Case Study: Consolidation Puts an End to Infrastructure Sprawl

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Through its operating companies, private Ontario-based Princeton Holdings Limited specializes in insurance, risk management, and wealth management solutions. Subsidiaries of Princeton Holdings include insurance carrier The Guarantee Company of North America, which recently celebrated its 145th birthday; Cowan Asset Management, an investment management firm; and The Cowan Foundation, a charitable non-profit that focuses on improving the health and well-being of Canadians.

Princeton Holdings provides the infrastructure and information security to the group, while the individual operating companies have their own IT departments. “They provide support for their applications because they know them best,” says Sebastian Taccone, director of infrastructure and information security at Princeton Holdings. “My role is to make sure that the infrastructure is set up and working properly.”

Taccone wanted to have an infrastructure that functioned as reliably as electricity. To achieve that, he knew he needed to deal with the sprawl, as well as increase the security and reliability of his IT infrastructure.

“We were running out of power, it was getting harder to grow, and we would’ve had to expand the data center or use more cloud services,” Taccone says. “We chose HPE SimpliVity to address some of those issues.”

An insurance policy for the future

Deploying three HPE SimpliVity 380 All Flash systems helped address the infrastructure sprawl and dramatically improved business reporting applications by over 50%, saving hours of valuable time.

“HPE SimpliVity enabled us to consolidate more of our workload into the box because it could run significantly more workload,” says Taccone. “We moved one of our third-party administration applications from our Ottawa data center to our Cambridge data center.

It reduced the processing time of a report query job from eight hours to three hours.”

The IT team was also pleasantly surprised when it saw its database compression figures. “HPE SimpliVity inline compression and dedupe are huge benefits. We’re getting a compression and deduplication ratio of 43:1, which is very good. It’s given us the high performance and the storage savings we were all looking for.”

Taccone’s ultimate goal with HPE SimpliVity is to eliminate as many servers as possible. The team thinks the hyperconverged solution will decrease Princeton Holdings’ servers to approximately a quarter of what the organization used before the implementation.

“With HPE SimpliVity, we’ll get a huge amount of consolidation,” he says. “It’s going to reduce our footprint and improve our performance. HPE SimpliVity will also help us enable our security and compliance strategies and improve our disaster recovery capabilities.”

Disaster recovery and backup capabilities were crucial in the selection process, and one of the reasons HPE SimpliVity beat out the competition. “When we first implemented HPE SimpliVity, we had it across two data centers. Being able to move the backups to the other data center—and then recover those VMs easily — that was phenomenal for us,” says Taccone.

In the end, Taccone understands that Princeton Holdings is in the business of fulfilling its promises. “We have a product that says we’ll be there when you need us. And that’s what insurance is all about. We, in turn, need our systems to run efficiently so we can help people when they need it. HPE will help us keep our promise by enabling us to grow and future-proof our business.”

Read the full Princeton Holdings case study here, and find further information about HPE SimpliVity here.

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