NG-IT innovates finance organisation, Killik & Co

Project Summary

NG-IT eliminates performance issues, boosts capacity and increases productivity with Nimble Storage, for Killik & Co.

Setting the Scene

Founded in 1989 in a small chemist’s shop in Chelsea, Killik & Co started life as a stockbroking firm but now offers a wide range of financial services and advice. The company has a branch network of nine offices in the Greater London area with a regional office in Ipswich and an international office in Dubai.
Killik & Co manages savings for a vast range of clients and individuals and has a dedicated team of brokers who provide access to complicated financial markets and allow them to grow their savings and maximise their investment opportunities.
As a global investment company, a robust IT infrastructure is regarded as an essential component to Killik & Co’s success.

The Challenge

Killik & Co had a storage infrastructure which was not meeting the organisation’s growing demands. The company was continually encountering performance issues and disk space was becoming a major concern.
Killik & Co needed to increase both capacity, performance and improve manageability but an upgrade of the incumbent EMC solution was neither financially or operationally viable. The company was also looking to migrate from VMware to Hyper-V later in the year so selecting a supplier who could provide benefits to that process was a prerequisite.
A rigorous research exercise was initiated over a 9 month period during which a range of cloud and on premise solutions were evaluated. These included: HP 3PAR; NetApp; Tintri & Nimble Storage.

The Solution

Following a 30 day proof of concept managed by the team at NG-IT, the Nimble Storage solution was selected. The solution is based on a Nimble CS260 in their primary data centre in London with all data being replicated to a second CS260 located in their Manchester datacentre. The Array is hosting a VMware ESXi cluster with virtual machines running common Microsoft Applications including Exchange and SQL Server.

The Results

Killik & Co has experienced multiple benefits following the installation of the Nimble Storage solution.

Performance

Performance improvements were immediately evident. For example, Killik & Co processes a large volume of transactional data overnight which is then imported into a CRM system the following day. This process was regularly failing or taking a long time to complete. Since the installation of the Nimble Storage solution, the process runs without interruption to completion, three times quicker.

Capacity

Killik & Co’s previous system did not have Thin Provisioning enabled. Since migrating to the Nimble Storage solution, space usage has been reduced from 14TB to 7TB through the use of thin provisioning, efficient disk utilization and real-time compression. This saving has given Killik & Co the flexibility to clone elements of their production environment for testing purposes.

Visibility

Nimble’s InfoSight™ solution provides the ability for Killik & Co’s IT department to ensure that the infrastructure is running at peak health by providing access to performance statistics and detailed feedback on any problems with solutions, in real time. It also provides projected usage statistics allowing them to forecast and plan ahead.

Cost

Killik & Co investigated the option of implementing a cloud-based solution, but soon found that this approach would have cost up to three times as much and reduced the level of flexibility that on-premise storage provides. Killik & Co has been able to reduce its dependency on a third-party backup solution since implementing the Nimble Storage solution, through the use of snapshot and replication technology. This has resulted in a significant cost reduction. Through the use of Nimble’s InfoSight™ and VMware vCenter plugin, storage management overhead has also been reduced, allowing Killik & Co’s IT Department to concentrate on other projects.

Flexibility

Nimble Storage includes support for Hyper-V which is something Killik & Co are looking to migrate to in the coming months and was a key driver when choosing new storage.

Client testimonial:

Dan Young, Head of IT Service and Support at Killik & Co

“Working with both NG-IT and Nimble Storage from the initial on-line demonstrations of the product, through to the 30 day trial and then the purchase and implementation was both a smooth and very pleasant experience. The team at NG-IT provided the link between Killik & Co and Nimble throughout the whole process and were always available during the decision making process. The implementation of Nimble Storage has resolved all of Killik & Co’s immediate storage issues in terms of performance and space and should provide a solid foundation for the company to move forward in a more flexible and cost effective manner with future projects.”