PeakColo Guarantees 100% SLA for the Cloud with Data ONTAP 8 Clustering

This blog is part of a series on Data ONTAP 8 clustering, and provides an overview of a recent customer success story.


Data ONTAP 8.1 blog series:


1.       Why Scale-Out & What’s New.

2.       Unified Scale-Out – What’s Supported & Why It’s Unique

3.       Nondisruptive Operations – What Does it Mean?

4.       Enterprise Ready Data ONTAP 8 Cluster-Mode

5.       What’s Included In A Cluster Configuration

6.       Data ONTAP 8 Clustering – Multitenancy Designed In

7.       ESG Lab Validation of Data ONTAP 8.1 Unified Clustering

8.       Storage Monitoring Made Easy:  A Video Demonstration of Data ONTAP 8 Clustering

9.       Data ONTAP Unified (SAN and NAS) Cluster Benchmark Performance

10.    Announcing Data ONTAP 8.1.1 operating in Cluster-Mode




Founded in 2006, PeakColo is a cloud services provider headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The privately owned company focuses on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing, delivering public, private, hybrid, disaster recovery, and custom solutions.  To further its competitive edge, the company recently launched its Peak­Colo WhiteCloud Services, a unique IaaS solution that allows value-added resellers, systems integrators, and managed service providers to rebrand the solution for their own cloud services.


The Challenge


To deliver its competitive WhiteCloud Services, PeakColo needed to enhance its data centers with a flexible, cost-effective storage solution and robust storage management capabilities. The company needed highly flexible, scal­able storage clusters that would allow it to quickly provision storage for new service provider customers, and Secure multi-tenancy was imperative to quickly and effectively partition storage into private, flexible storage environments.


PeakColo leveraged important strategic technology partnerships with VMware, Brocade, and Dell servers to build a state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure to support its WhiteCloud Services. It selected NetApp to serve as the stor­age foundation for the enterprise-class IaaS solution.


The Solution


PeakColo, a participant in the NetApp Partner Program and a NetApp Gold Level Service Provider, deployed a combined 10 NetApp FAS3270 and FAS3240 storage systems in its 5 Type-II SSAE 16/SOC 1 data centers. NetApp Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode provides the massive throughput and scalability needed to rapidly grow its WhiteCloud Services while delivering superior cloud services to existing customers. NetApp Vserver helps PeakColo achieve maximum flexibility of its shared storage infrastructure with secure multi-tenancy.


“PeakColo is in the business of enabling our service provider custom­ers to be successful by helping them achieve new levels of cost efficiency and service flexibility,” says Luke Norris, chief executive officer at PeakColo. “NetApp is a business enabler for PeakColo. NetApp Data ONTAP 8 Cluster-Mode helps us optimize our NetApp storage environment, securely host multiple customers on individual storage systems, and easily scale to manage 300% annual growth.”


Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode is configured in pairs for high availability, which helps PeakColo meet its stringent 100% uptime SLAs. The Data ONTAP operating system equips PeakColo with the flexibility to add up to dozens of FAS controllers and storage as needed to scale to multiple gigabytes per second of throughput and petabytes of capacity. The company balances performance and cost with NetApp multiprotocol support, which enables PeakColo to leverage both NFS and iSCSI investments. NetApp dedupli­cation enables PeakColo to reduce storage requirements by up to 73%, decreasing hardware, power, and cooling costs.


Business Benefits


Nondisruptive operations


“NetApp Data ONTAP 8 Clustering is key to providing our customers the flexibility to leverage the same storage environ­ment to meet the diverse and changing needs of their customers. Simply put, NetApp Data ONTAP 8 Clustering is a game changer.”  Luke Norris, chief executive officer at PeakColo


NetApp helps PeakColo meet the changing service requirements of its customers with Data ONTAP 8 Cluster-Mode, allowing PeakColo to deliver mixed workloads in a balanced, non-disruptive way. Whether customers demand high random reads, high ran­dom writes, non-random reads, or other types of workloads, IT managers can easily move data between controllers and storage tiers without disrupting users and applications. They can also seam­lessly perform maintenance and upgrade activities by moving data among con­trollers, with no disruption to systems and business operations. In addition, PeakColo can also easily scale the storage as a logical clustered unit.


“The flexibility of NetApp Data ONTAP 8 Clustering is invaluable to us as a ser­vice provider, allowing us to be much more nimble than our service provider competitors,” notes Norris. “I don’t know any storage operating system technol­ogy that comes remotely close to it.”


Easy storage provisioning


Data ONTAP 8 Clustering technology helps enable PeakColo to build individual virtual SANs for its customers and connect the SANs to each customer’s private VMware cloud environment. Quickly provisioning virtual SANs is vital to customer satisfac­tion and revenue generation.


“NetApp Data ONTAP 8 Cluster-Mode enables us to provision storage in less than two hours and establish the entire virtual SAN for a new customer in less than four hours,” says Norris. “From there, customers can provision the resources needed to meet the require­ments of their own customers. Our cus­tomers log into the Data ONTAP 8 Web interface and view and manage the stor­age like their own private SAN. We can manage the entire NetApp cluster from a central portal. Less than two full-time storage administrators manage 2PB of NetApp data. NetApp helps us reduce IT management costs, and we can pass along those savings to our customers.”


Scale-out as needed


Besides streamlining storage manage­ment, Data ONTAP 8 Clustering allows PeakColo to scale out at the pace needed to be competitive in the cloud market. NetApp performance enabled by the Virtual Storage Tier, 10GbE inter­faces, and other capabilities helps PeakColo achieve 100% availability and meet rigorous SLAs with its custom­ers. NetApp also helps the company close deals when service providers experience the superior I/O throughput delivered by NetApp during proof-of-concept (POC) trials.


The next blog in this series will focus on a recent white paper by an industry analyst.



Mike McNamara