Drastic Improvement in Performance
So noticeable was the improvement that some users reported something “wrong.” “It solved for us the need for speed and storage space,” McLoughlan said. “But that directly translates to good service, efficient service and responsiveness.” The service impact was felt directly by Westfund staff and the customers they serve. Claims application wait times were reduced from 28 seconds to less than one second almost overnight. The employee productivity gains, simply being able to help people faster and thus help more people, equal an annual savings of $100k AUS. Performance improvement is having new impact on the IT development teams as well, giving them the speed needed to develop test and deploy much faster than before. Projects that would have created a drag on the production performance can now be executed with confidence.
“From a development cycle perspective, it’s back to almost instantaneous.”, McLoughlan said “The strategic plan has been accelerated significantly. The advantage is that we were able to move forward on a lot of the offerings.”
Disasters Avoided, Costs Saved
In addition to performance improvement, application availability has been enhanced through the integrations of NetApp ONTAP with VMware Site Recovery Manager. Now Westfund can use offsite DR in a on-premises or a hybrid-cloud future, the processes and tooling are the same. One button recoverability and DR testing capabilities enhance the value of the VMware environment and the NetApp storage infrastructure. Integration also means smaller administration footprint, it requires fewer people to manage it, allowing them to focus on higher-value projects.
Responsiveness Delivery of New Services
The upgrade and an eventual migration of the data centre from
onsite Lithgow to offsite Sydney and to multi-cloud platforms will also go long way to improve the availability and security of corporate systems. Use of the cloud for disaster recovery will help reduce costs, minimise the need for additional IT staff, and ensure the insurer can
meet any governance, risk and compliance guidelines.
The investment is going to help with Westfund with more predicable costs and additional opportunities for savings, such as reducing the need for IT staff to manage different platforms. NetApp ONTAP for
storage management in a hybrid environment does it all, on-premises, in the cloud, production, development, DR, from a single view.
Cloud-First Future Strategy
Westfund is in an enviable position, as the company is just now beginning its cloud journey. A few applications and sites have utilised the cloud but the future presents opportunities to improve critical business services and create entirely new services that leverage on-demand capacity and cost efficiency.
“We’re now at the point where our infrastructure and our bandwidth are ready for us to pursue a truly cloud first approach, but without compromising on cost or security and without being stuck. And NetApp enables that. It enables freedom of choice.”