Reduced footprint by 70%
Improved application response time by 70%
Improved IT team productivity
Numerous enterprise applications, including SAP software, Oracle databases, and MicrosoftSharePoint, support Purdue's complex operations. Running all of these applications requires a large and high-performance infrastructure, but management of the data center grew costly as Purdue's capacity needs continued to expand. Chief Technology Officer Stephen Rayda saw an opportunity to reduce the footprint, as well as lower data center technology maintenance and licensing costs, by migrating to a virtualized environment.
The Vblock System, which cohesively integrates best-in-class compute, network, and storage technologies from Cisco, EMC, and VMware, was an ideal solution for Purdue's goals. As a validated, converged infrastructure, Vblock requires less management, while quick deployment makes it easy to meet the business's growing needs. The Cisco® Unified Data Center components, including Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) blade servers and Cisco Nexus® switches, were a particularly good fit for the company due to its flexibility and performance in virtual environments.
To provide visibility into the highly dynamic Vblock environment, Purdue deployed an ExtraHop appliance, a Cisco compatible product that passively analyzes real-time wire data: all L2-L7 communications between systems, including full bidirectional transaction payloads. With correlated visibility across network, web, database, directory services, and storage tiers, IT staff gain operational intelligence that helps them improve troubleshooting and optimization on the environment. "Vblock and Cisco UCS deliver a high-performance virtual infrastructure that has dramatically streamlined and simplified our IT environment," says Rayda. "With ExtraHop deployed for Cisco UCS, we're seeing unprecedented visibility across tiers that helps us get the most out of Vblock."
Vblock and Cisco UCS deliver a high-performance virtual infrastructure that has dramatically streamlined and simplified our IT environment. With ExtraHop deployed for Cisco UCS, we're seeing unprecedented visibility across tiers that helps us get the most out of Vblock.
Stephen Rayda CTO, Purdue Pharma
Working with VCE, Purdue deployed converged Vblock infrastructure in its data centers. The core compute uses seven chassis filled with 32 Cisco UCS B230 M2 Blade Servers at the head office data center in Stamford. In addition to capacity and density that deliver outstanding performance in virtual environments, Cisco UCS Blade Servers offer excellent scalability. Networking fabric and power connect to the chassis, not each individual blades, which means that adding or replacing a server is as simple as plugging a new blade into the chassis slot.
VCE manages deployment and configurations for Purdue, and the management available with Cisco UCS Manager enables VCE to deliver fast scalability through robust templates and profiles. "Once a profile is set, VCE simply plugs in a blade server and lets Cisco UCS Manager handle all configurations within minutes," says Jagadeesh Narasimhaiah, IT lead at Purdue Pharma. "This enables us to expand capacity as needed to keep up with growth."
Cisco Unified Fabric connects the Cisco UCS blade servers and EMC storage with high availability networks. Cisco UCS 6140 Fabric Interconnects connect the Cisco UCS blade servers to the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches on the access layer. With unified ports and high connectivity, the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches complement Vblock by encouraging tight integration between compute, storage, and networking components. Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches act as the core of the Purdue network, while Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches bring network connections from the physical to the virtual layer.
As a tested and integrated system, Vblock is easy to manage and scale with little of the testing and complex configurations required for traditional systems. While Cisco UCS Manager provides excellent infrastructure management and resource-utilization monitoring for all components, Purdue went a step further by implementing the ExtraHop wire data analytics platform. Passively analyzing a copy of all traffic from Vblock, ExtraHop requires no agents for its deployment and can automatically adjust to changes in the environment. With this up-to-date, real-time view, the Purdue IT team gains operational intelligence that enables them to be proactive and solve problems fast.
During the proof of concept, information gained from ExtraHop helped IT staff to resolve an ongoing performance issue at Purdue. "ExtraHop and Cisco UCS work together extremely well," says Narasimhaiah. "ExtraHop helps us establish a baseline of application performance improvements in Cisco UCS virtual environments and pinpoint areas that we can optimize to get the most out of our infrastructure."