Like most businesses today, Steel and Pipes relies on data to keep its business up and running. Ensuring data availability and business continuity is a particular concern given the company’s location in the heart of “hurricane alley.”
In 2017, rapid growth was straining the resources of its VMware environment. To reduce complexity and cost, IT Director Hector Maldonado steered the company toward a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Following an evaluation of three solutions, he chose Nutanix due to its simplicity and flexibility. However, his legacy backup and recovery vendor didn’t support Nutanix at the time, leaving Maldonado searching for a solution as simple and reliable as Nutanix itself.
Maldonado’s Nutanix representative recommended he take a look at HYCU. “It looked very simple. And HYCU is native to Nutanix, which was very attractive,” Maldonado explains, adding that with just two IT professionals on staff (including himself), ease of management was a priority.
The Steel and Pipes infrastructure solution consists of two Nutanix clusters with three nodes each, a total capacity of 43 TB of storage, a communications infrastructure consisting of Mellanox and Ubiquiti switches plus an external Synology storage combined with an LTO autoloader and a storage service in the cloud to manage and protect daily backups on three different media with a total of 33 TB of backup data.
Since deploying HYCU, Maldonado says, “I love HYCU.” He notes that the platform has been growing with him.
“The people at HYCU have been very open to listening to my suggestions and implementing them,” he says, noting the HYCU team has implemented an archiving method and support for tape backups at his request. “I like tape backups because they offer low hacking risk, long retention, and affordable cost. HYCU continues to improve its support for this older technology.”
Maldonado likes the ease with which he can set up and manage backups in HYCU. “The way the system creates backups, detects machines and displays it all on screen is exemplary,” he says. “It gives me joy to see how easy you can see your systems and how fast you can select them and create a backup with HYCU.”
HYCU enables Steel and Pipes to take full advantage of their resources. “We count every dollar, so we only add storage when it’s needed. HYCU allows us to put different targets in different places and use them as a direct backup or as an archive,” Maldonado says. “And the transfer time is fast, limited only by our Internet connection speed.”
Maldonado has high praise for HYCU support, which has been exceptionally responsive, professional and helpful. “I feel the HYCU person on the other end of the line is my friend trying to help me do something. That’s very valuable,” he says, noting that HYCU support professionals actually review the logs to avoid wasting time and solve issues faster. “Other companies often don’t do that.”
About the customer
Steel and Pipes, Inc. is the largest locally owned industrial products supplier in Puerto Rico.
From structural steel and welding equipment to pipes, valves and fittings, it has been the go-to source for customers across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean since 1979. The family-owned business combines sophisticated technology with a high level of personal service.