Graphic Business Solutions

Graphic Business Solutions Speeds Up Customer-Facing Processes While Saving 1 FTE

CUSTOMER Graphic Business Solutions
INDUSTRIES Marketing
CHALLENGE

Performance issues frequently snagged critical processes and demanded a disproportionate share of the small IT team’s attention.

RESULTS

Improved performance without costly code updates

25% faster fulfillment process

Savings of 1 FTE

5X reduction in used capacity

 

“I could not be more impressed with Datrium’s commitment to my company’s success. They came beside us as a partner, and worked as hard as we did to create something long lasting. We now have a technology stack that will support our growth, and Datrium made it happen for us.”

– Matthew Miller, Systems Engineer

 

 

Company Challenge

Performance Hang-ups that Detract From Growth Initiatives

As the systems administrator for a small, rapidly growing promotional products business, Matthew Miller does a little bit of everything. Storage, however, is not something he wants to manage day in, day out. “I honestly don’t want to think about storage at all,” said Miller, Systems Administrator at Graphic Business Solutions.

Thus when frequent storage demands began taking him away from growth-oriented objectives, and consumed as much as 30 percent of help desk resources, Miller began searching for an alternative to the Dell MD3000 that held the company’s large store of legacy, static art, and growing data from automated print-to-web systems. At the time, the system supporting order fulfillment ran slowly, while other processes timed out. “If we have an orchestration of jobs in succession, if one job gets held up, all back up,” Miller said.

At the same time, the company had been looking at expanding its VMware infrastructure. With a fast-growing team of developers, the demand grew to provision new servers rapidly. Additionally, they worked on a single virtual host with a limited backup and recovery plan. As the team grew, it was apparent that a virtual infrastructure would become the core of the company’s computing network.

“My goal was to find a solution that would be affordable, and also allow for rapid growth,” Miller said.

 

Results

Datrium: Realizing Multiple Business Goals

While in the market for new storage, Miller attended an event hosted by Datrium. Soon after, he met with members of the Datrium team to learn more about the solution. “Datrium’s open convergence was obviously the next iteration of technology,” Miller said. “The brains behind it were proven, the architecture was impressive. And with Datrium, I liked that I could scale performance as my compute nodes increased, instead of the other way around.”

For comparison, GBS also evaluated solutions from Nimble, Reduxio and Dell. But Datrium would go beyond solving just Miller’s storage needs. For what GBS would pay for a storage solution with other vendors, with Datrium, the company could move to a purely virtualized server environment, which would simplify backup initiatives. Additionally, Datrium would support the development team with a robust compute design and the ability to deploy test environments rapidly.

It also helped that Datrium simplified the business case for management. When Miller needs to add compute resources, he only has to pitch his boss on a server upgrade because storage scales with it – a much easier sell.

 

25% Faster Fulfillment

With Datrium, Miller immediately noticed an uptick in performance. While Miller had not initially planned on virtualizing his core SQL server, the speed with Datrium convinced him to make the move.

Gains were most noticeable on the company’s fulfillment process, in which orders from the website go through a series of steps on their way to printing. The move to Datrium reduced errors and sped up that process by 25 percent, which at times means getting an order out the door the same day. The expedited process also helps GBS meet its internal fulfillment timelines more often. This boost happened despite running legacy code that would have required a hefty investment to update.

 

Gaining Back 1 FTE

With Datrium, Miller immediately noticed an uptick in performance. While Miller had not initially planned on virtualizing his core SQL server, the speed with Datrium convinced him to make the move.

Gains were most noticeable on the company’s fulfillment process, in which orders from the website go through a series of steps on their way to printing. The move to Datrium reduced errors and sped up that process by 25 percent, which at times means getting an order out the door the same day. The expedited process also helps GBS meet its internal fulfillment timelines more often. This boost happened despite running legacy code that would have required a hefty investment to update.

 

Two weeks after we brought in Datrium, I got an email from programmers asking if something was wrong with our error alerts because we weren’t getting any. In fact, there were no errors.”

-Matthew Miller, Systems Administrator


Lower TCO with Capacity, Manpower Efficiencies

While the price of admission for Datrium was comparable to other solutions, Datrium delivers a much lower total cost of ownership when GBS factors in the advantages with the solution:

  • Manpower savings of approximately one FTE
  • The ability to gain processing power by leveraging existing hosts and the Data Node instead of buying another storage box
  • A 1.5X reduction in used capacity
  • Higher performance on legacy SQL code instead of having to invest heavily in development

 

A Partner Committed to GBS’s Success

From install to ongoing support, Miller has found Datrium is committed to GBS’s success. That was clear as soon as the installation team arrived. While GBS had not planned on reconfiguring its network, the Datrium team noticed an opportunity to optimize the infrastructure prior to install. “I appreciated the years of IT experience standing in my office,” Miller said. “They pointed out the opportunity to design our network for better performance, scalability and security. I now had a brand-new environment, with a 10Gbps trunked network backbone, VLAN and subnet segregation, 20Gbps link aggregations (LAGs) between data and the VM network, and the most cutting-edge storage solution on the market.”

“I could not be more impressed with Datrium’s commitment to my company’s success,” Miller added. They came beside us as a partner, and worked as hard as we did to create something long lasting. We now have a technology stack that will support our growth, and Datrium made it happen for us.”

 

About Graphic Business Solutions

For over 20 years, the Graphic Business Solutions family of brands has been committed to bringing value to products and value to people. We develop highly customized web-to-print solutions and produce business essentials to help our clients make a stellar first impression and grow their business. Our products include business cards, name badges, calendars, apparel, signage, greeting cards, wrapping paper, and more.

 

Download the Graphic Business Solutions Case Study