Boosting application performance was the key factor at Visioneer, a scanner manufacturer based in Pleasanton, Calif.
Walt Thinfen, Visioneer's vice president and CIO, says the company began encountering difficulties after virtualizing many core applications. Latency problems impacted I/O intensive applications, including SAP and Exchange, which support U.S. and worldwide operations in Canada, Europe and Latin America.
"We started having problems with critical business applications. It became very clear to us that we had do something," Thinfen says.
Visioneer, he says, could abandon the virtualized environment-but that would have meant going back to large, application-specific servers. Instead, the company pursued flash. Thinfen says a friend recommended a flash storage appliance from Astute Networks. The company brought in Astute's ViSX G3 appliance for an evaluation and soon moved its SAP R3 production environment to the platform.
"Very quickly, the performance problem that we were having went away," Thinfen says, adding that the SAP bottleneck had been the company's biggest pain point.
ViSX, he says, provided a 1,500% read-performance boost on apps such as SAP and Exchange. Faster performance also means Visioneer can hit its backup window. Previously, overnight backups had still been running when the company's European operations were opening for business the next morning.
As with TripPak and Imperial PFS, Visioneer plans to expand the use of flash storage. "We are actually looking to push it to other pieces of our business," Thinfen says. "As other storage products we have reach three years plus [of age], we are going to be swapping them out for some of the Asute storage."
Channel Impact, Pricing Hurdles Remain for Flash
Resellers and integrators are starting to play a role in flash storage. At TripPak, the company worked with solution providers Trace3 (Irvine, Calif.) and InfoStructure (Littleton, Colo.). In both cases the channel partners helped coordinate TripPak's initial dealings with flash vendors.