FlexPod and WD-40 Unseize IT

This week I came across a NetApp success story that references a product that almost everyone on this planet can relate to. I know for a fact that I have at least 4 cans of this in my garage at home and it gets used for a multitude of purposes. In fact my relationship with this product goes way back to school days. Then cars then were not so reliable, especially on a cold damp days in the UK winter.

My father was tasked with driving us to school and then on to his work. Invariably the car would not start. Much cursing was to be heard and very quickly the bonnet (hood) was raised. Then the magic spray for cars would appear, much like the magic spray used on footballers and athletes. A quick application in those places where cars of the day needed it, namely the electrics, back in the car and presto the car started and off we went. For some weeks in the UK this was a daily occurrence. And the magic spray - WD-40. 

They say brand is everything and WD-40 is one of those products that is recognised worldwide. In fact it has an amazing 98% brand awareness rating. I decided to try this out on one of our younger team members and sure enough she had a can in the car for solving the problem of a squeaky clutch peddle.  WD-40 originally came out of the aerospace industry the WD standing for 'Water Displacement' while the 40 related to the 40th attempt to get the formula right. I guess its the geek in me, but I somehow knew this without even checking.

The WD-40 Company is based in San Diego and has seen steady global expansion over the years. Like many organisations they had lots of legacy systems and providing consistent performance for common business applications such as BI, ERP, Database and eMail was challenging. Lynn Buck, director of IT Operations at the WD-40 Company recognised the opportunity to increase capacity & virtualisation while standardising hardware and simplifying life-cycle-management.

NetApp partner Datalink made the proposal to build the next generation WD-40 Company IT on the FlexPod Datacenter Platform. The FlexPod converged infrastructure pulls together Cisco UCS Compute, VMware  vSphere Virualisation and NetApp FAS unified storage with Clustered Data ONTAP. This provided a proven validated platform for non-disruptive operations, scalability, when required, and fast data migration.

The benefits of the FlexPod Implementation were immediate.  Data deduplication saved up to 35% of the available storage capacity. A ten fold improvement in storage I/O was realised, as was an 8 fold improvement in network throughput resulting in minimal application latency. The virtualised common business applications, such as eMail and business analytics completed much faster and have set the company up for future performance and growth challenges in the coming years.

While reading this success story It stuck me that FlexPod and the ubiquitous WD-40 have similar benefits. Heres why:

  • Frees seized parts - unlocks value, lets you move on quickly
  • Prevents you buying a new one - deduplication
  • Easy to use - Dash board management and monitoring
  • Fast Acting - Low latency
  • Saves Time - Global namespace, easy data migration
  • Scales - For small jobs, large Jobs and future growth
  • Many use cases - certified and validated
  • Large install base - In thousands of datacentres worldwide

Finally the last quote from Lyn Buck made a lot of sense ' ....With FlexPod, IT is no longer a bottleneck - we're a  business enabler.'

Highly recommend reading:  WD-40 Company success story is here:

WD-40 Eliminates Roadblocks to Accommodating Business Growth with FlexPod

FlexPod information and collateral can be found here:

FlexPod for Datacentres

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@lozdjames