. “We needed to have everything up and running by the weekend to run our month-end reports the following week,” says Kim. “Zumasys and NetApp made it happen, and the results were nothing short of amazing.”
Today, four RAID-protected SSD drives work synergistically with the existing SAS hard drives using automated storage tiering to dramatically, yet economically, ramp up read and write performance. “NetApp Flash Pool has helped us completely transform our month-end reporting processes,” says Kim. “Depending upon size and complexity, reports are completed and delivered to customers 500% faster on average, which means no more delays and very satisfied customers.”
With Zumasys’ on-premises and hosted solutions supported by NetApp storage, Cisco® servers, and VMware hypervisors, customers can be confident that they are using advanced, highly efficient solutions to meet the needs of their businesses.
“Strong relationships with our on-premises customers make it easier for them to entrust applications to the Zumasys cloud,” says Giobbi. “And once they get there, 98% renew their contracts. Much of our cloud success is attributable to our shared, seamlessly managed NetApp storage infrastructure.”Customers who have been leveraging on-premises solutions for years are now transitioning to the Zumasys cloud so that their IT teams can focus more time on developing and enhancing their offerings and growing their businesses. Customers also appreciate that they can leverage cutting-edge technology without the high capital investments required to procure and maintain IT investments on site. In fact, according to Giobbi, most of Zumasys’ customers see a savings of 50% over the course of their three-year hosting contracts. Customers such as Equiant are using the Zumasys hosted infrastructure as a key selling point, exemplifying the use of best-in-class technology combined with the reliability and stability of Zumasys’ SUPERNAP- and CenturyLink-based data centers to deliver a highly competitive service to their customers.
Faster time to value
To rapidly onboard new customers to the Zumasys private cloud, the company uses NetApp Data ONTAP Edge. Working in conjunction with VMware vSphere and NetApp SnapMirror, Data ONTAP Edge software allows a customer’s applications and data to be quickly replicated to Zumasys’ NetApp FAS8060 system. After the applications and data have been replicated, Zumasys gives customers the option to front end their bandwidth-intensive applications through Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop platforms, allowing for fast and secure applications and data access from anywhere in the world through any device.
A very happy customer
Since the deployment of Equiant’s FAS2220 system and Flash Pool hosted environment, report processes have been dramatically accelerated. Instead of day-end processing extending into the next business day and month-end reports taking four to five business days, customers now access that information from Equiant’s online portal within hours of the close of every day and month. “NetApp Flash Pool has had a tremendous impact on our business operations,” says Kim. “We no longer worry about processing delays holding up our business or our customers’, and the speed with which we can deliver those reports gives us a significant competitive edge against the other players in our industry.”
Corey Luckow, VP of Strategic Development at Zumasys, concurs: “The success we’ve had with customers like Equiant—made possible by the advanced technology and partnerships we have cultivated with NetApp and others—strengthens our standing in the cloud hosting business.”