Irvine Consulting Chooses Pillar Platform for Client Cloud Storage

Irvine Consulting Services (ICS) has been servicing SMB's in northern California for roughly 15 years. The company began by targeting customers with five to 10 desktops, and gradually expanded to serve customers with 50 desktops. Part of ICS's growth strategy involves cloud storage. Here's the update.

Instead of focusing on a single vertical, ICS has embraced accounting, architecture, biotech, engineering, education, government, healthcare, legal and transportation industry customers. After a sluggish 2010, the company says it's seeing tremendous growth in 2011. In the last two weeks, ICS has pulled in more clients than it did during all of 2010. And most recently, it has become increasingly clear that new and existing clients want to make the switch to cloud services.

To meet those demands ICS offers the Cloud Computing Service Plan -- which allows clients to move their infrastructure to a virtualized platform. The next challenge, according to ICS President and Founder Dave Irvine, was to find the easiest and most cost-effective way to move customer data to the cloud.

"We started a 6-7 week search to find the best platform," said Irvine. And after carefully considering a number of options that included EMC, HP and Dell services -- ICS embraced Pillar Data System's Pillar Axiom 600. Irvine Explains why:

"I was really impressed with the ease of the platform. It's easy to install. That was the main factor. And ultimately, it came down to Pillar offering the best service at the best price. It's fast and delivers twice the storage capacity as other data platforms we looked into."

First understand, ICS is offering a hybrid, private cloud that lets customers move applications and data to the ICS cloud and keep other services on-premise. It's generally a more secure and reliable option than an open cloud network. The virtual infrastructure features VMware vSphere Hypervisor and a Cisco network fabric to ensure high-speed connectivity. So far ICS has gotten great feedback, as Irvine says clients appreciate the remote access to applications while having data on a private cloud.

The decision came down to two platforms: the Pillar Axiom and HP's MSA. HP was intriguing because ICS has a history of doing business with HP and because some of ICS' clients already use HP applications. But in the end, says Irvine, HP SANs proved to be too expensive, and even more important, more time-consuming than Pillar's service when it came to deployment and management.

Pillar's system also offers a unified SAN/NAS platform that enables the system's administrators to assign storage resources based on business requirements. ICS has already begun transferring some of its client's data to the new Pillar platform and is talking to two of its newer clients about pursuing a hybrid cloud approach.

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TAGS: Financing
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