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Christo du Raan .Next 2019

When a company grows fast, executives must keep up with the emerging challenges of keeping the business running efficiently. In addition to meeting the needs of a growing and diverse number of customers and suppliers, organizations must effectively respond to increased demands from internal operations, especially the information-technology department.

To deal with IT’s behind-the-scenes requirements, financial service company Trustco Group Holdings Ltd. — which recently expanded into other operations, including diamond mining — has moved to a hyperconverged computing infrastructure powered by Nutanix Inc.

“Our business has expanded quite quickly, and the old way of doing things — with the separate centers, separate switches, separate servers, those type of things — became a little bit cumbersome and difficult to manage,” said Christo du Raan (pictured), group IT chief operating officer of infrastructure at Trustco. “We decided [to] step back a little bit and see if there’s any solutions out there that makes it easier [and] that we can manage with less people.”

Raan spoke with Stu Miniman (@stu) and Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the .NEXT Europe event in Denmark. They discussed the process of moving the company to a hyperconverged space, along with the challenges and expectations of that change (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

Phased approach for a smooth transition

To mitigate potential problems associated with the move to HCI, Trustco decided to adopt a phased approach, according to Raan.

“We started off with the Community Edition, where we basically just dabbled in it, saw what we could do on it, and then we also had … training for the IT guys,” Raan explained. “So by the time that we got to deploying it in production, it was actually a very smooth transaction.”

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That doesn’t mean the process didn’t come without its challenges, the majority of which happened early on due to the magnitude of the change. “We made a huge move; we went totally 180 degrees from our Hyper-V environment … right over to [Nutanix AHV],” Raan said of the switch to the cloud-native virtualization OS. “We had a few challenges with a couple of our services and servers. But other than that, I must say, it was actually a pretty easy move for us.”

The move has increased Trustco’s agility, which Raan believes has always been one of the company’s key advantages in the Namibian market.

“We’ve moved from where there’s a person that needed to provision storage, needed to provision networking, needed to provision server and [virtual machines], and now all are basically done by one person. And most of those things we’ve already automized,” Raan stated. “That brought us quickly to market and made it so that we can deliver quicker solutions to our customers.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the .NEXT Europe event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the .NEXT Europe event. Neither Nutanix Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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