Fidelity State Bank and Trust Company (Fidelity) opened for business in Topeka, KS in 1922 and was later sold to the Chandler family in 1958. The bank takes pride in the consistency it has provided in its family-owned approach to banking and utilizes IT resources to extend this level of service. With four locations and a single-person IT staff, Fidelity faced resource constraints on their current hardware and looked to upgrade to a fully virtualized production environment.
Fidelity was an early adopter of virtualization and began running a virtual desktop environment using Citrix XenDesktop in 2007. After running into a handful of issues with the Citrix implementation, Fidelity made a move to Microsoft’s Terminal Services and Hyper-V in 2009 (Windows 2008 R2) purchasing Scale Computing’s Storage Only nodes to act as shared storage. Now more than three years later, the Hyper-V hosts are constrained on memory preventing the addition of new virtual machines. Secondarily, the backup method in place was antiquated and Fidelity looked for something more automated with their virtualization environment update.
Supported by an IT staff of one, Fidelity was faced with expanding their Hyper-V environment by adding new host servers which required several complex steps to maintain failover capabilities. The Vice President of IT and Security, Jeremy Francis, understood the steps necessary to augment their environment, but the time investment required to make such a change was prohibitive. Similar to other small businesses, Francis wore many hats including a dual role as the head of Human Resources, which took time away from maintaining the IT environment. “Our expertise is banking. We needed to utilize a system that allowed us to focus on our expertise,” said Jeremy Francis, Vice President of Information Technology and Security Officer. Fidelity looked for a solution from a single vendor that was as easy to implement was it was to manage. “If an issue arises and you have multiple vendors pointing fingers at each other, it is the bank that’s stuck in the middle.”
When Fidelity first came across Scale Computing’s HC3 system – a complete ‘datacenter-in-a-box’ – they were immediately drawn to the simplicity and elegance of the solution. HC3 combines servers, storage, and virtualization into a single, highly available, easy-to-use and scalable system that removes the complexity of a typical virtualization deployment.
SIMPLE: Adding IT resources was not an option. Fidelity required a solution that was highly automated and could be managed with existing resources so that they could focus on delivering business value to their IT users.
“HC3 puts everything in one place, one container, so that I don’t have to get involved with multiple vendors every time I have a question. It is a very simple platform to manage,” said Jeremy Francis.
AVAILABLE: The availability offered in HC3 appealed to Fidelity because it prevented downtime in the event of a failure. Every virtual machine added to the environment is automatically preconfigured for high availability.
“For banks like ours, the capabilities HC3 offers are far superior to what others are doing now and a huge time saver,” he continued.
Fidelity also deployed Scale’s HC3 in tandem with StorageCraft ShadowProtect for backup and recovery of their virtual environment. This allowed Fidelity to move away from a very hands-on process of backing up their prior environment on usb drives and physically storing those offsite.
SCALABLE: In HC3, Fidelity found a solution that allows them to pay for what they use now, with the ability to grow alongside their virtual environment and business needs in the future. With limited resources, Fidelity’s business is growing and don’t have the bandwidth or the luxury of incorrectly forecasting their infrastructure needs. With HC3, there are no upfront cost or licensing complexities. If they need to grow, they simply added more nodes. No rip and replace, no expensive complex systems, no headaches.
“Being able to scale as we grow is critical to maintaining a low TCO while still having available, business class infrastructure.”
With no virtualization software to license, no external storage to buy and the hypervisor built in to the system, HC3 radically simplifies the infrastructure needed to keep critical applications running. The architecture and user interface of HC3 makes the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.
Financial - Banking
2 x 3 Node HC3 Systems
“Being able to scale as we grow is critical to maintaining a low TCO while still having available, business class infrastructure.” – Jeremy Francis, Vice President of Information Technology and Security Officer
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