September through January is Myron’s busiest time of year. When files weren’t loading, IT was hearing about it: “Help! The art browser is stuck!” and “No new images since 9:53 am!” were complaints from the art department. With hours adding up to days of lost productivity, all eyes were on IT to solve performance problems and get files moving again.
Established in 1949, Myron Corporation started as one of the early mail order companies in North America and has grown to a global marketer of personalized business gifts serving 16 countries in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and the Middle East. From Myron’s full-service website, companies order from a range of items to personalize, helping them build brand and promote their own businesses.
Personalized products mean big art files constantly being accessed from file servers and transferred across the network. If those files aren’t moving fast enough, or they’re loading with errors, the art department can’t get work done and projects won’t be completed on time. “It’s pretty simple—we’re talking about files not moving fast enough and art not processing properly,” says Giuseppe DeBari, Network Manager, whose team supports users on the WAN, LAN, and globally. “Our users access an HTML interface that shows status of jobs. Green is good, red means jobs aren’t completing properly. And that’s when the calls start to come in, especially on batch jobs.”
In September, the beginning of Myron’s busiest season, the complaints were coming at full force. “We’re a fourth-quarter business, so we were losing hours of productivity during our busiest time,” DeBari explains, “So when I got an email about V-locity software and application performance, it was perfect timing.”
Myron’s art department was accustomed to the status quo: alerting IT that files weren’t coming in, or that the art browser was showing red, red, and more red. That is, until Giuseppe’s team began an evaluation of V-locity® for virtual environments on a production file server.
“We started the evaluation in September and put it into our production environment,” says Giuseppe. “We saw immediate performance improvement and all the complaints stopped.” During the testing, he spoke with the Art Manager who confirmed data was moving a lot faster, and the team was much happier. “When the evaluation ended and V-locity was disabled, the complaints started again,” he says. “But I wanted to be sure the improvement wasn’t a fluke, or an effect of something other than V-locity.” So the evaluation was extended and V-locity was re-enabled in production. Again the complaints stopped, and again the Art Manager confirmed the dramatic improvement in performance. “Processing time for some of the larger files went from five minutes down to one. And there were no issues of files loading with errors. That’s when we knew we needed to buy,” Giuseppe explains.
Prior to V-locity, Myron’s environment was already optimized for topnotch performance with new VMware ESX hosts connected to a new EMC hybrid SAN, with SSDs and SAS connected to fibre. Even with advanced storage and networking technologies already in place, speed and performance were still an issue due to the heavy workloads. Installed on Windows VMs at the operating system layer, V-locity nondisruptively optimizes I/O at the source—reducing the I/O requirement for any given file. By preventing a surplus of I/O from getting funneled into servers, network, and storage, the entire infrastructure (compute, network, and storage) derives benefit because only productive I/O is generated by the VM.
With IntelliWrite technology, V-locity automatically prevents split I/Os from being generated, allowing more data to be packaged on every write. With IntelliMemory, V-locity caches active data in available server memory to further reduce I/O demand on storage devices. As a certified VMware-ready solution, V-locity automatically and transparently improves application throughput and latency on heavy workloads running on x86 platforms.
Giuseppe’s team has been running V-locity in its virtual environment since the evaluation, and plans to migrate SQL to one of the hosts running V-locity. “We’ve seen an average 157% reduction in I/O traffic, which enables us to attach more VMs to the SAN and get longer life out of it.”
But the biggest benefit has been performance. “It’s really about moving data faster and processing art faster—that’s the lifeblood of our business,” he says. “Now months later after deployment, V-locity put an end to performance calls. Users are happy, and work is getting done in a quarter of the time.”
Browsing old support emails, all dating back before V-locity, he continues, “Here’s an email where someone says ‘Nothing has moved since 4:26, it’s now 6:10,’ so there’s a two-hour window where nothing was getting done.” He concludes, “We haven’t gotten an email like this since. That’s why V-locity is now a must-have for all our data-intensive applications and servers. We won’t run without it.”
V-locity software has enabled Myron’s IT team to continually provide the best service levels to its users, manage heavy workload during its busiest season, add more VMs to the SAN without adding new hardware, and drive greater value from their existing infrastructure.