41: Nutanix Weekly: ​First Foundation Bank Case Study

Jan 28, 2022

I’m a habitual note-taker when speaking with customers about their efforts in hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and hybrid cloud. And most of the time, I always find a fascinating story buried in the observations I put to paper.

This happened when I examined my notes from a recent discussion with Adrian Darmawan, executive vice president and CTO of First Foundation Bank, which provides personal and business banking, private wealth management and trust services.

He gives credit to the Nutanix HCI for helping to navigate banking regulations, manage $7.7 billion in assets, and support customers and employees at 23 locations – while reducing the time spent on infrastructure management by up to 40%

Host: Andy Whiteside
Co-Host: Harvey Green
Co-Host: Jirah Cox

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Andy Whiteside: Everyone welcome to episode 41 of the tactics weekly i’m your host Andy whiteside i’ve got Harvey and gyro with me.

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Andy Whiteside: guys.

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Jirah Cox: how’s it going together again.

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Harvey Green: pretty good.

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Andy Whiteside: To have you got the House wired yet.

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Jirah Cox: Working on an update on the powerline networking it over promised and under delivered so tonight’s projects are switching to ethernet over coax networking.

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Andy Whiteside: Man that’s nerdy.

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No.

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Jirah Cox: No one in the audience is surprised.

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Harvey Green: That are really.

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Harvey Green: The conversation that we had just before this just before you got on it was literally just that.

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Andy Whiteside: I can tell you i’ve always wanted to try, both of those but i’ve always been like any worth my time i’ll just.

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Jirah Cox: i’ll work, report back I guess.

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Andy Whiteside: about it, though i’m back in the day, like you know, six months ago, when I used to get my Internet access through my cable company, it was coming over Codex, so why not.

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Jirah Cox: Apparently, from what I can tell the kind of Achilles heel for a lot of powerline networking, is it works great when you have single phase power, but like.

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Jirah Cox: When you have like three phase power like in the US, a 30 graduates if three silos in your House right, so you crossing those is very problematic yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Well there’s nothing that goes yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Probably probably not worthy of setting up a new tannic cluster over or maybe it is I don’t know.

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Andy Whiteside: If you do that, that really would be nerdy right you put a note in different rooms and do whatever co X.

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Jirah Cox: I mean if I had one I would those costs a bit more than you know hundred bucks yeah well.

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Andy Whiteside: How much does this cost each the Codex.

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Jirah Cox: These were like 140 for a pair.

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Prepare.

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Jirah Cox: Okay, so if I was in a House I was gonna live in for a long time, and it was like you know it’s it’s this versus like get out the drill and and fish tape.

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Jirah Cox: It it’d be these all day long yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, you know Harvey right when you’re living in 5000 square foot houses, you have these problems.

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that’s.

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Jirah Cox: who’s doing that.

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Andy Whiteside: My wife and I we watch this show right now called selling New York and this from 10 years ago, or more, and these 3000 square foot apartments or $30,000 a month places like holy cow Oh, I said, who can afford that I was like there’s people out there right.

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Harvey Green: And i’m like wow.

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Harvey Green: 3000 square foot apartment yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: What about a pool a pool in it.

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Harvey Green: In the wow all right.

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Jirah Cox: we’ve been watching the watching all the spider man movies, and so the older ones right like the osborne’s having like a penthouse but like we say penthouse but like.

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Jirah Cox: it’s just a house sitting on top of a skyscraper right like it’s got like a backyard and stuff it’s like multiple stories wow crazy wild.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, well, let me share my screen here, we chose to do a blog today entitled first foundation, the first foundation bank case study by Sean O TAO from December of way back in 2021.

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Andy Whiteside: Direct what what what led you and Harvey to pick this one.

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Jirah Cox: I, like this one, because it it’s sort of it underlines it resonates other other buzzwords here it speaks right to like what we.

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Jirah Cox: What you and I both spend time telling our customers about around what are the benefits of loving attacks, what does it do for your life your day to day like what’s the experience like have.

