Barfoot & Thompson taps Pure Storage and Cisco to drive transformation

Barfoot & Thompson taps Pure Storage and Cisco to drive transformation

Cloud-based systems reduced power consumption by almost 500 per cent, boost data management.

Credit: Supplied

With more than 78 branches across New Zealand and business booming, real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson could not afford to be slowed down by technology.

As the century-old private company expanded, it quickly became clear its IT infrastructure, including "massive" SQL server databases and other data management and analytics workloads, would not be able to handle the increasing number of transactions.

Understanding that, the company's IT team embarked on a digital transformation to modernise its compute and storage to match the scale of the business. At the centre of that was a shift to flash-based storage.

Barfoot & Thompson turned to Flashstack from Pure Storage and Cisco, implemented by Datacom, to provide a cloud-based platform for its analytics. Pure Storage has been pursuing a 100 per cent channel, "all flash" strategy to support hybrid cloud deployments in New Zealand with distribution through Westcon. 

The solution delivered business value through operational efficiencies, improved performance and through establishing a cost-effective infrastructure foundation for the agency's widely dispersed operations and teams.

“With previous vendors, we struggled to scale cost effectively and achieve the necessary performance required for loading and adding properties on our systems for clients,” said senior systems engineer Hector Romero.

FlashStack quickly solved those scaling issues, enabling the company to easily handle increasing workloads and meet customer demand. 

"In addition, the physical footprint of our racks went from twelve to three, which also brought our power consumption down from 5000W to 1100W," Romero said.

With a team of 20 in-house developers and the support of third party providers, the agency delivers an award-winning website, mobile apps and real estate specific software tools to help customers and staff receive the best experience.

“With the implementation of FlashStack, we are seeing tangible improvements throughout our applications," Romero said. "We are moving at least six times faster with our restores, backups, and SAN replication. Our in-house development teams are also able to deliver enhanced features faster to our customers."

The team is SAN to SAN snapshots for replication between datacentres and most recently refreshed the agency's back-up platforms using FlashArray as the target for Veeam backups alongside Pure Storage’s Safemode snapshots to help mitigate the risks of ransomware.

Another core application, required throughout the organisation, is reporting. Barfoot & Thompson’s property management division delivered resource intensive reports daily. On the backend, reporting runs through Microsoft BI which taps into several SQL databases.

With hundreds of employees using this platform and system, the company's IT team knew that the faster they could provide the data, the quicker customers could get access to the intel they needed.

After the introduction of Pure Storage, the speed of operations improved by at least 60 to 70 per cent, Romero said.

"Reports were being delivered within a minute instead of three minutes before," he said. "With the volume of reports having to be downloaded each day, these two minutes per report saves our organisation a massive amount of time. 

"This is time that is better spent on tasks that helps our business' bottom line."

Integration was seamless and there was a team of experts ready to troubleshoot if anything went wrong. 

"This level of customer service and aftercare was not an experience that we’ve previously enjoyed with other vendors and this has just made such a difference for our team to operate at optimal levels,” Romero said.

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Tags flashciscostorageDatacomreal estateBarfoot & ThompsonCloudPureStorage



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