Aramys builds flexible cloud-based solutions with IBM

Innovating by deploying IBM systems to transform the business model and deliver resilient services

Published on 27-Mar-2013

"With IBM Flex System, we can easily create and manage new virtual environments, enabling us to respond rapidly and flexibly to our customers’ demands." - Laurent Cappon. Manager, Aramys

Customer:
Aramys

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
France

Solution:
Flex System, Flex System Manager, Flex System running hypervisor - Hyper-V, Flex System x240, PureSystems, Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, Enabling Business Flexibility, Platform as a Service, SaaS

Overview

Aramys is a fast-growing provider of IT services based in the north of France and employing 35 people. It was recently acquired by the regional Décima Group to complement the latter’s activities in data center design, telecommunications and local networks. Décima has annual revenues of $24 million and 160 employees serving high-profile customers such as SNCF, the French national railway company.

Business need:
To meet its business growth objectives and enable the delivery of new cloud-based services, Aramys needed to improve the scalability, flexibility and resilience of its server and storage infrastructure.

Solution:
Deployed an IBM® Flex System™ Enterprise Chassis with six IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes, two mirrored IBM Storwize® V7000 Unified systems and IBM Flex System Manager™ in an integrated package.

Benefits:
Enables rapid and flexible response to customer demands for new services; simplifies adoption of cloud computing and offers secure and reliable support for customers’ production environments at Aramys.

Case Study

To read a French version of this case study, click here

Aramys is a fast-growing provider of IT services based in the north of France and employing 35 people. It was recently acquired by the regional Décima Group to complement the latter’s activities in data center design, telecommunications and local networks. Décima has annual revenues of $24 million and 160 employees serving high-profile customers such as SNCF, the French national railway company.

Focused on innovation, Aramys needed to change its business model and create new revenue streams to become a full managed services provider. This required the company to address both organizational and technological factors. The company wanted to develop new customer support capabilities and a new go-to-market strategy. In support of these objectives, Aramys needed to completely overhaul its IT infrastructure.

Laurent Cappon, Manager of Aramys, says, “We had tried to broaden our offerings, but our existing technology was very limited. In particular, we wanted to be able to propose software-as-a-service [SaaS] and platform-as-a-service [PaaS] offerings to our customers on a large scale.”

True integration

The previous HP server and storage infrastructure at Aramys was not up to the challenge of enabling the company to embrace cloud services. Scalability was limited, and relatively low utilization of the available storage capacity meant that Aramys was running out of usable space. Flexibility was limited in terms of increasing the size of storage volumes or setting up new virtual servers, and Aramys needed to improve its high-availability hosting by creating a new mirrored infrastructure across two sites.

Aramys compared IBM Flex System technologies against the FlexPod system from Imagine Virtually Anything, a consortium formed by Cisco, NetApp and VMware.

“In our view, the IBM Flex System components were clearly better integrated,” says Laurent Cappon. “Superficially, the concept is the same: an integrated set of servers, storage, networking and virtualization technologies. But we felt that the integration was stronger with IBM Flex System, and that it would be easier dealing with a single vendor than with three. We are also more confident in the long-term support from IBM.”

Fortified solution

As the key enabler for its new cloud-based services, Aramys initially deployed a single IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis with six IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes, two mirrored IBM Storwize V7000 Unified systems and an IBM Brocade SAN fabric. Later in the year, Aramys plans to deploy a duplicate Flex System infrastructure in a second data center, and to move one of the existing Storwize V7000 Unified systems to that location also. IBM Storwize V7000 Unified provides both block and file storage in a single system, helping Aramys comply with document retention policies imposed by its customers and by software publishers.

The company also replaced its Cisco networking infrastructure with new 10 Gb/s network switches from IBM. The transition and the adoption of the new technologies was both easy and fast.

“We are building our second data center in the 17th-century fortified Vauban citadel in Arras, 15 kilometers away,” says Laurent Cappon. “In addition to raising our profile, this unique site provides a very visible demonstration of our commitment to protecting customer data against loss or unauthorized access.”

The Flex System landscape at Aramys uses Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization technology exclusively. It runs a mix of dedicated servers and multi-tenant virtual systems to deliver a full spectrum of solutions from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) through Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

“In addition to providing complete IaaS solutions to businesses, we are working with software publishers to give them PaaS environments, and in some cases to set up their software in a SaaS environment so that we can make it available directly to our customers and prospects,” says Laurent Cappon. “With IBM Flex System, we can easily create and manage new virtual environments, enabling us to innovate and respond rapidly and flexibly to our customers’ demands.”

IBM is helping Aramys to transform its business and adopt new business models. Using its regional connections, IBM introduced Aramys to software publishers, with the goal of building partnerships that will benefit all three parties, as well as providing convenient and cost-effective cloud-based solutions for customers of Aramys. As Aramys moves to a subscription model for recurring services, IBM has helped it develop business and marketing action plans.

Competitive edge

“The cloud model, in which our customers can turn services on and off and pay for them only as required, offers much greater flexibility,” says Laurent Cappon. “It will reduce our customers’ long-term costs while also enabling us to help them evolve their capabilities.”

A key part of the new infrastructure at Aramys is IBM Flex System Manager, which provides an intuitive console that acts as a single point of control for managing all aspects of the Flex System environment. “Flex System Manager gives us complete visibility of every part of the solution, so that we can quickly identify and resolve potential issues,” says Laurent Cappon. “It also gives us very fine control over setting up and managing distinct environments for our customers. This is an important point of competitive differentiation: with our private cloud on IBM Flex System, we can provide tailored services for each customer, and ensure true end-to-end quality of service. By contrast, our larger competitors generally expect their customers to set up their own systems through web consoles that offer very limited configuration options.”

He concludes: “The offer from Aramys combines the innovative IBM Flex System platform with made-to-measure services and a genuine focus on the customer. We can offer new services while retaining that human dimension and local presence in dealing with our customers. We can also keep data locally and highly available rather than in some unknown location in a global cloud.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Flex System Manager, Flex System running hypervisor - Hyper-V, Flex System x240, Storage, Storage: Storwize V7000 Unified

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 Compagnie IBM France 17 avenue de l’Europe 92275 Bois-Colombes Cedex Produced in France March 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM Business Partner, IBM Flex System, IBM Flex System Manager and Storwize are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.