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Jirah Cox: used to do this, we got mechanics and now we do that, and had different those are how how good life can get how easy it can get with that transition.

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Andy Whiteside: Well i’m glad you pointed this one out, I mean I yeah I want to go through, and also just thought of like four banks, I need to reach out to and show them this case study were having this exact same conversation, but you know they don’t know because they’re they’re not.

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Andy Whiteside: They haven’t done it yet right you don’t know, do you do it and all sudden, but if you have someone else who’s done it and can testify to it that’s a great way to start.

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Jirah Cox: turns out the entire world is not a new tax customer yet so job’s not done yet.

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Andy Whiteside: it’s also not flat did you know that.

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Jirah Cox: turns out.

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Andy Whiteside: it’s kind of long now.

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Andy Whiteside: i’m sorry so Harvey i’ll ask you to do it, then.

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Andy Whiteside: Help the the the intro here tell us about this bank what what was there.

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Andy Whiteside: What was their business What did it look like.

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Harvey Green: Well, so this one is about first foundation bank which you’ve talked about they they apparently are pretty Nice last bank, they have in here 7.7 billion in assets.

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Harvey Green: Support customers and employees at 23 locations personal banking business banking private wealth management trust, and trust services so they’ve got a lot going on.

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Harvey Green: And they wanted to look at mechanics to help them build out their infrastructure and move away from using a traditional SAS environment for virtual desktops so that’s kind of where they started.

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Andy Whiteside: And so yeah I mean you know Okay, when I hear somebody talking about trying to implement desktop virtualization on the sand today.

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Andy Whiteside: And it just it just feels wrong.

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Andy Whiteside: But that’s how we did it.

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Harvey Green: It seems like it.

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Andy Whiteside: seems like thousand years ago.

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Jirah Cox: I remember yeah several several gigs where it was like you know, we want to do this, come in and scope it out for us it’s like well you’re gonna need.

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Jirah Cox: You know you have to add this shelf of disks and this size and capacity and you only but desktops on them and be full of STDs and it’d be crazy fast and we may be under underutilized lung capacity, but you know we’ll throw throw hardware at the problem right.

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Harvey Green: pretty much you know can continuing down that aspect as well is you know the the theme of throw hardware at the problem is everything before was absolutely over provision over provision over Parisian and hope you never make it to what you provision.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, they in just a user to saying they buy all this big stuff they take days, if not weeks to get it all set up and then they probably never get it all use before it’s in the life and you need to replace it.

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Harvey Green: Right and and what’s weird and it’s like the more I talk about that, tomorrow, talk about it with customers it’s like the weirdest part to me is that was always the goal was always to buy more than you would ever use with that just doesn’t sound right to me at all.

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Jirah Cox: yeah well, it is interesting.

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Jirah Cox: This just occurred to me, you mentioned Harvey 23 locations right so back in 2010 that was that was like it’s still a lot.

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Jirah Cox: But it’s almost like the pain points from back then, or even more amplified today now your employees are in 230 locations right right each one each one vote by themselves, probably.

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Jirah Cox: Right, so that need for for.

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Jirah Cox: meeting them where they are giving them a better end user experience is actually even stronger today than it was back then.

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Andy Whiteside: They have somebody is trying to run their networks over codecs and their house.

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Harvey Green: Yes, well, hopefully.

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Andy Whiteside: A gyro I trust that you are doing network testing and making sure that it’s really not you know got interference and.

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Jirah Cox: I know that was.

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Jirah Cox: My That was my gateway was 70 milliseconds away i’m like well that doesn’t sound right, so you know off off to do my investigation I go.

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Andy Whiteside: I did a.

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Andy Whiteside: I did an implementation for a small consulting firm man 20 years ago now almost 15 years ago now, I didn’t work there long and one of their customers was a architectural firm.

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Andy Whiteside: And we were having all kinds of issues I just could not.

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Andy Whiteside: figure it out and then one day I did a test on the connectivity back to the patch panel, and it was horrible I mean there was all kinds of interference into the packets couldn’t hardly make it.

