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Investment firm picks Infinidat storage to boost performance

Meitav Dash Investments experienced problematic latency with its applications using NetApp filers before turning to newcomer Infinidat's hyperscale hybrid storage.

At a time when all-flash arrays are making strong inroads into data centers, Israel-based Meitav Dash Investments solved its storage performance bottleneck with a hybrid array.

Meitav installed Infinidat's InfiniBox to accelerate the performance of mission-critical applications running in several buildings. The Infinidat storage uses a large flash cache -- up to 86 TB -- to reduce latency in its arrays. Built for enterprises and hyperscale workloads, Infinidat uses hard disk drives behind the flash cache.

Meitav, which manages investment portfolios, mutual and pension funds, found the previous latency unacceptable, said CIO Gil Tsabar. The Tel Aviv-based company needed a storage service that provided faster response times to clients.

"The major problem was the speed of the storage," Tsabar said. "We needed high performance without any delays. We had a few upgrades of NetApp [filers] in the early stage, but as we started to look at NetApp, we saw it was not good enough for what we required."

Tsabar said his firm experienced performance problems with applications in its three buildings, including its customer relationship management application. Meitav's mission-critical applications would take several hours to complete.

"The systems were very slow," Tsabar said. "We found it happening in all the locations."

Tsabar said he looked at all the major storage vendors, including all-flash arrays and traditional storage systems. The list included Infinidat storage arrays.

Infinidat is a startup company also located in Israel. It is small, but its founder, Moshe Yanai, is known in the industry for developing the EMC Symmetrix enterprise storage array.

"Israel is a small country and everybody knows everybody," Tsabar said. "We thought this could be the right solution. We installed a proof of concept in our data center. It was a very strict and measured test. We did a few things. We ran the slowest system, the one with the most I/O to the storage without changing anything on the application."

Tsabar said Meitav experienced a 200% to 300% improvement in performance.

"We also did a failover test," Tsabar said. "They passed all the tests."

Meitav has about 30 database servers, 30 to 40 Web servers and several application servers. It runs approximately 450 VMware virtual servers on about a dozen Cisco servers connected to a 300 TB InfiniBox array. The Infinidat storage system also allowed Meitav to consolidate six racks of storage into one, saving space, power and money, so the firm didn't need to invest in a new data center, according to Tsabar.

"In IT, there is always a bottleneck and it could be the storage, the network or the applications," he said. "In the last year, we didn't have any problems with the storage. Most of the problems we have today are in the applications, not the infrastructure. We find our problems have to deal more with the databases and not the storage."

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