The manager of casinos and hotels Partouche has set up SANsanssymphony from Datacore as part of its storage virtualization project. Ease of deployment, reduced downtime and good value for money were all on the agenda.
Created in 1973, the Partouche group operates around forty casinos, mainly in France – with a first establishment in Saint-Amand les Eaux – but also in Switzerland, Belgium and Tunisia. Its activity also extends to hotels, spas and golf courses… The information systems department is structured around three subsidiaries: Appolonia (development of tools and management of casinos), Partouche Technologies (development of tools and digital products, data and marketing) as well as Partouche SI. The latter brings together the traditional trades of an IT department including system infrastructures, networks, telecommunications, user work environments, etc.
Partouche’s casino business operates almost 24/7, 365 days a year. This has a direct consequence: the slightest cut in the game operation management IS leads to a direct and immediate shortfall. To minimize downtime, the company has made substantial IT investments in each of its establishments, particularly in the casino storage platforms. In order to anticipate their obsolescence, Partouche launched a hardware renewal study and took the decision to eliminate the SAN bays considered to be critical points in its establishments and whose cost was relatively expensive. The group then set out to find a supplier who also offered support and after-sales services, unlike its previous partner, whose technical expertise and levels of service offered were considered “too variable and unsatisfactory”.
A project carried out over 18 months
As part of a benchmark, the Partouche group studied several offers: Datacore SANsanssymphony, VMware vSAN, Microsoft S2D and Nutanix. The balance sheet? VMware too expensive and requiring a big increase in skills, S2D incompatible with environments based on 2 nodes and a high cost, as for Nutanix elsewhere. Conversely, the Datacore solution was deemed to have “excellent value for money while being technically relatively flexible”. In addition to these aspects, Partouche also appreciated the publisher’s ability to support the implementation of its PoC, the involvement of its pre-sales teams as well as its commercial approach.
Spread over 18 months, this project was directly deployed by Partouche’s internal IT teams with support delivered to the publisher. SANsansymphony was set up quickly, over 3 days, thanks to its deployment automation capabilities. While Datacore allows a large amount of data to be placed in RAM to speed up processing times and the overall performance of the solution, it is however subject to a very high level of sensitivity in terms of power supply stability for host servers. A weakness made up for by a project to improve the reliability of power sources in the Partouche infrastructure. With the deployment of automatic source transfer systems, electrical architecture work and the implementation of supervision mechanisms to automatically disable Datacore cache operation in the event of loss of a power source and /or a host power supply component.
A central and strategic project
The benefits of Datacore are on several levels. In the simplicity of administration for IT teams, with management considered to be “no more complicated” than that of a solution based on physical SAN equipment. With the key to gain serenity as to the assurance of perpetuating its access to data. But also with the drastic reduction in the duration of unavailability of server architectures, not to mention performance gains. “The fault tolerance of the Datacore solution-based storage system is much higher than that of a dual-controller SAN. Since deploying the Datacore solution, we have not experienced any incident related to our storage solutions, whereas this type of incident was common before, around 1 incident per month with the previous solution”, explains Jean-Marc Requet, CIO of Partouche. Considered central and strategic, this project required several hundreds of thousands of euros of investment.
Satisfied with SANsanssymphony, Partouche is also planning a second deployment of this solution as part of its data center outsourcing project with the transfer of resources that are currently centralized and hosted internally.