Farm Credit Mid-America Cultivates Improved Business Performance and Efficiency with EMC
Selected EMC over NetApp and Dell; Achieved up to 79% Performance Gains for Microsoft SharePoint and SQL Server Applications; Realized Nearly Instantaneous Disaster Recovery
EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced that Farm Credit Mid-America, an agricultural cooperative serving more than 95,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents, selected EMC® VNX® unified storage over NetApp and Dell storage for its superior performance, scalability and manageability. Farm Credit also chose EMC RecoverPoint™ for comprehensive disaster recovery. By transforming its business operations with EMC technologies, Farm Credit Mid-America is enabling its loan specialists to deliver responsive customer service, generate more revenue and perform their jobs with increased efficiency.
- Better Performance —Farm Credit Mid-America reported performance improvements of up to 79% for mission-critical applications, such as Microsoft SharePoint and SQL Server.
- Cost Savings — By leveraging a FLASH 1st strategy on VNX, Farm Credit is handling 45% of its I/O requirements on only 1% of its total capacity, reducing CAPEX expenditures for disk drives and decreasing the consumption of power and cooling resources, lowering OPEX.
- Improved Data Protection — Farm Credit Mid-America attributes recovery timeframes shrinking from 12 hours to nearly zero to its disaster recovery infrastructure comprised of EMC RecoverPoint.
- Increased Efficiency — With easy management and automation, VNX has enabled Farm Credit to reduce time spent on storage administration tasks by one FTE, allowing it to reallocate resources to other projects.
Customer Challenges and Solution:
Farm Credit previously depended on an aging Xiotech storage infrastructure that lacked the performance and scalability to meet increasing data growth. The storage infrastructure also was time-consuming and costly to manage. Data protection was another challenge since Farm Credit’s tape-based backup and remote data replication solutions were often unreliable.
To resolve these issues, Farm Credit chose EMC VNX unified storage after considering EMC, NetApp and Dell storage solutions. Farm Credit leverages a FLASH 1st automated tiering strategy using the EMC FAST™ Suite for optimized performance and efficiency. Using VMware vSphere™, the company has virtualized 90% of its applications, including Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange and eDocument systems. In addition, Farm Credit replaced Xiotech TimeScale with EMC RecoverPoint for continuous data replication between its primary and disaster recovery data centers.
Fred Gordon, Systems Engineer, Farm Credit Mid-America
“We looked at NetApp, but they tried to sell us solutions with bundled software that we were never going to use. Plus, NetApp could not meet our block storage needs like EMC could. With the VNX, we consolidated our block and file storage onto one platform, which makes it very easy to scale and manage. Plus, we’re achieving performance improvements of up to 79%. The VNX just blew NetApp right out of the water.”
“VNX’s FLASH 1st strategy has really upped the performance of our critical applications. Our CIO was so impressed he wanted to move our SharePoint CRM cluster to VNX to eliminate I/O bottlenecks. After migrating SharePoint to VNX, performance shot up by 35%.”
“VNX and FLASH 1st have generated some significant savings. For example, Flash drives make up less than 1% of our total capacity, but they handle 45% of our IOPS requirements. So not only do we purchase fewer drives, which lowers our CAPEX, but Flash drives consume less power and cooling, which help to reduce our OPEX.”
“With better performance and response times enabled by VNX, loan specialists in the field are able to access online tools quickly and write more business. Our customers receive better service and we’re gaining an important competitive advantage.”
“When we relied on our Xiotech storage, we couldn’t monitor I/Os, but now we can see precisely what’s going on in the VNX. If we need to increase storage capacity, we can view the LUN, and connect and provision it in minutes. Adding a new machine is exponentially easier than with Xiotech. Due to VNX’s easy management and automation, we’ve saved time spent by one FTE and have reallocated that resource to other projects. We just set the VNX and forget it.”
“Remote data replication with RecoverPoint is streamlined and efficient. It just works. If there’s a network drop, RecoverPoint will cache what’s been transferred so we don’t have to start over when the connection is re-established. And because it’s integrated with VNX’s administrative interface, we can manage it as part of the simplified, one-window management system.”
“Downtime risk to our business has been dramatically reduced thanks to RecoverPoint. With our old systems, we had a 24-hour RPO and a 12-hour RTO. Now, our RPO is one minute and our RTO is nearly zero.”
EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at www.EMC.com.
EMC, FAST, EMC RecoverPoint and VNX are either registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.