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Rem NetApp Champion Case Study


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Risk Enterprise Management Limited (REM) provides claims, managed care, and risk management solutions to the property and casualty insurance industry. The company employs 400 professionals and delivers services globally to Fortune 1000 companies, program managers, captive managers, insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and agents

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Rem NetApp Champion Case Study

  1. 1. Success Stories Risk Enterprise Management Stays Agile, Slashes Costs with VMware on NetApp CUSTOMER PROFILE resources at the end of the claims process— Risk Enterprise Management Limited (REM) an often-unpredictable time frame that can provides claims, managed care, and risk range from weeks and months to years.” management solutions to the property and REM recognized that its sprawling server casualty insurance industry. The company infrastructure with direct-attached storage employs 400 professionals and delivers was hampering responsiveness and raising services globally to Fortune 1000 companies, costs. Ordering, installing, configuring, and KEY HIGHLIGHTS program managers, captive managers, testing a server consumed as much as three insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and agents weeks—too long for offices that must start Industry (source: processing claims within just one or two days Insurance of an event. Also, leasing costs were exorbi- THE CHALLENGE The challenge tant: bringing a new application online gener- Reduce costs while dramatically improving Eliminate server sprawl, ensure business ally meant adding a new server that would business reactivity and resilience continuity, and reduce costs. stay online for the full three-year lease period, Responsive service and exceptional control even if the resource was no longer required. of customer loss costs help differentiate The solution REM from its competitors. But maintaining In 2006, Tompkins’s team was tasked with Implement VMware® on NetApp® to the highest levels of efficiency can be difficult updating the company’s infrastructure to accelerate application/service rollout, in the face of rising IT costs, expanding improve responsiveness, deploy products respond rapidly to catastrophic claims regulatory requirements, and frequent faster, meet compliance regulations, and events, and achieve cost-efficient B&R. disaster events. ensure disaster recovery to support 24x7 Benefits operations. Complicating the challenge was “Responding to a catastrophic claims event • Gained ability to expand/contract one caveat: reduce IT costs in the process. can require as much as a 25% ramp in storage in minutes personnel and supporting infrastructure,” THE SOLUTION • Achieved fast backup/recovery says Brian Tompkins, REM senior manager for 24x7 operations VMware on NetApp of IT Infrastructure and Security. “We need • Saved >$120,000 annual lease Champion Solutions Group, a technology systems in place quickly to process the + power costs solutions provider, spearheaded the efforts thousands and thousands of claims that • Realized two-year ROI on virtual to identify the best solution. Champion arise out of an environmental or natural infrastructure worked with the REM team to capture disaster such as a hurricane or tornado. • Eliminated 20% annual rise in current utilization and load during peak Equally important to business efficiency IT costs quarter-end closeout. The results showed is being able to release or reassign those
  2. 2. “Moving to a virtual environment built on NetApp’s storage has expanded our ability to put information in people’s hands, enhanced business reactivity, and made sure that our infrastructure will support business needs over time. We’ve also benefited from Champion’s expertise … you need technology-savvy partners.” Brian Tompkins Senior Manager IT Infrastructure and Security, Risk Enterprise Management, Ltd. glaring—and costly—underutilization of BUSINESS BENEFITS Reduced cost and complexity server resources. From this data, the team Faster reaction to business needs The REM team achieved consolidation goals was able to clearly see the benefits of The new infrastructure ensures that REM within just four months. Tompkins estimates moving to a virtual infrastructure based on can deliver critical IT services where and that the elimination of 35 physical servers VMware. Champion also advocated deploy- when needed. Bringing a server online, a represents approximately $105,000 annual ing centralized storage to ensure business process that took more than three weeks lease savings and another $15,000 in reduced continuity and to allow utilization of tools in the past, now takes less than an hour. power costs. The company expects a two- such as VMotion®, which enables