This New Zealand based construction firm has grown into one of the leading civil construction companies in New Zealand. They provide their clients with a diverse multi-disciplined civil engineering infrastructure capability that includes the construction of sub-divisions, roads and bridges (including pavements and surfacing), stormwater drainage, pumping stations, water and waste water treatment plants, as well as piling, wharf construction, precast concrete elements, and landscaping.
In September 2015, this New Zealand based construction firm became a member of a global engineering and construction network engaged in work across many construction sectors, including rail networks, energy projects, airports, highways, bridges and hydro dams.
THE CHALLENGE: Consolidating Aging Hardware and Data
As a construction and building company, this New Zealand construction firm works primarily with design files and large image files. Users need access to these large file sets in order to complete ongoing projects, so they often end up isolating the data in local offices to make access easier. While some of the data will be re-uploaded back to a central data center, the majority of it will remain isolated in these remote offices with no easy way to access or share it across the company. As the company continues to grow, so to do these isolated data sets, resulting in terabytes of unstructured data full of sensitive company information.
Unfortunately, even if these data sets are being stored in a company wide file share, users still have to contend with file version challenges and transfer times, as well as slow and outdated hardware. Users on the other side of the country might make changes, thereby overwriting recent edits, and making it near impossible to maintain a steady workflow. If a file needs to be shared due to these errors, it can take minutes or even hours due to the aging infrastructure. Not only that, but non-enterprise grade hardware poses a major operational risk of critical failure and makes centralizing and sharing data sets between users incredibly difficult. If a server were to fail, all of the locally isolated data would be lost, which could have serious repercussions for this New Zealand based construction firm.
On top of this, this New Zealand based firm had recently become a part of a larger global engineering and construction network and were responsible for civil engineering and expansion projects throughout Australia and New Zealand. This entailed moving their head office and data center to a new location, adding new offices, and integrating their old hardware into the larger modern network. With most of the company operating on isolated data sets and aging, high-risk hardware, handling all the new projects flowing in was next to impossible. In order to keep up, they needed an upgrade.
SOLUTION: NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP and Talon FAST™
This New Zealand based construction firm needed to consolidate old hardware across the APAC region, centralize over a petabyte of data into the cloud, and update their remote offices to offer better file sharing and managing capabilities. They needed a “single set of data” stored in a cloud environment, as no servers or hardware would be moved into the new head office. This New Zealand based firm had previously been working with Microsoft Azure to do some data management, so transitioning into the cloud for a centralized approach to data storage was an easy next step.
In order to consolidate this New Zealand based construction firm’s existing data into a cloud environment, Talon worked with a local Talon partner in Auckland, New Zealand, Citrus Consulting.
Citrus was already familiar with Talon FAST™ and NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, so they were instrumental in making this transition into the cloud run smoothly. NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP in conjunction with Microsoft Azure would address all remote data concerns and allow this New Zealand firm to integrate smoothly into the larger global partner network. This addressed the primary problem for the New Zealand based firm, namely the centralization of larger data sets spread across their growing offices and consolidating outdated hardware.
Since they needed to relocate their headquarters to a new office without bringing any new hardware, they needed a storage solution to pair with their cloud platform that could scale alongside their growing business, provide seamless collaboration between offices, and assist IT managers in maintaining a centralized data set. FAST™ was the perfect fit.
Talon FAST™ software made it easy for the New Zealand based construction firm to consolidate their data into the cloud. FAST™, unlike other storage solutions, is software based, so it doesn’t require enterprises to purchase additional hardware. It uses intelligent file caching technology to enhance and simplify data distribution to branch offices, so it solved the New Zealand based firm’s issues with file versions and keeping active data at branch offices.
This allowed the New Zealand based construction firm to create a centralized data set in the cloud using NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP and consolidate storage during their transition into a new head office.
With FAST™ in place in all remote locations throughout the New Zealand based firm’s enterprise, users could access, edit, and share data seamlessly. This allowed IT managers to eliminate branch office backups, remove the security risk of isolated data, and reduce IT footprint and overhead. By storing all company data in the cloud with Azure and NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, this New Zealand based firm is able to access a centralized data set from anywhere in the world while still consolidating and updating aging hardware.
“I love FAST™. It works great, and it does exactly what they say it will. I worked with a lot of people in the company to replace old hardware with new cloud software, and the Talon team supported us throughout that whole process.” – Head of IT