Sarenet transforms its third-party IT and cloud services

IBM business partner Antisa SA provides new infrastructure and network solution

Published on 16-May-2013

"The combination of IBM technology and Antisa’s great support has taken us a long way towards our goal. Our new platform is already costing us less to operate through simplified management while energy bills have significantly reduced." - Alberto Alvarez, CIO, Sarenet SA

Customer:
Sarenet

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Spain

Solution:
Technical Computing, Business Resiliency, Cloud Computing, Enabling Business Flexibility, Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Virtualization, Virtualization - Network, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
Antisa

Overview

Bilbao-based Sarenet SA is a major provider of specialist IT services to enterprise customers in Spain. Its portfolio includes email hosting; voice and data services, including VoIP and video conferencing; remote backup; streaming; virtual private networks; and increasingly cloud computing. It supports a customer base of 3,500 companies of which around 1,000 make use of Sarenet’s extensive cloud services. The company holds a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) license.

Business need:
Sarenet SA provides IT and cloud services to enterprise customers in Spain. To maintain competitiveness and market growth, it needed to ensure that its IT environment met the highest service standards and fully supported its green IT and open standards policies.

Solution:
IBM Business Partner Antisa proposed a system upgrade to increase flexibility and availability, and lower maintenance, latency and energy consumption. New IBM server assets were deployed, along with IBM network switches that support Sarenet’s future plans for virtualization.

Benefits:
The upgraded environment has been implemented and is delivering the promised performance. Energy costs are substantially lower, system management and maintenance have been simplified, and dramatic reductions in latency have transformed service response times.

Case Study

Bilbao-based Sarenet SA is a major provider of specialist IT services to enterprise customers in Spain. Its portfolio includes email hosting; voice and data services, including VoIP and video conferencing; remote backup; streaming; virtual private networks; and increasingly cloud computing. It supports a customer base of 3,500 companies of which around 1,000 make use of Sarenet’s extensive cloud services. The company holds a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) license.

Despite operating in a crowded and fiercely competitive market, Sarenet has enjoyed continuous revenue growth since it was founded in 1995. This has been achieved by maintaining a sharp focus on meeting customer needs and ensuring that the relevance, quality, and value of its services portfolio is as high as possible.

Recognizing its reliance on IT performance, the company carried out a review of its environment to identify ways to improve the overall customer experience and reduce the cost of service delivery. “We wanted to enhance operational flexibility and increase uptime and availability, at the same time as lowering the cost of IT ownership,” said Sarenet CIO Alberto Álvarez. “This translated into a strategy that focused on simplifying maintenance, embracing modularity, and reducing energy consumption.”

The company also wanted to maximize the value of its previous investment in data center design and layout, and to exploit virtualization and shared storage techniques.

The strategy unfolds
Sarenet approached IBM Business Partner Antisa SA and asked it to carry out a study into the available options that would meet the strategy. Antisa had previously supported a number of the company’s IT projects with specific systems and network expertise, and had good insight into the existing IT environment that hosted Sarenet’s ERP system, all databases and management applications, and the complete external services portfolio.

Antisa’s Sales and Marketing Director, Jesús Recio was confident that a fresh approach would deliver the outcome needed. “The architecture design we proposed was chosen to address those key factors,” he said. “Our experience of IBM technology was invaluable, and allowed us to design an update of key infrastructure components and exploit state-of-the-art networking techniques to meet all of Sarenet’s strategic goals.”

Choosing the solutio
The Antisa proposal recommended significant changes leading to the swap-out of the existing servers and network switches and replacement of the storage stack.

The existing servers were replaced with IBM® System x® iDataPlex® dx360 M3 and M4 servers. These have been fully optimized for maximum efficiencies in energy, cooling and density. They offer dramatic reductions in operational costs while meeting the most demanding performance requirements. The design achieves 30 percent lower power consumption due, in part, to its low-speed disc cabins, and the form factor was compatible with Sarenet’s hot-cold aisle rack configuration.

The existing network switches were replaced with IBM System Networking RackSwitch™ G8124E 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches. Like the iDataPlex servers, these switches offer much improved energy efficiency and also support lossless Ethernet, or data center bridging (DCB), to enhance performance. Additionally, the G8124E switches offer redundant power supplies to ensure much greater availability in the event of failure, and significant improvements in system latency to speed up throughput and response time.

IBM’s long-established commitment to open standards was a key factor in the decision to deploy Antisa’s architecture. Sarenet already uses an open source solution that underpins the company’s cloud computing and virtualization services. The advanced features of the new G8124 switches will allow the future development of more sophisticated and comprehensive virtualization incorporating virtual network interface cards (vNICs) and IBM VMready® as and when the business requires.

Project outcomes
“This project has been a great success,” says Alberto Álvarez. “The combination of IBM technology and Antisa’s great support has taken us a long way towards our goal. Our new platform is already costing us less to operate through simplified management while energy bills significantly reduced. There is no doubt that the 80 percent reduction in network latency we have measured has dramatically improved system response times. This puts us in a great position to move quickly into new services and ensure that we meet the quality standards demanded by customers.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
System Networking, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8124E, System x, System x: iDataPlex, System x: iDataPlex dx360 M3, System x: iDataPlex dx360 M4

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM España S.A. Santa Hortensia 26-28 28002 Madrid Produced in Spain May 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, iDataPlex, RackSwitch, System x and VMready 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. 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 MERCHANTA-BILITY, 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.