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Transtar runs at the speed of business

BESPOKE HPE CONVERGED SOLUTION PROVIDES RELIABILITY AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS

Objective
Increase capacity, improve performance and optimise backups.

Approach
Adopted bespoke HPE converged solution to improve reliability, performance and availability of mission critical systems for supply chain efficiencies.

IT Matters
• Delivers ten-fold improvement in performance
• Increases backup speeds and reliability
• Provides transparency in IT environment
• Software-Defined Storage (SDS) enables extreme agility

Business Matters
• Allows company to provide high-performing mission critical systems
• Enables robust systems to underpin the company’s value proposition and growth
• Reduces risks through efficient operations
• Provides confidence in the reliability, performance and availability of systems

“Thanks to our bespoke HPE converged solution, our systems are now running faster, more efficiently, and the user experience has improved.”

Warren Bradford, IT Manager, Transtar

INTRODUCTION

As an international freight and logistics company, Transtar relies on the performance and availability of its systems to deliver a real competitive advantage to its customers. With a bespoke HPE converged solution, Transtar’s systems are now running faster, more efficiently, and the user experience has improved.

CHALLENGE

Driving speed in the supply chain
Transtar is a leading provider of freight and logistics services in the Asia-Pacific region. Founded in 1986, the company specialises in providing end-to-end solutions for importers and exporters doing business throughout Asia. Its business activities include international import and export freight forwarding via sea and air, licensed customs clearance broking, export documentation, and third party logistics services.

Headquartered in Melbourne (Group HQ) and Hong Kong (Asia HQ), Transtar has a network of 18 offices located throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The network provides Transtar with an integrated model where 200+ people and facilities can control and manage cargo movements across the entire supply chain.

With sophisticated IT systems being a key part of its competitive advantage, Transtar needed to replace or upgrade its hardware infrastructure to continue providing a quality user experience to its staff and growing customer base.

According to Warren Bradford, IT Manager for Transtar: “Our objectives were simple; we sought expandability and scalability in our infrastructure and needed to optimise the operation and performance of our backup solution. Quite simply, we had reached capacity on our existing IT environment, which was running slowly and needed an overhaul.

“After a lengthy investigation to determine if we should replace or upgrade our infrastructure, which consisted of a traditional HPE server/storage backup system, we decided to replace our on-premises hardware as this would allow us to achieve the best bang for our buck.

“We issued a Request for Tender (RFT) for the new infrastructure in late 2013 with a view to being operational in early to mid-2014.”

SOLUTION

Transtar moves fast, infrastructure keeps up
Transtar evaluated various responses to its RFT and settled on a shortlist of four solutions – Dell, EMC, Nimble and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Data#3, a leading Australian technology provider, recommended the HPE solution and offered its implementation services.

Warren says: “It made sense for us to partner with Data#3 as we have had a long association with the company dating back to 2009 when the team assisted us with ironing out some technical issues. Since then, Data#3 has been maintaining our systems. In this instance, we knew we were in good hands as we knew Data#3 had the technical expertise, support and knowledge to help us with this new project.”

Transtar selected a bespoke converged solution from HPE as this provided the required functionality within budget. The company felt comfortable in sticking with HPE as it had provided value to date.

Tom Grskovic, Account Executive for Data#3, explains: “We identified that a specialised solution was required to help Transtar achieve its desired outcomes. The HPE recommended  solution consisted of two HPE ProLiant DL380 production rack servers, each with 14 x 1.2TB SAS disks and 800GB SSD disks to increase throughput. In addition, we offered two 10TB VSA licenses to provide the virtual SAN, two 2920 switches for connectivity to the new equipment, and a DL380 backup server connected to a new MLS2024 tape backup.

“While the bespoke solution wasn’t a traditional hyper-converged offering, it suited Transtar’s needs, particularly in terms of achieving cost-effectiveness without losing out on functionality. We included storage as part of the server and the HPE VSA solution was overlayed to run the system. It provides Software-Defined Storage (SDS) which helps Transtar realise the simplification and cost savings from deploying storage as an application.”

StoreVirtual VSA is a virtual storage appliance, an agile, scalable solution designed to unlock the full benefits of server virtualisation. It transforms internal or direct-attached storage into a fully featured shared storage array without the cost and complexity of traditional storage.

BENEFIT

Rapid time to efficiencies and ten-fold increase in performance
As soon as the solution was deployed in April 2014, Transtar began to realise the benefits of a more efficient IT environment.

Warren says: “Thanks to our bespoke HPE converged solution, our systems are now running faster, more efficiently, and the user experience has improved. Our backup speeds have increased and we no longer experience infrastructure issues. Plus, we can access a snapshot of our environment at any time, which gives us the transparency we need into our systems.

“The new HPE infrastructure has improved our performance by ten-fold. It’s faster than a traditional array solution and we now have the ability to push an extremely high workload on demand without a drop
in performance.”

Reduced risk
Running a business based on speed means that Transtar’s systems are mission critical. They support the organisation’s ability to provide supply chain solutions that deliver efficiencies, savings and bottom line results for its customers.

Warren explains: “Our systems underpin our value proposition, so it’s vital that our infrastructure performs. The bespoke HPE converged solution reduces our risk because of its efficient operation, which mirrors the image across two storage systems and data.”

Confidence in performance
Operating in a competitive industry, Transtar’s IT resources are limited, with Warren running the department himself. That’s why he relies on having infrastructure that’s low maintenance.

“We now have complete confidence in the performance and availability of our systems,” says Warren. “Our infrastructure is cost competitive, low maintenance and provides the scalability we need for the future. It allows us to run a low-cost IT model aligned with our performance-driven business.”

Future plans
Looking ahead, Transtar is focused on getting the most out of its new infrastructure. With business conditions evolving and growth planned, Warren is examining ways he can support this.

“Our business is always changing,” says Warren. “We are looking at ways we can scale the HPE infrastructure as we will need more disk space in the not too distant future.

“Overall, HPE has transformed Transtar’s IT infrastructure into an efficient and reliable environment that’s flexible and scalable, particularly in terms of SDS. Our systems are faster, the user experience has improved and we have confidence in our performance, availability and backups.”

“The new HPE infrastructure has improved our performance by ten-fold. It’s faster than a traditional array solution and we now have the ability to push an extremely high workload on demand without a drop in performance.”

Warren Bradford, IT Manager, Transtar

DOWNLOAD THE FULL CASE STUDY HERE.

Tags: HP, Software-defined Storage (SDS)

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