90% storage utilization reduction and 65% time saved

About Alma Pro

Alma Pro is a cross between a software house and a consulting company specializing in software development and outsourced IT infrastructure. With a base of over 100 customers across Italy that are strongly rooted in the financial and industrial sectors, the company is a national leader in designing customized IT solutions and producing applications to automate industrial processes.

Alma Pro has over 20 years of experience, and its core values are simplicity, innovation and excellence. The company not only develops systems but also provides IT infrastructure and backup as a service and commands particular expertise in IBM AS/400 systems. The company is vendor-neutral but maintains key technological partnerships with big names such as Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, VMware as well as challengers like STORViX.

The challenge

Alma Pro works in teams with different areas of expertise, and team members share files and documents in multiple centralized databases on a daily basis. The IT team and the developer team are also responsible for backing up customers’ virtualized infrastructure by saving copies of data on shared repositories. Backup copies are often used for internal tests and simulations and therefore must be checked and stored 100% securely.

The internal IT teams of Alma Pro are responsible for managing the services offered to customers. As a result, the teams involved in each project must constantly verify that the copies of the data derived from the backups are protected and stored securely. However, they must also be easily accessible in case they are needed. File control tasks, such as checking the validity of customer data backups, take much time and effort. If the development team spends a substantial amount of time creating a database copy, this frequently doesn’t give the IT team enough time to build and verify backups.

With external IT operations for customers as their priority, Alma Pro’s teams did not have enough time to focus on internal improvements. Therefore, it was important to Alma Pro that internal operations run smoothly and quickly so that more time could be spent on the all-important customer-facing activities. This required a more modern and agile solution.

The solution

STORViX helped Alma Pro consolidate and optimize the management of the storage layer for the entire IT infrastructure by installing AiRE IntelligentFiler model 3124. As the heart of IntelligentFiler, AiRE has powerful features that serve as the lifeblood of the full AiRE IntelligentFiler solution. These features provide continuous protection from corruption, disasters and breaches while optimal performance is always ensured by automating I/O path management, application profile recognition and data reduction.

Alma Pro was pleased to discover that AiRE gives them the agility and simplicity they need to advance to the modern IT era of tomorrow. This is because AiRE gave their IT teams rock-solid procedures for keeping things up and running without having to plan operations for internal systems. They are able to manage everything with greater agility and ease compared to their previous legacy system. This frees up more time than they can spend on crucial, value-adding external IT operations, in contrast to time spent on internal improvements, thus leading to substantial improvements in operational efficiency.

After previously having to run five services on three workloads in two systems, AiRE IntelligentFiler consolidated all of this into one easy-to-use system. The three workloads are a Microsoft SQL Server, Veeam backup software and CIFS file services. Alma Pro appreciated having the best optimization for each workload, with protection from ransomware and viruses by default.

AiRE unlocked more agile ways for Alma Pro to manage data and database copies. Thanks to the block-level incremental snapshot system and the ability to clone file systems without taking up useful space, the development team created more efficient processes for managing database copies used for testing and simulations, reducing storage utilization by more than 90 percent. At the same time, the IT team no longer needed to manage different types of storage because AiRE enabled multiple workloads to be merged into a single solution. Additionally, integrated data protection reduced the time the IT team spent operating the system by 65% compared with traditional archiving and backup systems.