PXP reduces costs and raises efficiency with hyperconverged IT

Payment provider PXP simplifies its datacentre setup and gains a 30% boost in performance

Payment service gateway provider PXP has replaced its three-tier IT infrastructure with hyperconverged IT from Nutanix to support expansion into the US.

The provider of Chip and PIN payment services for retailers including Argos and Camper Urban Outfitters, as well as hotels such as Dorchester, selected Nutanix due to the cost of refreshing its existing IT.

“We had a big Oracle [Pillar] SAN and a Cisco storage network. Oracle offered to sell us a new SAN, but it was expensive and our VMware was hopelessly out of date,” Mike Day, managing director PxP, told delegates attending the hyperconverged stream at IP Expo in London.

“We were also running out of capacity. Our original datacentre was in the UK, but as we were doing business in the US, we needed capacity and datacentres in the US,” said Day.

The company’s primary applications are internet-based. It also runs older Visual Basic 6 software and a SQL Server relational database. These were previously run on Dell servers and Pillar Axiom storage using a VMware ESXi virtualisation platform.

“We now run two datacentres equipped with Nutanix NX3460 as the main server platform,” said Day.

The company also uses Nutanix NX6235 for cold storage and the Nutanix NX1350 appliance to host its demilitarised zone. These all operate out of the London datacentre, but the company has redeployed some Nutanix hardware at Stanstead Abbots in the US.

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Commenting on the improvement PXP has seen since replacing the IT, Day said: “We use fewer servers and CPUs. Plus we have seen a 30% performance improvement running on Nutanix.”

The company has also shifted from needing dual redundancy (n+n, ie twice as many servers) in its datacentres to a so-called n+1 environment where it only needs one extra box for redundancy. “We can easily swing additional server capacity in or out as required with a few mouse clicks,” said Day.

Looking ahead, he said the company plans to use Nutanix’s AHY management console rather than VMware’s management suite, to reduce costs.

Other companies have experienced similar savings, such as London Capital Group which swapped its server-plus-SAN architecture for Nutanix.

Nutanix recently went public on Nasdaq. The hyperconverged infrastructure provider has traditionally done well selling scalable pay-as-you-grow architecture for virtual desktop environments, but it hopes to create a niche as a provider of infrastructure to run enterprise applications that are not suitable for running on a public cloud.

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