Penlon Case Study for Scale HC3


    "With Scale we have effectively been able to build a data centre in a server room, without cloud based services. The technology provides servers, storage and virtualisation in one solution with complete transparency." - Tony Serratore, IT Manager

    Medical Manufacturing Success Story: Penlon

    Key Challenges

    • Existing solution was difficult and complex to manage
    • Inability to easily migrate data
    • The legacy solution was outdated and updates were proving difficult
    • No ability to scale out
    • Concerns over the reliability of business continuity

    Scale Computing Solution

    Penlon selected Scale Computing’s HC3 cluster, to support over 40 virtual machines.

    Business Benefits

    • No licensing costs
    • Improved data centre capabilities
    • Dramatically reduced time management
    • Added ability to scale out the IT infrastructure and plan IT budgets
    • Reduction in RPO and RTO
    • Complete business continuity for the IT environment

    Penlon is a leading medical device manufacturing company, based in Abingdon. Established in 1943, the company has a long-standing reputation for quality and service within the medical industry for manufacturing and distributing products and systems for anesthesia, intubation, oxygen therapy and suction. Penlon operates internationally, with a presence in over 90 countries, spanning across Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia.

    As a traditional medical manufacturing company, Penlon constantly reviews its product design, manufacturing processes and IT systems. As part of this Penlon looked to review its IT systems in order to deliver on two main objectives; simplified management and business continuity.

    Having previously moved to virtualisation in order to save time and to create a more streamlined and enhanced IT environment, Penlon wanted to simplify the management and complexity of its infrastructure whilst guaranteeing business continuity for its customers.

    IT Challenges

    Penlon had been previously relying on a traditional VMware environment, but over time it was proving too complex and difficult to manage. In particular, the complexity of the system meant that Penlon struggled to migrate data and install updates. Without regular updates the company was left vulnerable to downtime and costly outages, as there was no way to ensure they had the most up to date environment. Tony Serratore, IT Manager, at Penlon commented, “The systems were vastly difficult to manage and when it came to updates we had to ensure everything was in sync. If the system seemed to be working we would not even think about installing upgrades as it was too complex and came with risks. But this wasn’t a long term solution.”

    Not only was the existing VMware environment difficult to update, but the system was high maintenance. The IT team would have to allocate resources to ensure its smooth running, costing them both time and money. “The choice was to either stay with our current system running the risk of downtime or we could look for a new solution that was simple, cost effective, and easy to use,” explained Serratore.
    Identifying the key requirements

    Of paramount importance, not just to the IT team but to the company, was the need to guarantee continuity. Penlon also wanted the added ability to scale, adding capacity as and when needed. Serratore commented, “As an international company Penlon is constantly looking to expand its business. However, planning budgets for IT infrastructure ahead can be difficult. We wanted a solution which would work with us and support our growing business, offering the flexibility and agility we needed.”

    Proving the concept

    After evaluating the market and considering a number of other vendors such as Simplivity, Penlon opted for the Scale Solution. The company was introduced to Scale Computing through reseller NAS UK and opted for a two week Proof of Concept (POC) of the Scale Computing hyperconverged HC3 cluster. Serratore explained, “After registering our interest, we received a POC product within two days. Not only were we impressed with the technology but we felt Scale Computing would value us as a customer if we made that investment.”

    After running a successful POC, Penlon opted for the HC 4000 and HC 1000 cluster, which offered disaster recovery, high availability, cloning, replication and snapshots providing complete business continuity.

    Enjoying scalability, simplified management and business continuity

    The HC3 clusters dramatically reduced management time, allowing the IT department to focus on other challenges rather than IT infrastructure. In addition, the technology offered scale-out architecture providing Penlon the room to expand. Serratore noted, “The Scale solution fits perfectly with our IT roadmap as we can add capacity as and when needed. We don’t need to over provision and can simply expand our environment when needed. With Scale we can align IT strategy with business growth.”

    “After implementing Scale, we reduced our management time by hours. Previously we would have spent time managing our VMware environment but the Scale solution is so easy to use we have been able to dramatically reduce management time,” continued Serratore. “Our RPO and RTO dramatically reduced from three days to a matter of minutes. We can now use this time to focus on other IT priorities making a real difference to the business.”

    “With Scale we have effectively been able to build a data centre in a server room, without cloud based services. The technology provides servers, storage and virtualisation in one solution with complete transparency,” concluded Serratore.