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Andy Whiteside: A lot of a lot of drop packets that’s a man who, who did this, who is wired this place and the guy.

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Andy Whiteside: billy Bob was calling billy Bob he just looks at me said I did it now like oh my God Now I know that you.

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Harvey Green: gotta love it well, at least, we know gyros actually doing that work testing because he’s on the podcast with us right now, if we.

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Harvey Green: can be drops out, we know what happened.

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Andy Whiteside: You have one of those little testers to plug in at both in.

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Jirah Cox: I sure do I have my last house which had, which was pre built with either not wiring the walls I returned to the more than a few of the the plates in the rooms.

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Andy Whiteside: yeah those little connectors are hard to put on correctly, I mean once you not to do it, you know do it, but yep I screwed up more than a few when I did it.

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Jirah Cox: I hope for sure I.

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Jirah Cox: was my summer job in college, I was helping rewire one of our buildings buildings on campus and I learned a lot.

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Andy Whiteside: Little fingers roll roll and bloody.

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Jirah Cox: Oh yeah that.

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Harvey Green: That just reminds me of crimping network cables and i’m all done next topic.

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Jirah Cox: So I were all much more focused today on on virtual networking and overlay.

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Jirah Cox: It with my keyboard.

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Harvey Green: Oh.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, so the last section, which is really the payoff here talks about you know fast forward to today they they they bit the bullet.

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Andy Whiteside: They they lead with technology that I wouldn’t call it bleeding edge I wouldn’t call it cutting edge, but it wasn’t mainstream now it’s mainstream and the promised benefits.

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Andy Whiteside: showed up early showed up often are still there today so let’s just kind of talk through so Harvey let’s take maybe the first one what’s the what’s the first one saying.

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Harvey Green: Well, let me, let me how I had a couple lines back for the end of that first paragraph, shortly after new tonics was installed the it organization experienced that dramatic 40% reduction in infrastructure management time.

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Harvey Green: I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about how the management time gives.

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Andy Whiteside: Oh, you selfies talk about so you for your sanity or good sleep or something.

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Harvey Green: that’s right.

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Harvey Green: For your sanity absolutely.

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Jirah Cox: You can sleep but 40% longer From what I hear.

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Harvey Green: You know you, you get to decide what you do with those hours.

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Jirah Cox: that’s wild right, I mean imagine it’s like it’s like a 50% headcount.

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Jirah Cox: Yes.

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Jirah Cox: Right yes that’s wild.

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Harvey Green: I mean I can’t say that i’d be upset with 40% more asleep, though, that actually sounds pretty attractive right now.

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Jirah Cox: harvey’s got young kids.

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Andy Whiteside: Young kids and demanding boss.

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Jirah Cox: same same attention span from both.

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Andy Whiteside: found out that they rv is only 4040 years old.

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Harvey Green: Yes.

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Andy Whiteside: yeah I didn’t know what he was I was, like me, I get a ride you for a long time.

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Andy Whiteside: He all of a sudden became part of my retirement plan.

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instantly.

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Jirah Cox: Nice.

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Jirah Cox: To start campaigning for mental health benefits as integrity.

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Andy Whiteside: Yes, don’t go.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, so now do we want to jump in I what’s uh I spend less time looking at our infrastructure yeah i’m just envisioning some guy just stand there, looking at the Rack all the time that’s nobody’s talking about is it.

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Harvey Green: So no, although that that there could be an argument for that, too, since you now get visibility into that from within the console.

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Harvey Green: No, no more red light green light, let me go see what’s blinking or flashing you can actually see that, from the management console.

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Harvey Green: But overall, I imagine what he’s talking about more so at this point is that you know not only the fact that everything is you know up and working and at his fingertips, but you know there.

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Harvey Green: there’s just so much less that you have to deal with, and do, because you know where before you had a sand that you managed separately from your compute resources everything’s all together here.

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Harvey Green: You know same for all your virtual networking and you know firewall and things like that that you want to put in place.

