The Challenges of Scaling a Complex Hybrid Environment
Driven by its mission to make a substantial contribution towards creating wealth in the Netherlands and resolving food insecurity worldwide, Rabobank is an organization that prides itself on delivering an excellent end-user experience. A key element of this commitment to customer experience: assuring application performance.
When they began exploring AI-powered Application Resource Management (ARM), the Rabobank team was managing an already complex VMWare-Hyper-V hybrid environment in a rapidly evolving landscape. They needed to not only assure the performance of the 20,000 VMs in their current environment, but also ensure they were well positioned to capitalize on any opportunities they may have to innovate down the road. Ever-changing demand within their current environment was inevitable and overprovisioning was not a sustainable option. Even though they were a high-performing team, Rabobank IT could not maintain target response times manually. Moreover, as they relied on disparate tools to monitor their environment, they could not be 100% certain of the implications of a resourcing decision before it was implemented. Resource allocation was a problem beyond human scale.
Assuring Performance through Full-Stack Visibility and Automation
In order to assure application performance across their on-premises environment, Rabobank first needed a comprehensive view of their entire environment. They needed to be able to understand the relationships between their applications and infrastructure so that they could see where resources needed to be redistributed.
By collecting data from Rabobank’s entire stack (application, infrastructure and network), Turbonomic helps Rabobank correlate data from various siloes into a single common data model. This holistic insight allows Rabobank to proactively prevent application delays and ensure that any resourcing changes implemented do not simply move the bottleneck in another layer. It also drives efficiency and consistency when it comes to capacity planning. Pre-built workflows enable the operational and financial implications of any configuration changes to be determined in minutes rather than days or weeks, reducing time to market and improving the accuracy of hardware investments.
Rabobank used Turbonomic to model hardware consolidation on Test and Production environments, which when implemented translated to a 15% to 23% hardware reduction, equivalent to 276 vCPUs. Hardware cost avoidance alone was in excess of €4M, but when the software stack was also taken into consideration, savings and cost avoidance really kicked in. Since Turbonomic proved so successful at consolidating workloads, without adversely affecting performance, it was unsurprising that software license ring fencing, entirely driven by Turbonomic using VMWare TAGS, proved equally financially beneficial.
"Turbonomic's full-stack visibility has not only helped us achieve a 15% to 23% hardware reduction. It has also allowed us to enhance our customer experience by reducing our time to market and improving application response time."
Manager of Storage and Compute
Breaking Down Siloes to Enable DevOps and Support Growth
Additionally, Turbonomic ARM has helped the Rabobank team to break down siloes between their application owners and infrastructure operations team. They were able to bridge this gap because with Turbonomic they had a new level of insight into their environment and the impact of their resourcing decisions. Because Turbonomic integrates with Dynatrace, Rabobank had clear evidence that they were improving application response time when they chose to fully automate vMotion and Live Migration decisions. The team also uses Turbonomic's resizing capabilities on a more manual basis during approved change windows. Additionally, they were able to match application behavior changes following events such as monthly patching or release cycles. This allowed the infrastructure operations team to build trust with the application owners. They had plenty of data demonstrating that driving efficiency and reducing cost would not compromise application performance. Instead, it contributed to a more performant environment overall and it freed up the team to focus on innovation.
"When managing more than 20,000 VM’s in a dynamic and demanding environment, we know from experience that we can trust Turbonomic to ensure our applications have the resources they need when they need them."
Manager of Storage and Compute
As they move forward, Rabobank remains committed to their mission of delivering exceptional end-user experience while continuing to innovate. Integration with tools such as Websphere will deliver further insight to identify and resolve bottlenecks and maximize both customer experience and business value. The team are looking into enabling a VM to grow or shrink according to the resources needed. When managing more than 20,000 VM’s in a dynamic and demanding environment, the team have grown accustomed to let Turbonomic take the strain.