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Mantra Group's Accelerated Portfolio Growth Benefits from Scale and Agility of Cisco and NetApp FlexPod® for VMware Virtual Data Centre Solution

 

SYDNEY, Australia – October 20, 2011 - Mantra Group, a leading corporate and leisure accommodation provider in Australia and New Zealand, announced today that it has selected a Cisco® and NetApp FlexPod®for VMware solution to help it create a scalable and flexible data centre virtualisation platform that combines networking, computing, storage and server virtualisation and aligns with its evolving business requirements.

Fueled by its success with its three well-known and trusted brands — Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree — Mantra Group pursued a strategic growth strategy and added over a hundred new properties in a three year period through the acquisition of nine hotel groups.  Now Mantra Group is the second largest accommodation operator in Australia with quality property located in every capital city and major holiday destination in Australia and New Zealand that ranges from luxurious resorts and retreats to self-contained apartments.  To support this strategy for aggressive growth, Mantra Group required a highly adaptable and scalable infrastructure stack, FlexPod, that would allow it to rapidly integrate differentiating technology from acquisitions, quickly virtualise key applications and then make the services accessible to the rest of the organization via a private cloud.

"With 110 hotel, resort and retreat properties in Australia and New Zealand, we are in an exciting phase of growing our online business and extending our brand into new markets.  We selected Cisco, NetApp and VMware to help us maintain our flexible and nimble approach to providing streamlined and low cost IT systems for maximized business revenue.  The FlexPod solution has delivered as promised the infrastructure scalability, a lower-cost operating model, and speed in the deployment of new services – all while allowing us to achieve our power conservation objectives," said Garry Rich, Group General Manager for IT, Mantra Group.

The Mantra Group's selection of Alphawest to deploy a private cloud with FlexPod for VMware built on the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™), Cisco Nexus® switches, NetApp FAS3210 unified storage system and VMware virtualisation and cloud infrastructure supports its rapid expansion as follows:

  • Agility for rapid response to changing business and market demands.With a rapid succession of acquisitions, Mantra IT was faced with the task of consolidating, unifying and virtualising more than ninety physical servers, ten storage devices, and dozens of legacy systems with VMware vSphere® across the FlexPod solution with minimal disruption to the business.  This resulted in an 80 percent reduction in physical servers required for core applications. Identifying a strong consumer shift to online room reservations early on, a key strategy for Mantra IT was to take advantage of its virtualised pool of resources to quickly scale up and implement an online reservation system. This online reservation system now provides an exceptional Web experience for prospective guests and competitive advantage for hotel operators through improved access to reservation information and promotion of room availability into a wider number of wholesale and retail channels.
  • Speedy deployment of services and time-to-value.  Taking advantage of the dynamic provisioning and scaleout capabilities of FlexPod, it took Mantra IT less than five days to consolidate its central reservations system to the FlexPod private cloud. This was achieved with zero-downtime, allowing the business to continue its business operations throughout the migration. Already the Mantra Group and more importantly its hotel operators are benefitting from the real-time updates on room occupancy and availability that are powerful tools in building customer intimacy and loyalty programs and refining marketing strategies.
  • Expand green agenda from hotel room to the data centre.The Mantra Group has been recognized for its continued commitment to corporate social responsibility with a strong focus on environmental sustainability.  In alignment with this commitment, the Group selected Cisco, NetApp and VMware infrastructure for its multidimensional scalability within an extremely condensed form-factor. Already the Group has reduced its physical servers in production from 90 to just 24 and as a result expects to achieve 60 percent in carbon emission savings.
  • Eliminate complexity and achieve operational efficiencies.Furthermore, while the data centre infrastructure increased in scale and complexity through the acquisitions, the size of the Mantra IT staff did not grow.  The pretested architectural design of the Cisco and NetApp FlexPod solution with its dramatically simplified infrastructure management of multiple applications and workloads enabled Mantra IT and its partner Alphawest to implement the solution in ten days. The automation capabilities of Cisco UCS also enabled the IT organisation to be more proactive and spend more time focused on strategic initiatives and less time on maintenance and routine tasks.

"With an increasing trend of businesses adopting on-premise private cloud solutions, Alphawest was delighted to be able to work with Mantra Group to implement an industry leading solution based on NetApp FlexPod. Uniquely it was one of the first deployments of end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). As Alphawest maintains expertise across all three vendors involved, we were able to offer Mantra Group a single point of contact to build a solution that includes future scalability and redundancy on a single unified platform," said Ian Smith, CEO, Alphawest.

"Mantra Group is a great example of an Australian customer realising the benefits of establishing a strong, flexible technology foundation on which to grow its business.  The FlexPod solution allows Mantra Group to adapt quickly as the market demands and as a result, maintain its leading position within the local accommodation sector.  We are pleased to be working with Mantra Group in partnership with Cisco and VMware," said Peter O'Connor, Vice President, NetApp Australia and New Zealand.

"We are delighted to bring the FlexPod solution to the Mantra Group, providing them with a flexible IT infrastructure which helps transform their data centres into a virtualized platform, enabling them to deliver highly secure services-on-demand for the highly competitive hospitality industry," said Duncan Bennet, Managing Director, VMware Australia.

"In the hospitality industry, hotel brands are in a constant state of evolution, refinement and transformation to attract guests. Cisco is pleased that the Mantra Group has selected the FlexPod solution with NetApp and VMware to continue to provide its 110 properties across Australia and New Zealand with flexible and scalable on-demand services for energy- and cost- efficient operations and optimised IT staff productivity," said Dylan Morison, Data Centre Practice Manager for Cisco Australia and New Zealand.

Technorati Tags: Cisco, Unified Computing System, FlexPod, NetApp, VMware, virtualisation, data centre, data storage

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Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com.au. For ongoing news, please go to The Network in Australia and New Zealand at http://newsroom.cisco.com/anz.

About NetApp

NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that accelerate business breakthroughs and deliver outstanding cost efficiency. Discover NetApp's passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at www.netapp.com.

About VMware

VMware is the leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions that enable businesses to thrive in the Cloud Era.  Customers rely on VMware to help them transform the way they build, deliver and consume Information Technology resources in a manner that is evolutionary and based on their specific needs. With 2010 revenues of $2.9 billion, VMware has more than 300,000 customers and 25,000 partners. The company is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the world and can be found online at www.vmware.com

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