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Harvey Green: All of that stuff is in one spot, and so, because it’s working well and because you have to spend so much less time actually managing those things individually.

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Harvey Green: You just you have more time to do all of the other things that your users and your your business leaders expect you to be able to do and accomplish.

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Andy Whiteside: So more time for the it guy to go do other it guy things.

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Yes.

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Jirah Cox: Yes, yeah it’s true, I mean I said, all the time, like what is the value of getting to that project backlog list right, you know because everybody’s got one it’s always kind of embarrassing along.

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Jirah Cox: You know, but getting to it, you know it feel feels much better better for the business right getting stuff knocked out.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, and then that talks to the next two items really which is enabling the business to go.

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Andy Whiteside: Do more things that the business is supposed to be doing like extending their territories and coming up with new strategic growth initiatives, supported by or maybe even led by or both, you know technology.

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Harvey Green: yeah I mean, ultimately, you know saying conversation you, you want the technology to become invisible to the business and it’s not something that stands in their way it’s something that enables them.

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Harvey Green: And so, being able to take what you have and being able to expand that out to more locations being able to be fast enough to get the infrastructure up and running for when the business needs it, it stops them from being handicapped by technology.

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Andy Whiteside: And at the other day that’s what the it department supposed to do, that is.

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Harvey Green: Absolutely, the entire purpose.

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Jirah Cox: yeah i’ve got environment yeah i’ve got I think that branch expansion, you know capturing more territory, I mean it looks a lot like probably m&a activity right like it’s all about synergy doing more with less speed of speed of deployment speed of spread right.

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Andy Whiteside: Yes, him I told all the it guys, it is not just about it it’s actually about the business.

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Jirah Cox: yeah it’s such a it’s an empowering feeling right to get to be in a place where when the business brings your problem to solve, you can say yes and get it solved right versus having to having all about you know, but this and but that and but the other really.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, and I will mean I haven’t said this forever, but my my slogan is INTEGRA.

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Andy Whiteside: With our solutions that we represent citrix vmware new tonics I Joe is to be able to tell a customer that no matter what meeting you’re in next your answer to the business asking you to be able to go with them or leave them are both is yes.

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yeah.

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Jirah Cox: that’s fantastic.

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Andy Whiteside: I came up with that myself.

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Andy Whiteside: kinda actually a solid oh i’ll tell you a story ready.

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Andy Whiteside: So citrix at one of their conferences way back when their their slogan, and this didn’t last long and I loved it actually was yes.

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Andy Whiteside: We enable you to say yes that’s what we do, yes yeah and I was, I was excited about that one on the way home, I had to fly through Dallas.

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Andy Whiteside: Alright, this is a funny story ready, so I had to fly through Dallas and there was a billboard of citrix.

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Andy Whiteside: And it said something like enabling you to say yes, that was the billboard it was a direct you when the billboard it was on the side of the wall in Dallas.

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Andy Whiteside: On the way home from that conference, and I was so excited to see it and i’m standing there looking and looking and staring at it and all of a sudden this guy’s like hey what are you looking at like i’m looking at and I looked down his wife sitting there breastfeeding.

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Andy Whiteside: I had no idea, she was sitting on the floor breastfeeding in front of such sign that said we enable you to say yes or whatever the slogan was and i’m just saying I mean I literally for 30 seconds i’m just standing there you know just just staring at.

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Andy Whiteside: me says i’m I looked at his wife’s breastfeeding oh my gosh sorry man.

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Jirah Cox: yeah he said no.

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Andy Whiteside: not here, but you don’t say yes here.

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Harvey Green: that’s hilarious.

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Andy Whiteside: So the last call out here is about cost savings which we’ve talked about a few times you don’t have to overbuy.

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Andy Whiteside: You can get away with under buying you can do what’s right and under buy you buy just a little more something grow into Harvey I think you might have been involved in.

