Norsk Global stays ahead of the ‘Rapid Growth Curve’ by using Nutanix Enterprise Cloud and AHV Hypervisor.
Norsk Global is a privately owned independent company based in London Heathrow with 30 years of experience in the international logistics market providing a range of cutting-edge, custom-made shipping solutions from international express and eCommerce, to wholesale exports and imports, fulfilment, UK delivery, and more.
Technology is at the heart of Norsk. Their IT team supports all in-house application design and development, including fully integrated systems using APIs to facilitate electronic data integration with external client applications. Not only does this bring simplicity to Norsk and its clients, but this also vastly differentiates Norsk from its competitors.
However, to adapt to market change and grow the business further, the action was needed to upgrade the IT infrastructure to make it more scalable, agile, and fit for purpose.
- Increased Performance: Future-proofing the IT infrastructure with an immediate performance boost, on-demand linear scalability and simplified management.
- Cost Savings: Saving £150K on licensing costs by switching from VMware to Nutanix AHV hypervisor.
- Prepared for the Future: More headroom for VDI deployment and other planned system enhancements going forward.
Our legacy infrastructure had served the business and its customers well, but it was beginning to hold us back. Both in terms of its ability to scale and support the nature of services needed to move the business forward. With Nutanix, not only have we been able to achieve all of that, but we have also been able to do so with minimal disruption and at a surprisingly affordable price.
Chief Technology Officer, Norsk Global
Norsk Global is experiencing rapid business growth and expansion across its international distribution and delivery business, with ambitious plans going forward. As a result, it’s imperative that Norsk’s technology function led by Nick Andrews, CTO stays ahead of the curve, ahead of the competition, and by implementing cutting-edge technology that best supports the needs of the business.
“The infrastructure that I inherited was just about managing. Radical changes were desperately needed to not only keep pace with growing customer demand, but for Norsk to innovate and diversify our services further. We also needed to improve resiliency and find a way of keeping escalating operational costs within budget.”
Like-for-like upgrades for existing servers and network storage products were discounted quickly for cost and complexity. Migrating to the Cloud was also considered, but it was deemed too costly and too big a leap. The breakthrough came when Nick Andrews, and his team were introduced to Nutanix and its Enterprise Cloud platform by specialist partner ET Works.
“Our first reaction was this is too good to be true!” outlines Nick Andrews.
“Particularly when we told we could also save around £150K a year on licensing just by switching from VMware to the Nutanix AHV hypervisor.”
Fortunately, it wasn’t too good to be true. Seeing it for themselves during a proof-of-concept trial, the IT team confirmed that a Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) was the way to go. Moreover, it didn’t take long to put the proposals into action. This started a 3-node Nutanix Enterprise Cloud being installed in the company’s Heathrow Airport data centre to ultimately replace the 13-legacy servers and associated storage.
The final step was to migrate all existing virtual workloads from VMware to the Nutanix AHV hypervisor. At the same time, Norsk also opting to switch from storing business-critical backups in the Microsoft Azure Cloud to using a remote Enterprise Cloud cluster for this purpose. Hosted in an ET Works data centre, access to this resource further boosted the resiliency of the Heathrow infrastructure by adding rapid failover and disaster recovery capabilities.
The project, involving the migration of some 55 business-critical virtual workloads, took less than three months. Crucially, no discernible impact on the day to day running of the company’s IT services.
“It was important to be able to migrate to the Nutanix infrastructure without any disruption, and I’m pleased to say that’s what we achieved” said Nick Andrews, who was also impressed by how easy the process was, especially from a management and support perspective.
“The loss of a key staff member just as we started could have held us back”, he commented. “But it was amazing just how quickly their replacement was able to go from novice to expert and do most of the learning whilst on the job.”
While occupying a fraction of the rack-footprint previously required, the Nutanix infrastructure is already delivering higher levels of performance, with the added benefit of rapid on-demand scalability. This is particularly valued by the DevOps team. They can now spin up new virtual servers in minutes rather than days and, similarly, quickly scale memory and storage resources to meet changes in demand.
Management has also been streamlined, with a single console to manage both physical and virtual resources, plus the bonus of a single point of contact on the rare occasions when additional support is needed.
“The support we get from ET Works and Nutanix is second to none”, confirmed Andrews. “They even contacted us about potential problems before we were even aware of them!”
With its scalable and easy-to-manage new IT Infrastructure, it’s business as usual at Norsk Global. The company has now been freed the resources to further develop customer service applications.
Beyond that, Nick Andrews is planning to further extend and enhance the disaster recovery capabilities, provided by Nutanix partner ET Works. As well as investigate VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) solutions to meet the company’s growing end-user computing and remote working needs.
This case study can also be viewed on Nutanix.com