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‘Cloud fit’: ACC accelerates move to cloud

‘Cloud fit’: ACC accelerates move to cloud

We now have 95 per cent of our infrastructure as well as 80 to 90 per cent of our server environment virtualised, says Don Montgomery, technology architect at ACC.

Within the NZ Government’s ‘cloud-first’ framework, ACC is working with a hybrid cloud model with virtualisation at the critical infrastructure level.

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has consolidated, virtualised and accelerated its infrastructure with Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP).

“Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform gave us the visibility and control to further advance our virtualisation strategy as we migrate most of our applications to the public cloud,” says Don Montgomery, technology architect at ACC.

“We now have 95 per cent of our infrastructure virtualised as well as 80 per cent to 90 per cent of our server environment.”

“It gets us ‘cloud fit’ in that way,” says Montgomery.

He says ACC had several storage platforms and some of them were on end of life for support.

It solved a lot of our infrastructure problems and delivered a lot of benefits at the same time

Don Montgomery, Accident Compensation Corporation

"We also have a lot of new systems coming in that had very high performance requirements. We needed to be able to cater to those," he tells CIO New Zealand.

“It solved a lot of our infrastructure problems and delivered a lot of benefits at the same time.”

The upgrade supports ACC’s move to a tiered storage environment with the ability to dynamically allocate application workloads to Hitachi Accelerated Flash (HAF) and port systems more easily to the cloud.

Within the NZ Government’s ‘cloud-first’ framework, ACC is working with a hybrid cloud model with virtualisation at the critical infrastructure level.

ACc has over 4200 users, and as a highly transactional organisation also requires greater performance and speed for the delivery of external and internal applications.

ACC opted to consolidate its storage environment in a single Hitachi platform across its two data centre sites in Auckland and Wellington.

The upgrade adds 16 flash module drives (FMD) to support the demand for concurrent, large I/O enterprise workloads including the organisation’s virtual desktop infrastructure.

Together with Hitachi Dynamic Tiering, the 1.2PB Hitachi system allows ACC to move from one to three storage tiers with full visibility and control over capacity allocation.

As a result, Hitachi Accelerated Flash delivers response times of less than one millisecond when employees log on to the virtual portal, even during peak demand in the morning.

“Hitachi Accelerated Flash gave us what we needed and more for the VDI. We now have enough IOPS and SAN to cater for multiple logons from different form factors, supporting between 2000 and 3000 concurrent users,” he says.

He says other applications such as the claim and file system as well as databases have also benefitted from the move to flash in a tiered storage environment.

With the latest upgrade, ACC reached a significant milestone for storage virtualisation, with levels up from 60 per cent to 95 per cent.

Montgomery says there was almost zero downtime during the migration.

He says having good relationships with the vendors was key to the shift. The ACC project team worked with multiple vendors, with HDS and Datacom as the main providers.

“They built that confidence and rigour around the migration."

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