Avanade is majority owned by Accenture and was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation and has 21,000 professionals in more than 20 countries. Avanade helps its clients and their customers realize results through business-technology and cloud solutions, and managed services that combine insight, innovation, and expertise in Microsoft technologies.
There are three main reasons why Avanade chose clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT).
- First Avanade has been a long time NetApp customer and they tend to cycle through new arrays, and were attracted to clustered Data ONTAP’s on-demand ability to seamlessly migrate volumes from old nodes to new nodes in a cluster. The process was completely nondisruptive with NetApp DataMotion.
- The second reason was load balancing. The same capabilities that made seamless transitions possible made it easy to move data between cluster nodes or media types to deal with hot spots as they happen.
- Lastly NetApp has made a significant investment in clustered Data ONTAP, and they wanted to be a part of it. Avanade started transitioning to clustered Data ONTAP several years ago, and have been running on it exclusively for about a year.
Transition from 7-Mode to cDOT
Since Avanade is a hosting provider and a Microsoft shop and in their environment use Hyper-V as a hypervisor running on top of SMB 3.0, the transition from NetApp 7-Mode to cDOT was easy. Avanade used Hyper-V Storage Live Migration to move running workloads from 7-Mode platforms to clustered Data ONTAP and they were able to do that nondisruptively in the middle of the day. Because they used the native Hyper-V capabilities, they didn’t need any specific NetApp tools or technologies.
With 7-Mode Avanade had to take very few outages, but occasionally they would have to. Since upgrading to clustered ONTAP they have not had any outages. The benefit for Avanade is in not having to coordinate with hundreds of customers to look for downtime. Now they plan changes for midday when everyone is working. That way they’re all fresh in case anything unexpected happens.
In summary, the key distinguishing factors of clustered Data ONTAP for Avanade is the ability to make changes such as adding and removing systems from the cluster and moving workloads for load balancing, or to accommodate changing business requirements.