November 8, 2019
Background – Genting Casino
Genting Casinos is part of the wider Genting Group, established in Malaysia in 1965. The organization is a global business currently valued at $24 billion, with interests spread across the world. Genting UK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Genting Group, which set up its foundations in 2016 through Genting Casinos. The company is now one of the largest gaming operators in the UK, with 42 casinos spread across the country, as well as gaming available online. Well known venues include Crockfords, the exclusive casino in Mayfair, and the Genting Hotel in Birmingham, which is the first UK resort with an international casino offering.
IT Challenges – Seeking Efficiency, Resilience and Simplicity
With 42 locations to service, and each of these needing continuous delivery, Genting Casinos looked into the option of an IT upgrade. The company wanted a robust and resilient solution, but with the ability to manage multiple sites, in the same way as distributed enterprise with remote and branch offices. Each of the casinos had previously built an IT environment that consisted of three separate HP servers with VMware, but it was difficult and complex to manage. In addition, with no business continuity or resilience the casinos were left vulnerable.
Genting Casinos wanted to upgrade its IT environment, with the primary focus of storage efficiency and resilience. One of the key challenges was the need to manage multiple sites, meaning the company required an edge computing system. With this in mind, the company decided to pursue a hyperconverged platform.
Jason Green, Senior Systems Engineer at Genting Casinos noted, “We wanted to modernize our IT environment, but it was essential that any new platform could cater to our multiple site demands. We embarked on a project to replace the existing IT hardware, but for us it wasn’t about storage or capacity. We wanted a platform that would simplify management, offer high performance and resilience. Hyperconvergence seemed like a natural fit, and we knew this was the way forward.”
Evaluating the market for hyperconvergence
Genting Casinos researched the market extensively and after settling on a shortlist of SimpliVity, Nutanix and Scale Computing, the company decided to deploy the HC3 cluster. “Scale Computing fit of all our requirements at a price point that offered value for money,” commented Green.
Green added, “Scale Computing was a perfect fit and after looking into the product we realized we could do a lot more than we originally thought. In terms of price point, it was perfect and we have great value for the money, with a product that we can trust.”
Through the help of trusted partner Vohkus, and after a successful proof of concept, the company opted to roll-out the Scale Computing HC3 platform across its casino sites. Currently the HC3 platform has been deployed in 23 locations, with plans for a full scale implementation to be in place by the end of 2019. Green explained, “We tried and tested the Scale Computing platform and ran a simulation test during the proof of concept to make sure we put it through its paces.”
The Distributed Enterprise
Loay Lawrence, Commercial and Communications Director at Vohkus, noted, “An edge solution can be challenging for any organization because it operates away from the main data center or site. With multiple sites involved it can be difficult to implement a smooth, simple and effective IT strategy. In particular, for Genting Casinos with 42 sites to cater for this could have been a major challenge. However, Scale Computing’s HC3 platform delivers the required simplicity, ideally designed for the distributed and branch office.”
Simplicity, scalability and availability
Since deployment, Genting Casinos is also benefiting from the added simplicity, scalability and availability, that reduces the infrastructure management footprint, ideal for the distributed enterprise.
Scale Computing’s HC3 solution combines servers, storage, hyperconvergence, virtualization, data protection and data replication into one single and easy-to-use platform. In addition, the simplicity includes rapid deployment, automated management capabilities and a single-pane-of-management, helping to reduce mundane daily tasks, saving time and money. Green added, “Scale Computing has helped us to free up time in many ways. We have limited on-site technical staff and their time is valuable. Rather than managing the underlining IT, it is all automated with Scale Computing, helping us to drive business value elsewhere.”
Green continued, “Since deployment we have been able to take copies of the virtual machines within a matter of seconds and can easily see the impact on each server. Scale Computing has enabled us to significantly reduce daily IT tasks that before were complex and time consuming.”
The HC3 platform also offers high availability (HA) with integrated clustering for automatic failover. This helps to keep organizations up and running, minimizing any potential impact from downtime. Scale Computing also provides the resources to simply add additional nodes as and when needed creating a scale-out architecture, which eliminates the need to over provision storage.
The inherent simplicity of Scale Computing has also eliminated any need for training or certification. Likewise, there are no addition licensing fees to pay as Scale Computing uses its own HyperCore operating system and KVM-based hypervisor.
Green added, “Any training or certification would not have been an option for us. With 42 sites, this would have taken up a lot of resources, pulling away valuable team members. We needed a solution that would be quick and easy to set up, and implement, and Scale Computing ticked these boxes.”
Genting Casinos is also benefitting from added business continuity and data resilience. With cloning, replication and snapshot features available, the company has peace of mind with the ability to quickly and effectively recover. With native built-in replication all the sites are protected without the need for an additional disaster recovery (DR) solution.
Green noted, “The added data resilience is a major plus – this is definitely something we would have looked for later down the line.”
Green concluded, “Scale Computing’s simplicity, availability and efficiency are perfect for any distributed organization requiring an edge solution. The Scale Computing support team were on hand throughout the entire process and we could not have asked for a more dedicated team. We are looking forward to continuing our work next year as we move towards a full scale roll out across the complete 42 casino sites.”
- With 42 sites to manage, the organization needed to simplify IT infrastructure
- Limited on-site technical resources
- Existing IT environment was complex and difficult to manage
- Limited data resilience with no snapshot or cloning capabilities
- The organization needed a central solution, with the ability to manage multiple sites nationwide
- Genting Casino chose the Scale Computing HC3 platform for edge deployment across 23 sites and will be continuing further expansion across its remaining 19 sites
- Simplified IT management
- No additional licensing fees to pay
- Added IT resilience with snapshot and cloning features
- Business continuity
- Centralized IT system with the ability to manage remote sites
- Rapid deployment and improved storage efficiency
- Improved performance
- Flexible scalability