Like most organizations, the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) has a mandate to simplify IT, eliminating silos of complexity and streamlining operations. Recognized as a strategic partner to the Canadian canola farming community, CCGA’s role is to help farmers succeed by influencing national and international issues, programs and policies. CCGA undertakes policy development for over 43,000 canola farmers, affecting change in the areas of trade, transportation, marketing, sustainability, risk management and crop inputs.
The CCGA are also well regarded for innovation as an administrator of the Advance Payments Program. The organization provides cash advances to 10,000 farmers a year, making livestock advances, and pre- and post-harvest crop advances a reality for growers. All of this requires a reliable, stable IT platform, built with growth in mind.
Spacing was an issue, we were looking to grow our capacity while reducing our space requirement.
A long-time Dell customer, CCGA was reaching end of life on its servers. With capacity at its limit, the aging IT infrastructure was hampering the IT team’s ability to support the business. To help the company meet growing business demand, Mereno Tandia, IT Manager at CCGA began to research hyper-converged solutions. Hyper-converged systems consolidate compute and storage into a single software solution or appliance. “Spacing was an issue, we were looking to grow our capacity while reducing our space requirement,” said Tandia.
Working hand in hand with Dell, the Scalar team scoped out the requirements, developing a plan to support CCGA now and into the future. “We worked with CCGA to develop an approach that would provide better redundancy and overall management, removing the traditional IT siloes between server, storage and networking hardware with the hyper-converged solution,” said Tomasz Kochanowicz, Infrastructure and Cloud Architect at Scalar Decisions.
CCGA selected a Dell EMC XC Series hyper-converged solution that integrates PowerEdge servers and Nutanix software. This lets Tandia grow incrementally, increasing capacity and performance one node at a time. With space issues and capacity top of mind, the hyper-converged solution addresses these key concerns, while keeping IT-related infrastructure costs – including maintenance, facilities, and power – under control.
IT administration has also received an efficiency boost with the new streamlined environment. Administrators now manage the virtual environments at a VM level via a unified centralized management system. Most routine jobs are simplified and automated. “We are confident the new system will provide us access to capacity management features that will help us deliver better value to the business,” said Tandia. The 3 node system provides high availability within the CCGA data center with the capacity to expand to a cloud provider to address disaster recovery. And with the new cutting edge technology in place, CCGA are now reaping the benefits of managing day to day tasks within a single hyper-converged platform.
We are confident the new system will provide us access to capacity management features that will help us deliver better value to the business.