Building on its strong reputation for providing outstanding IT services to small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland and Sweden, managed services provider Prog-It has expanded its reach to help more companies reap the rewards of robust, reliable, and affordable IT.
As Prog-It’s client base increased, so did the complexity of its hosting infrastructure. Following several years of successful growth and multiple business acquisitions, Prog-It had built up a large estate of heterogeneous server, storage, and network hardware across three separate data centers.
Ossi Rajala, Sales Manager at Prog-It, takes up the story: “As we expanded our operations, we found that our infrastructure was gradually becoming harder to manage and more costly to maintain. As we relied on hardware from a variety of vendors, we were locked into expensive refresh cycles and costly hypervisor licenses.”
Seizing Opportunities for Innovation
With its existing vendor contracts due for renewal, Prog-It identified an opportunity to rationalize its data center operations and reduce costs.
Rajala comments: “We decided to consolidate our three data centers into a unified platform from a single provider. Taking this approach would help us to keep our IT costs low and make infrastructure management much simpler. Previously, we relied on small teams of experts to manage different hardware platforms and we wanted to establish an architecture that IT generalists could manage easily.”
As well as simplifying system management, Prog-It aimed to enhance its services to keep up with its clients’ evolving needs.
“Technology is constantly advancing, which creates new opportunities for our clients,” comments Rajala.
“In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in demand for self-service capabilities and reporting features,” he continues. “Clients also demand greater flexibility—they want to be able to spin up and spin down new environments for very short-term projects, such as development activities and proof of concepts, and pay for the resources they use on a per-day, per-hour or even per-minute basis. Our existing infrastructure limited our ability to deliver this level of elasticity.”
Next-Generation Composable Cloud
Following an extensive vendor evaluation, Prog-It narrowed down its search to the Lenovo* ThinkAgile Series range. “Lenovo’s partnerships with some of the industry’s leading independent software vendors is what first attracted us to the ThinkAgile range. We liked the idea of all-in-one, integrated appliances, as it fit perfectly with our drive for simplification.”
To help Prog-It choose the right ThinkAgile platform to meet it needs, Lenovo invited the company to visit its Executive Briefing Center (EBC) in the UK to test out the product range and speak to expert advisors. During its visit to the EBC, Prog-It made a comprehensive comparison of the different ThinkAgile platforms, and the Lenovo* ThinkAgile CP Series was the clear frontrunner.
ThinkAgile CP is a composable private cloud system, equipped with 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, that enables administrators to dynamically allocate virtualized compute, storage and networking resources to provision private cloud services with ease. ThinkAgile CP supports multi-tenancy, with physical and logical workload and network isolation. Lenovo* ThinkAgile CP Cloud Controller provides a single pane of glass for managing tenancy, service catalogs, infrastructure lifecycle, orchestration, and workloads for an unlimited number of sites.
Rajala remarks: “One of the key deciding factors was the Lenovo solution’s built-in multi-tenancy capabilities, which enable us to keep client environments completely separate and secure.”
He adds: “We were also pleased that ThinkAgile CP came equipped with 2nd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors—the workload-optimized CPU platform delivers consistently high performance, ensuring that we can meet demanding service-level agreements.”
To ensure a smooth implementation, Prog-It enlisted the help of a third-party integration partner and received comprehensive training from the local Lenovo team in Finland.
“Both the installation and the migration phases went very smoothly, and we gained a great deal of experience—we’re now experts in migrating from other hypervisors to the ThinkAgile CP platform,” says Rajala. “Whenever we encountered any roadblocks during the migration, the local Lenovo team were always on hand to help us push through them quickly and effectively.”
Why Lenovo? Higher Productivity, Lower Cost Through Simpler, Automated Operations
Since moving to the Lenovo* ThinkAgile CP platform, Prog-It has significantly reduced the size and complexity of its infrastructure, simplifying administration and cutting costs.
“The Lenovo* ThinkAgile CP Series platform gave us the opportunity to close down two of our three sites and run all of our operations from a single fault tolerant data center entity,” explains Rajala. “And because we’re now using the ThinkAgile CP virtualization software, we’ve made a huge saving on our hypervisor licenses. This translates into a significant reduction in our total cost of ownership [TCO]. And thanks to the Lenovo* CP Cloud Controller tool, we have managed to reduce the amount of time we spend on system administration by 75% each day, improving productivity and driving down costs further still.”
With ThinkAgile CP underpinning its operations, Prog-It is also better equipped to provide clients with tailored services and flexible pricing—sharpening its competitive edge.
“A lower TCO means that we can pass on cost-savings to clients,” says Rajala. “And because we can provision and manage data center resources much more easily than before, we can also offer more flexible pricing packages. For example, clients can pay for resources by the minute. They are delighted with this new approach, as it enables them to spin up and spin down temporary environments at their convenience, and only pay for the resources they need.
“With the Lenovo* ThinkAgile CP Series platform, we can also pinpoint precisely where our clients’ data is stored within our data center. This is a big selling point for companies who need to track their data at a granular level to ensure regulatory compliance.”
Prog-It has already received positive feedback from its clients since moving to the Lenovo* ThinkAgile CP Series platform and anticipates that the new solution will support client services for many years to come.
Rajala concludes: “We set out to find a cost-effective and easy-to-manage private cloud system and the Lenovo* ThinkAgile CP Series platform has exceeded our expectations. We’re looking forward to building on our strategic partnership with Lenovo in the years ahead as we continue to expand our client base and develop new services.”