zero- Rapid deployment enables almost immedi- year ROI on the entire virtual infrastructure, downtime migration of virtual machines. ate response to catastrophic events, even including servers, storage, network upgrades, during back-to-back disasters. software licensing, installation, training, and Storage selection was based on three key support costs. deliverables from NetApp: (1) superior redun- Tompkins says that REM uses NetApp dancy at the best price point, (2) multiprotocol FlexVol ® technology to rapidly allocate REM has also eliminated the 15% to 20% support with the ability to leverage standard storage capacity to meet operational needs annual IT-cost escalation that had been the security models, and (3) manageability. A and streamline new-product testing. “Storage trend for the previous three years. Tompkins NetApp FAS3020 system in an active-active requirements are not always well defined attributes some of the savings to simpler controller configuration assures high avail- at the beginning of an engagement or test administration. “Each year we brought on ability for the REM VMware environment, process. In the past, increasing a volume new servers with direct-attached storage which includes 40 virtual servers running on was fairly easy, but decreasing it was nearly to support application development and three physical servers connected using iSCSI impossible. That made it very difficult to testing, handle catastrophic claims events, to the NetApp FAS3020HA. Simultaneously, effectively manage resources to accom- and address other fluctuating business NetApp’s system provides CIFS-based NAS modate systems and user requirements. needs. Unfortunately, we were never able to storage for Windows® end-user clients. For example, when our analysts ran their give those resources back, so we continued intensive financial modeling processes, to pay leasing and administration costs on The VMware on NetApp virtualized environ- them. We started this project with two large, other users experienced problems saving ment supports critical systems, including fully populated racks in our data center. files. Today, NetApp’s technology allows Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Since moving to the VMware on NetApp us to easily increase or decrease quotas to Edition with Active Directory, IBM Lotus environment, one rack is completely empty.” match requirements so that we do not have Notes, Web applications, and the custom- to overbuy capacity or risk having users or ized REM claims management system. A REM maintains a lean and very efficient applications run out of space.” Citrix application delivery platform facilitates IT department, which manages the entire global access to the REM claims manage- corporate infrastructure. “Concerns over ment system. new staffing requirements were foremost in
  3. 3. ESX 3 Server #1 Backbone VLAN Routable NetApp 3020C File Server Cluster iSCSI VLAN ESX 3 Server #2 Routable NetBackup VLAN Isolated ESX 3 Server #3 4.4 Terabytes Lotus Notes Data VLAN Raw Storage Isolated VMotion VLAN Isolated GSX Server VM Management VLAN Routable Dual Gigabit Trunk NetBackup™ Physical Media Servers Alcatel 9600 Core Switch Servers Single Gigabit Figure 1) VMware and NetApp architecture. our analysis,” Tompkins stated. “As with from NetApp: (1) NetApp Snapshot™ tech- processes personally identifiable data, the many new technologies, implementation and nology, to make frequent copies of critical company must be able to meet the stringent management can require dedicated person- data; (2) NetApp SnapRestore® technology compliance goals of each of its client nel, reducing the cost benefits. The VMware for within-seconds file or volume recovery; organizations. and NetApp solution required no additional and (3) an active-active controller configura- headcount. tion for nondisruptive failover. NetApp’s solution also enabled seamless transfer of the REM Active Directory security “Overall,” adds Tompkins, “the new infra- “NetApp helps us to deliver immediate and model without requiring measure-by-measure structure is decidedly simpler to maintain accurate information to adjustors, partners, translation of security settings. The REM than our original DAS environment and other and customers,” emphasizes Tompkins. Windows administration team can manage SAN solutions not from NetApp, which “We’ve experienced no storage-related user CIFS shares on the NetApp system with- would have required mainframe DASD-class failures since implementing the solution from out having to learn a new platform and without storage expertise. NetApp’s iSCSI solution NetApp. NetApp’s technology also gives requiring root access to the storage system. was a better value upfront and allows us to us critical recoverability. Just recently, when leverage existing administrative staff. We our accounting staff discovered a corrupted “Implementing