Nutanix a leader in enterprise cloud computing, has announced the adoption of its software by Total Gas & Power, one of the UK’s preeminent gas and electricity suppliers to industrial, commercial, public sector and business customers. The solution has placed the company on track to develop a single streamlined architecture while reducing operational overheads, improving security compliance, consolidating workloads, and increasing resilience over legacy infrastructure.
Digital transformation has become a global imperative for the energy company as it seeks to build a more agile and adaptable approach to the variable market demands facing the business. But the company has been reliant on aging and complex infrastructure that was entangled in multiple service level agreements, crumbling systems, and multiple support contracts. According to Dominic Maidment, Technology Architect European Enterprise Architecture at Total Gas & Power, it had years of technology debt with reams and reams of data, custom-designed applications with no record of development, and disparate systems.
“When we came upon Nutanix we were looking to develop a coherent solution that would ensure consistency and capability across a diverse range of systems and hardware equipment, much of which had been installed over the past 30 years while creating a future-proof company that could scale at speed,” said Maidment. “One of our primary goals was to create a DevOps approach to the development and the maintenance of applications that could also help us build on our desire to innovate within our highly competitive sector.”
Running on old Sun SPARC boxes and x86 systems, SAN storage, with remote office integration, and complex licensing requirements, its legacy systems still needed to be considered throughout the transition process. The Total Gas & Power IT team became embroiled in a puzzle of moving IT pieces, turning to Nutanix to help it upgrade and update, but still maintain compliance, simplify deployment and ensure comprehensive disaster recovery and multi-site integration. The new solution also had to address the fact that the company already has some limited real estate on public clouds (AWS) and ensure that they were easy to provision and scale for full DevOps capabilities as well as support its move to replace legacy in some areas with Open Source (Linux).
Total Gas & Power’s Nutanix journey started with the deployment of Nutanix’s hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) platform, using a layer of abstraction at the storage level to remove the need to provision and maintain storage hardware separate from its server nodes. This move simplified both the infrastructure and the maintenance skill sets required to manage its overall environment. It is also now using Nutanix NX nodes as the primary platform, as they are capable of handling multiple workload migrations onto virtual machines (VMs) currently needed by its legacy environment and cloud landscape.
The new IT environment, while still not entirely migrated, is made up of a production site with VMs running on VMware and branch sites that run on Nutanix AHV (Nutanix’s own non-chargeable hypervisor), totaling 300 VMs with middleware, file and print services alongside a billing system, phone system (PABX) and miscellaneous business applications. The built-in Nutanix VMs provide high availability support with automatic workload transfer in the event of a system failure.
The company also turned to Nutanix Beam’s multi-cloud governance functionality, to ensure that it retained compliance, service and operational standards. Beam’s functionality as a security and cost auditing tool, with APIs that can access the cloud and run reports and configurations for ongoing security and control, is what sets it apart. It is enabling Total Gas & Power, through its integration with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, to save money by reducing its reliance on multi-vendor support contracts.