All-Flash in Real Life: CMA – XtremIO Database Consolidation Case Study

Executive Summary

When it comes to business transformation, numbers matter. For CMA, a leading healthcare application service provider for Medicaid payments systems processing and data analytics, the integration of EMC XtremIO led to a transformation of their workloads, their infrastructure, and their profit margins. This includes an eight-fold reduction in the amount of data center floor space required to host their application environment. CMA’s implementation of XtremIO has also helped drive down hardware and software costs, dramatically improved application response times, reduced administrative overhead by 50% and has enabled CMA to significantly accelerate the time it takes to assemble, configure and deliver their solution to their clients.

What Does CMA do?

As an application service provider, CMA develops a product offering called MicroTerabyte. MicroTerabyte is based on an Oracle RAC cluster compute engine and is used to manage some of the largest Medicaid state entitlement systems nationally. These systems process millions of patient claims per day while servicing highly I/O-intensive analytic and database query requests for thousands of simultaneous users. Consequently, latency and IOPS performance is critical. The challenge was that the MicroTerabyte platform had been highly dependent on the deployment of multiple racks of hard disk drives (HDDs) to provide the high I/O throughput and low latency required to deliver its application performance service levels.

An Eight-Fold Hardware Reduction

Since adopting XtremIO’s scale-out flash array for their MicroTerabyte platform, CMA has seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of data center floor space required to house their solution. What formerly occupied eight fully configured cabinets in the data center now occupies a single 42U rack. This is translating into significant floor space and power savings for CMA and their clients, in addition to several other major business benefits.

Faster Time-to-Market for New Services & Clients

The reduction in the amount of physical storage infrastructure required has also reduced the time it takes for CMA’s product and engineering team to build out a MicroTerabyte system for a customer deployment. What used to take CMA’s engineering team multiple days to assemble and configure, can now be completed in a matter of hours. This is due to both the ease of use of configuring the XtremIO array and bringing it online and the physical simplicity of deploying an array with a very compact form factor. This dramatic configuration simplicity and consolidation results in a faster time to value for the client while enabling CMA’s product integration team to fulfill more orders and drive more revenue for the business.

Lower TCO, Higher Margins

CMA has also realized a significant reduction in their application development costs due to the high I/O throughput and low latency that XtremIO delivers to the MicroTerabyte Oracle RAC cluster compute engine. Thanks to this all-flash Oracle RAC design, CMA can now utilize commodity Linux clusters with fewer CPU cores over the multi-core proprietary Unix systems that they had formerly been using. This has translated not only into lower hardware costs, but it has also reduced their software costs as Oracle RAC licensing is based on the number of cores in a cluster. CMA has found that this XtremIO-based all-flash Oracle RAC solution actually drives down software costs delivering a better total cost of ownership (TCO).

Increased Competitiveness

These savings are being passed along to CMA’s clients as the MicroTerabyte platform can now support increased levels of performance with correspondingly fewer hardware and software resources. In addition, it is helping CMA to improve the end-user experience, respond more quickly to their clients’ demands and lower their costs while increasing profitability. In our next post we will detail CMA’s journey from the stopgap use of flash to flash as a vital part of their storage strategy.

Fill out the simple form below to receive the complete CMA XtremIO Database Consolidation Case Study which details CMA’s flash selection process. It contains valuable insight into how to make your own flash decision. The report contains six pages of customer insight into flash selection and the payback they have experience since going all-flash.

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As a 22 year IT veteran, Colm has worked in a variety of capacities ranging from technical support of critical OLTP environments to consultative sales and marketing for system integrators and manufacturers. His focus in the enterprise storage, backup and disaster recovery solutions space extends from mainframe and distributed computing environments across a wide range of industries.

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