the VMware on NetApp did not have the luxury of hiring a dedicated database, they were able to recover their infrastructure has given us much-needed staff to manage storage. financial data in minutes. Without NetApp flexibility to support both current and future Snapshot technology, they would have lost business needs,” comments Tompkins. “In addition to being a requirement of the at least four hours of work. “For example, if at some point we decide project, reducing our IT costs helps us to integrate our applications based on contribute directly to one of the company’s “By providing better redundancy and faster UNIX ®, we will not have to buy a new storage driving objectives—to reduce our customers’ backup/recovery, NetApp’s solution lets us platform. We’ve been extremely happy with total loss costs associated with the manage- offer a larger window of access to applica- the performance and simplicity of iSCSI, but ment of claims.” tions. That’s essential as we work toward our UNIX team may prefer to use FC—either maintaining 24x7 operations to support the way, we’ll be able to leverage our existing Business continuation with reduced needs of Fortune 1000 customers and an NetApp system. risk of downtime increasingly global business.” The new infrastructure helps REM minimize “We expect that NetApp’s space-reduction the risk of information loss or application An architecture investment that keeps on technologies such as thin provisioning and downtime, even as the business transitions giving: security, flexibility, and longevity deduplication will help us optimize our to a 24x7 environment. The solution archi- Tompkins points out that NetApp helps REM existing storage usage and reduce expan- tected by Champion helps maintain business meet recoverability requirements associated sion costs. The space savings will also allow continuity using three essential technologies with regulatory compliance. Because REM us to more cost-effectively implement data
  4. 4. “The new infrastructure is decidedly simpler to maintain than our original DAS environment and other SAN solutions not from NetApp that would have required mainframe DASD-class storage expertise. NetApp’s iSCSI solution was a better value upfront and allows us to leverage existing administrative staff.” Brian Tompkins Senior Manager IT Infrastructure and Security, Risk Enterprise Management, Ltd. retention policies to match specific claims— NetApp’s technology and VMware servers, SOLUTION COMPONENTS for example, while auto claims are generally we’ll be able to very quickly recover our settled very quickly, workers’ compensation critical infrastructure in a very small footprint. NetApp Products claims often require that we maintain online We recently tested the process in-house and NetApp FAS3020HA system data for years. proved that we could successfully recover our VMware and Active Directory environ- NetApp FlexVol and deduplication “Another reason we have standardized ments in less than two hours. technologies on NetApp’s solution is that we anticipate NetApp SnapRestore software taking advantage of NetApp’s replication “Moving to a virtual environment built technology to implement our own hotsite for on NetApp’s storage has expanded our Protocols disaster recovery. In the event of a full data ability to put information in people’s hands, NetApp IP (iSCSI) SAN and CIFS center outage, it will take about 36 hours enhanced our business reactivity, and made to fully recover our critical systems at an sure that our infrastructure will support Environment outside recovery facility. As our business business needs over time. We’ve also VMware expands, we will need a much faster return benefited from the experience and expertise Microsoft Windows Server 2003 to operation, but that level of recovery of Champion Solutions Group. Projects of Enterprise Edition service would be prohibitively expensive at this magnitude rarely go exactly as planned, IBM Lotus Notes software a third-party facility. In contrast, if we utilize so you need technology-savvy partners.” Citrix software NetApp creates innovative storage and © 2008 NetApp. All rights reserved. Specifications are subject to change without notice. NetApp, the NetApp logo, Go further, faster, data management solutions that accelerate FlexVol, SnapRestore, and Snapshot are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. business breakthroughs and deliver Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. VMware and VMotion are registered trademarks of outstanding cost efficiency. Discover our VMware, Inc. NetBackup is a trademark of Symantec Corporation or its passion for helping companies around the affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group. All other brands or products are trademarks or world go further, faster at registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such. CSS-6092-0608