With offices across Australia, Aeontech is the recognised leader in IT asset disposal. Aeontech wipes and sanitises over 50,000 hard drives and recycles 500,000 kg of IT equipment each year. Over 99 per cent is diverted from landfill.
Aeontech has achieved substantial improvements by installing ioFABRIC, whose data management software solves storage challenges while reducing complexity and optimising costs.
“Storage hardware vendors will hate ioFABRIC as it eliminates storage silos, vendor lock-in and four-year refresh cycles,” says Shan Patterson, Aeontech CEO.
Prior to ioFABRIC, Aeontech was struggling with multiple storage challenges. Each storage vendor locked the company into its platform or storage silo. Every four years they insisted that Aeontech needed to upgrade its storage.
“Enough was enough,” said Shan. “We knew our storage wasn’t going to fail in four years and one day, but the vendors charged a premium for maintenance after the ‘initial four-year period’. It became unviable to keep older storage products.”
Shan recalls that Aeontech was struggling with its storage before the ioFABRIC data transformation. He says that ioFABRIC immediately enabled the company to eliminate cost and complexity from its storage environment while delivering ‘incredible’ application performance improvements without specialist or dedicated hardware.
“We didn’t need to make changes to any applications or the way users access data – it is all behind the scenes working at the block level, not the file level, which makes it exceptionally efficient.”
For years, storage has been an enormous and expensive challenge. Traditional SAN and NAS vendors’ storage products were developed for physical servers and simply cannot, and do not, deliver the performance, reliability and scalability required by the new enterprise. Today, data needs to be always-on and always available - downtime is the enemy of business.
Aeontech deployed an ioFABRIC pilot via phone and a screen-sharing session from ioFABRIC’s Sydney office. Within two hours it had created a single storage pool from all the company’s disparate storage vendors, non-intrusively absorbed data and enabled Aeontech to tier data from one storage vendor’s equipment to another.
IT staff then tested ioFABRIC’s ability to tier data vertically for performance and were amazed to watch an application’s hot (active) data moving to RAM or fast flash/SSD. With ioFABRIC, warm data flows to ‘standard’ flash/SSDs, then when it ages or becomes inactive, it is automatically moved to slower spinning disks or the cloud. Essentially the data manages itself across any storage vendor.
By adding a few commodity high performance flash/SSD for about $1,000 per TB, Aeontech improved performance significantly across its entire storage environment.
“We were amazed that ioFABRIC was able to share RAM and flash/SSD across different hosts. Now spare capacity of RAM or flash/SSD on one host is accessible and available to an application on a different host – amazing!” said Shan Patterson.
“Previously when we added RAM to a host it was locked to that host. We often found lots of valuable RAM sitting idle for many hours a day. With ioFABRIC, all RAM on all our servers can be used 24 hours a day to drive incredible performance for our business – the best way to describe ioFABRIC is that it delivers ‘time sharing’ for all storage, regardless of storage vendor, make or model.”
Innovate to drive business agility
Shan said that like many companies, his IT budget is tight. Aeontech needed to look for innovative solutions to traditional / old problems. Physical storage in a virtual world simply doesn’t work.
He said: “I think everyone would agree that storage is stuck in the dark ages. Even ‘new’ products are really the same old products just rebranded and made easier to use. Almost all storage products still lock customers into their hardware, creating new storage silos and requiring hardware refreshes every three to four years.”
Shan added: “We tired of hearing that you need ‘this’ storage silo/vendor for tier 1 applications and ‘that’ storage platform for tier 2 applications. All we wanted and needed, was to have all super-hot data sitting in RAM for super-fast processing. We wanted hot and warm data migrated to fast flash/SSDs, while inactive data could stay on slow spinning disks or in the cloud (AWS or Azure).
ioFABRIC does all this regardless of storage vendor, make or model! We are very impressed. ioFABRIC tiers data up and down for performance and horizontally for incredible resilience, redundancy and reliability. If you want always-on, always available and always fast data, you need ioFABRIC.”
Aeontech is proud of its ability to help all organisations to reduce their carbon footprint and be environmentally friendly when disposing of old or obsolete IT equipment. Aeontech also supplies professional and implementation services for vendors and their resellers.