Jack Rahner, Vice President of IT Operations
has become the fourth-largest human resource outsourcing company, its reputation built upon an exceptional level of service.
Unlike many agencies, AlphaStaff
actually becomes the employer of record for its clients' professional workers, even cutting payroll checks.
While that gives AlphaStaff
a big competitive edge, it also means storing a huge amount of information ranging from employee benefits data to taxable rates.
As the success of its service model took AlphaStaff
from 6,000 to 80,000 employees of record in a five-year period, rapid data growth overwhelmed the entry-level SAN that the IT
team had been using.
"We went from one terabyte of storage to 60 terabytes in five years," says Jack Rahner, vice president of IT operations at AlphaStaff.
"Performance suffered, and the SAN was difficult and expensive to scale."
To make better use of its storage dollars and more effectively accommodate the growth of the business, the Alphastaff
IT team explored new storage solutions.
The team made its choice after seeing Fluid Data technology from Compellent
"We compared Compellent
to our old storage solution using the same servers and software, and Compellent
was 60 percent faster overall than the previous SAN," says Rahner
"Our clients have rapid access to data and business intelligence that was never possible before," says Rahner
"Previously, it took almost a full-time employee to manage the SAN," says Rahner
"Now there is really nothing to manage because of the automated tiered storage.
That employee is now focused on rolling out new projects to help make the company more profitable."
Fluid Data tiered storage also reduces storage growth costs for the AlphaStaff
Since implementation, the system has moved more than 80 percent of the company's data to less expensive lower-tier drives, enabling the team to purchase fewer of the more costly, high-speed drives.
"The system gives us over $50k a year is disk drive savings and the ability to not increase internal head count by utilizing our existing SAN engineer for other IT projects plus more targeted performance," says Rahner
"With billions of dollars in other companies' payroll going through us, the ability to roll back to sixty minutes ago, in a fraction of a second, has completely changed our business model," says Rahner
"Our recovery time objective was 24 hours with tape, but is just ten minutes with Compellent
In fact, we've eliminated tape almost completely-we only use it now for monthly archiving."
Compellent Scalability Positions AlphaStaff for Continued Growth
With the company's client list and workforce still growing, Rahner
sees the Compellent SAN as a scalable resource that will serve AlphaStaff
well into the future.
"The Compellent SAN will never require a forklift upgrade, no matter how many terabytes of storage, controllers, or systems we need," says Rahner
easily added 20 TB of new data gained from acquiring another company.
added solid state drives to its cluster, necessitated by disk latency of the database system and the extreme IO of the ERP system.
After implementation, Rahner saw latency drop from more than 10ms on AlphaStaff's
busy days to about 1ms.
"We can use any drive types in any combination to easily and quickly expand," says Rahner
"The modular growth capability and technology independence we've gained with Compellent
It's really the most intelligent way to grow our storage as our business needs change."
Answers Astronomical Growth with Compellent Fluid Data Storage
Vice President of IT Operations
talks about why AlphaStaff