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Winemaker racks Pure all-NVMe all-flash for rapid SAP response

Concha Y Toro also pocketed a 35% saving in storage costs following a move from as-a-service storage provision to Pure Storage FlashArray//X all-flash hardware

Chile-based winemaker Concha Y Toro has slashed application response times by 20x and cut TCO by 35% compared with its previous storage, following a move to Pure Storage all-flash arrays.

The winemaker grows grapes on 11,000 hectares in Chile, Argentina and the US with distribution networks across the Americas and Europe. Its core applications centre on SAP, which CIO Daniel Duran describes as the company’s “nervous system”.

SAP connects to Concha Y Toro subsidiaries and runs sales, ordering and invoicing, as well as production planning and warehouse management. As well as mainstream business applications SAP also supports automation and monitoring for irrigation systems to control humidity and temperature of grapes in the field, internet of things sensors in wine vats that monitor the fermentation process, and experimental projects such as drone-captured video analysis of grapevine health.

The server estate comprises 12 physical boxes with approximately 180 virtual machines in use at any one time.

The company had been using storage as-a-service from a Chilean provider, which worked well until much increased contention drove response times to unacceptable levels, said Duran.

“It was fine for us for those years,” he said. “But at the end of 2015 the solution became available to many more customers and speed and response times suffered. For three or four months it was terrible. Then they corrected it but we decided to move because we couldn’t trust it anymore.”

Concha Y Toro evaluated the market – looking at IBM, NetApp and Dell EMC – but was not happy with what was being proposed by those vendors at the time. “At that time all three had all-flash products but they didn’t recommend them to us. They were pushing us towards hybrid flash,” said Duran.

Read more about all-flash storage

So, the company deployed Pure Storage FlashArray//M all-flash arrays – an M50 and an M20 – at it main and secondary datacentres in Chile. That initial deployment has now grown to 50TB raw (23TB useable) and on the replacement for the //M series, FlashArray//X.

FlashArray//X are all-NVMe with NVMe-over-fabrics connectivity to hosts. That deployment comprises and X50 and X20 at the two sites.

Key benefits have been felt in response times and overall TCO. “When we moved to Pure Storage at the beginning of 2016 response times averaged 20ms,” said Duran. “We got that down to 1ms, and when we moved that to production systems it was the same.”

“Our users were very happy. A materials costing process that had previously lasted around three days, for example, now took less than 8 hours.

Pure Storage targets the high performance market with its FlashArray//X products. Products in the //X range are 3U form factor all-NVMe flash equipped and go from the //X10 which scales to 22TB raw, 73TB useable up to the //X90, which can run to 3.3 petabytes useable.

Meanwhile, capacity deployments are targeted by Pure with FlashArray//C and analytics with FlashBlade. It also provides its Pure-as-a-Service SaaS offering and Pure Cloud Block Store.  A recent push is also towards containerisation, which saw Pure make a bold acquisition in Kubernetes persistent storage vendor Portworx for $370m late last year.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

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