Cisco Switzerland Technology Blog

Transformation to IT Heros with Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Friday, 18 May 2018

Our customers are transforming their business with Hyperconverged Infrastructure. We cover the story of one customer in Germany – TASSO. With the help of Cisco HyperFlex it is now possible to identify and return animals to their owner faster.

More than 8.7 million animals are currently registered with animal welfare organization TASSO e.V. It operates Europe’s largest pet registry, which sees a pet identified and returned to its owner every ten minutes. Such a system requires the latest technology to be working in the background.

The organization is based in Sulzbach, close to Frankfurt, and has been operating for more than 35 years. It is funded mainly through donations and offers all of its services, including 24/7 availability of its emergency call center and distribution of posters for missing animals, completely free of charge. Constant collaboration with veterinarians and animal shelters is of primary importance.

TASSO saves millions in annual costs for local communities with the timely identification and return of pets. A flexible, simple and fail-safe IT infrastructure is essential to its success.

Working in a digital world

The organization

embraced the benefits of digitization right from the start, adopting databases instead of index cards and operating an online platform called ‘shelta’. Animal shelters and animal welfare organizations can register animals on the portal free of charge and improve the likelihood of their identification and safe return should they go missing. Speed and flexibility are the most critical factors for this service, which requires the latest technology.

Lutz Lehmann, Director of IT Infrastructure at TASSO, had been dissatisfied with the organization´s legacy infrastructure. Like many smaller organizations, it had started out with a few servers and a virtualization solution. However, with the volume of data rising steadily, it had become more and more expensive to expand the infrastructure with additional storage. With performance also starting to suffer, Lutz looked for an alternative solution.

TASSO has 100 employees. Most of them work at its headquarters in Sulzbach, but there are also about 20 employees working from home. In addition to its on-premises infrastructure, the organization operates two offsite data centers, which are used for backup and disaster recovery.

“We were looking for simple Datacenter solution which provides easy management functions and the possibility to scale up compute nodes and storage as we are growing”

Following a successful trial period, TASSO opted for a Cisco HX240c All Flash configuration with 3 nodes. The hyper converged system has now been fully operational for more than a year and Lutz and his team can no longer imagine an infrastructure without HyperFlex.

“The best thing about it is that it’s easy to scale,”enthuses Lutz. “Our organization has become more flexible using hyperconverged infrastructure because it allows granular, horizontal and vertical scaling, regardless of whether that’s computing or storage.”

A further benefit is that the IT team no longer has to spend time on tedious tasks, which was a common issue with TASSO’s legacy infrastructure. System configuration has been automated using the Cisco HyperFlex Installer.

“Currently, mixed workloads ranging from an SQL database server, a file server, a Unified Endpoint Manager up to our own application servers are running on our Cisco hyperconverged platform and we are very satisfied with its performance to date.”

TASSO looks to Cloud

With future plans being made, additional SSDs top the wish list for Lutz and his team. He anticipates the deployment of further HyperFlex nodes over the long term. Meanwhile, part of TASSO’s website may be migrated to the Public Cloud to save on local disk space.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a additional option for TASSO, whose internal call center will continue to grow over the next few years, as Cisco HyperFlex ensures a quick and simple VDI deployment with proven performance and reliability.

Further information about HyperFlex (Multicloud Platform) can be found on our website.

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