Carolinas IT, Inc. is a professional technology services firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1996, the company provides on-demand computer networking infrastructure and support to business clients. As a managed service provider (MSP), Carolinas IT must provide their cloud customers with the most secure and reliable product available at a price point that provides value.
Understanding these challenges, Carolinas IT looked to Lenovo for solutions. Lenovo addressed their data center needs by proposing a Flex System with new x240 M5 compute nodes and dual EN4093R switches. The Flex System gave Carolinas IT the flexibility to utilize their existing storage, networking and management tools (VMware), while upgrading their computing power to the latest-gen processors from Intel in a single, converged, easy-to-manage platform.
Carolinas IT Cloud Architect, Dan Fleming, said, “In a multitenant cloud environment, traffic usage patterns and needs can be extremely varied, bandwidth-hungry and complex. The EN4093R switches in our Flex environment allow for East-West communication within the chassis, providing low-latency, high-bandwidth communication between compute nodes, while saving valuable uplink bandwidth. Additionally, with vLAG and 40 Gb Ethernet support, bandwidth and availability needs outside the chassis are readily met as well. Implementing Quality of Service and other usage management technologies are critical to designing a complex multitenant environment, however, there’s no substitution for having large amounts of bandwidth available in meeting our clients’ needs.
Having more than 10 years of experience with Cisco routing and switching, I was a bit leery of the management and troubleshooting challenges I thought I might face while evaluating the Flex platform, but after a few minutes of use, I found myself familiar and at home with use of the ISCLI (Industry Standard Command Line Interface) on the EN4093R.
As a relationship-oriented company that prides itself on providing flexibility and careful understanding in meeting clients’ needs in all our offerings, our compute architecture has to conform to that. The Flex Systems Enterprise Chassis provides a flexible platform for us to meet our clients’ needs, regardless of scale or unique requirements. For example, we can provide for the needs of small- to mid-sized clients seeking dedicated hardware for licensing or compliance requirements with x222 compute nodes, serve other customers with general-purpose needs on larger, high-performance x240 compute nodes, and even host clients needing to support the IBM Power architecture, all from the same chassis.
We really value the layered management design of the Flex System. It simultaneously provides ease of use and high availability should some component of the management structure encounter problems. Our design philosophy must meet the needs of our clients that operate regulated or audited environments such as SOX 404, Part 11, HIPAA, PCI-DSS and SOC. These clients require demonstrated risk mitigation, and the Lenovo platform reduces the size of failure domains and eliminates single points of failure. The Flex System approach to management meets our clients’ uptime needs while keeping administrative burden under control.”
In addition to the Flex System solution, Carolinas IT was one of the first MSPs to enroll in the newly announced Lenovo Service Provider Program. President and CEO at Carolinas IT, Mark Cavaliero, is a big fan of the program and stated, “Lenovo’s technical, sales and management teams have impressed us every step of the way, and their dedication to our success has been evident from the start. We have found them to be consistently accessible, accommodating and eager to help us build our business. They have welcomed us to leverage their state-of-the-art briefing center to showcase the latest Lenovo technical innovations and capabilities for our clients. It is clear to us that they are taking their partnership with the channel seriously, as demonstrated by the recent rollout of their Service Provider program.
One of the challenges we have faced in offering managed hosting type models is the typical gap between equipment purchase and payment from a client. Lenovo’s Service Provider program includes an option to defer billing for up to 120 days on products, which helps us bridge the gap and avoid a cash crunch. Combined with a nice rebate as well as a trade-in program, this is the type of innovation and commitment to helping our business grow that makes us highly recommend Lenovo as a partner.”
The Lenovo / Carolinas IT partnership is off to a great start!