“After automating, we experienced immediate performance improvement and prevention of future issues.”
With Turbonomic's Workload Automation Platform, Node4 supports customer performance of over 5,000 virtual workloads and sustainably scales company growth of 60-70%.
- Inability to guarantee performance of mission-critical applications in rapidly expanding virtual environment with existing tools
- End-user tickets driven by saturated environment
- Inefficient use of virtual and human resources
Turbonomic intelligently and automatically senses changes to Node4’s application demand and adjusts infrastructure supply in real-time to improve utilization, assure performance and ensure service delivery to Node4’s global customer and employee base.
- Improved hardware density and freed up 17 blades
- Decreased alerts by over 20%
- Increased workload performance by over 20%
- Demonstrable ROI in under 3 months
- Improved customer performance and SLAs, while sustaining company growth of 60-70%
Founded in 2004, Node4 provides comprehensive service offerings including colocation, managed hosting, cloud servers, connectivity, SIP trunking and hosted telephony across the United Kingdom. The company services over 2,000 customers with four data center facilities located in Northampton, Leeds and Derby.
Gregg Mearing, Head of Managed Services at Node4, is responsible for overseeing all of the company’s hosted platforms as well as their internal IT. Previously founder and Technical Director of LETN, a cloud
infrastructure company acquired by Node4 in 2014, Mearing has since assumed responsibility for the Cloud and Managed Service offerings for the group.
According to Markets and Markets, the global market for managed services will grow to $193.34 billion by 2019. Yet service providers are under ever increasing pressure to deliver better services faster to maintain customer satisfaction. To gain additional business and find new opportunities, MSPs must provide viable solutions and be regarded as experienced technologists. They have to keep up with evolving business and technology demands of customers to drive service excellence at scale.
Acquisition Growth Pains
Node4 was experiencing a 30% year-over-year growth rate on top of acquiring four companies within a two year timespan, realistically pushing annual growth to between 60-70%. With such rapid growth, the team struggled to keep up with the pace of change, frequently experiencing CPU ready queue and performance issues. Compounding the growth challenge were the issues that the company’s customers were causing themselves. Managing an environment of 5,000 VMs on a diverse infrastructure of Cisco UCS, IBM and HP blades with NetApp storage, Node4 utilized several SolarWinds products for monitoring and reporting on the status of their environment.
“Because of the acquisitions, our team was tasked with migrating the mixed technologies onto standard hardware, but we were receiving service tickets left and right and having to chase down answers in order to keep our customers happy,” said Mearing. “While the monitoring tools we were using were great for reporting, they provided no actions to relieve the issues we were experiencing.”
Customer Performance and SLAs
Whilst looking at several solutions, Mearing’s team came across Turbonomic and were encouraged to download the software through a connection made internally. After a few weeks of extensive testing, the Node4 team automated Turbonomic and immediately saw results: fewer performance-related service tickets, decreased costs of both OpEx and CapEx and improved SLAs. “Turbonomic freed up our team resources so that we could focus on the IT migration project that we were originally struggling to work on,” said Mearing. “In fact, with Turbonomic we are able to forecast the needs of our environment after completion of the project.”
Customer Experience and Community
“The support we’ve experienced from Turbonomic has been unparalleled,” said Mearing. “From pre-sales through to post-sales, the training and assistance has been proactive and incredibly helpful. Within the first couple of months, the entire team worked with us to easily document and report ROI.” Mearing also turns to the Green Circle Community for Turbonomic related questions. “It is a great forum for technical answers and custom reports.”