In an era of ever-expanding transport needs and road infrastructure, the Auckland Motorway Alliance (AMA) has an important responsibility to maintain and operate a top-class motorway network for Auckland’s increasing population. “Most of our work is quite visible,” says Mircel van der Walt, Data and Systems Architecture Manager, Auckland Motorways Alliance. “Most people use our infrastructure every day.” With staff based both in their head office and physically onsite, they needed to deliver information to their end-users in an effective and easy-to-use manner.
AMA was faced with the challenge of having an infrastructure that was nearing the end of its lifecycle, as well as a growing requirement to reduce complexity and drive further cost efficiencies. Van der Walt says the company was set up in the traditional manner of blade servers and SANs. AMA made a conscious decision not to refresh its hardware and were looking for a solution that would not only service their mixed-workload server infrastructure, but also provide for a new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
Parallo have had a long relationship with AMA, primarily as one of our valued Managed Operations clients. When AMA approached Parallo to develop an infrastructure refresh we were well positioned to deliver the right outcome as we had comprehensive knowledge of the AMA business, and in particular their IT requirements. Parallo were able to provide AMA with a strategic and forward-thinking approach to their architecture design and meet all of their requirements.
After comprehensive consultation and review Parallo concluded that a Nutanix-based infrastructure would provide the desired results. Nutanix aims to simplify data centre infrastructure by integrating server and storage resources. Parallo designed the infrastructure architecture, supplied the Nutanix technology and worked with the team at AMA to implement the new platform.
The new infrastructure design utilising Nutanix technology would allow AMA to a) reduce data centre facilities costs in terms of heat, power and space, b) reduce risk around capacity management and planning, and c) provide a simplified infrastructure roadmap where they can cost effectively scale to meet demand, as required.
This simplified architecture meets the performance demands for not only their mixed-server workloads, but also services their virtual desktop fleet enabling a fantastic end-user experience. Power consumption and heat output has also reduced, resulting in further operational cost reductions.
“At the AMA, our technology was virtualised from day one,” van der Walt says of the move to implement the Nutanix platform for their VDI solution. “It’s a way of life. We saw the writing on the wall when we had to do a desktop refresh. For us it was a fundamental change.”
“There are some horror stories around VDI,” van der Walt says. “But with Parallo and Nutanix we managed to design and implement a virtualised desktop here. It essentially gives us VDI in a box.”
Management of this new infrastructure is still handled by the Parallo Managed Operations team, with Parallo Nutanix platform specialists at the helm for additional peace of mind.
Mircel van der Walt, Auckland Motorway Alliance | Data and Systems Architecture Manager