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Andy Whiteside: One of the last three tier rollouts that we didn’t sell another company sold emc and it just so happens, we found out later that the emc REP and the cto were next door neighbors so it was going to happen, no matter what we couldn’t stop it.

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Andy Whiteside: And, by the time they rolled out.

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Andy Whiteside: The half of the desktops they plan to roll out the stuff was old and ready to be replaced it just doesn’t make sense to three to architect things and new tactics proves that, over and over again.

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Harvey Green: yeah just.

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Harvey Green: I hate to harp on it again, but it doesn’t make sense to just boxes off, and you have to give yourself the flexibility now.

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Harvey Green: And when you are working on a technology that ultimately, you know, in the next five years, five, six years, whatever.

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Harvey Green: will go end of life, and you can no longer use it, and the only way that you can then replace, that is, with something brand new of the same sort same type, but then you know, having to do a big.

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Harvey Green: lift and shift, you know it’s kind of setup from one place to the other I def just bet isn’t the way anymore.

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Jirah Cox: yeah and that what what we’ve we’ve said forever and tactics, but now it’s we have customers that have been running it long enough that it’s a reality to them.

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Jirah Cox: Right right that that easiest refresh you’ve ever done to add nodes expand the cluster eject the older nodes and that’s it there’s no step three.

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Jirah Cox: You know what it comes down to software is ageless right hardware is very much time gated.

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Jirah Cox: and maintain acts as an easy way to square that circle right let’s make that work together so that you know you just seamlessly change those tires while you’re driving on the highway.

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Jirah Cox: To move from these four old nodes to these four three new nodes or whatever it is, for your your business dramatic simplicity.

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Andy Whiteside: Green so this actual line here, it does talk about we were just talking about there, but it also.

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Andy Whiteside: It also calls out the thing that I think is probably the smartest thing new tannic did all this because it’s game changing in.

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Andy Whiteside: The perception of how you adopt that cost effective model, and that is to come up with your own hypervisor to run on top of this workload or run as part of this solution.

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Andy Whiteside: To be clear, you can very much run vmware and that’s where new tannic scenario storage hyper converged came from vmware V sphere, yes X.

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Andy Whiteside: But when you also factor in that in many cases, certainly for desktop workloads you don’t need the hypervisor cost it just made that cost savings concept versus three tier even more compelling.

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Jirah Cox: yeah right more more saying yes, you don’t have a requirement for something more complex complicated let’s go something simpler right natively managed.

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Jirah Cox: fought out less levers, and I was buttons across the board.

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yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: And I think I did this the last week on the last one, we did I mean what workloads do you think don’t belong on hyper converged new tactics.

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Andy Whiteside: These days, and then i’ll ask the same question around the gx hypervisor.

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Jirah Cox: on new techniques for storage in the phoenix for hypervisor.

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Andy Whiteside: yeah to two pronged question are you have a ios the storage operating system hyper converged and there and then you have the chance hypervisor are you guys running situation where one works, but this the second one is not supported.

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Andy Whiteside: or most cases both.

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Jirah Cox: I can’t think of anything.

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Jirah Cox: off of my head, that would be like not supported from the storage layer but would work on the compute layer right like Apps that would be that specific are.

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Jirah Cox: Pretty few and far between plenty of Apps right they definitely, of course, would just say you know all we’ve tested on is V sphere right and that’s you know.

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Jirah Cox: I can’t fault them for that right, that of course market share, I understand that, from a software publisher perspective but, in general, most of them just care about the ios they run on and that’s it.

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Jirah Cox: But yes and nothing from nothing in the category of like.

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Jirah Cox: sort of hyper V sphere, but not sort of appreciate storage I can’t think of anything in that category.

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Jirah Cox: Some things that simply just don’t do enough qualification right to test type advisors who are new to the care and honestly what APP does it’s always about APP to ios and os hypervisor is really the.

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Jirah Cox: The comparison there but it’s you know, sometimes customers don’t fully understand that or or they want a full stack sign off of.

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Jirah Cox: Interoperability we’re also getting better with that, I mean we run.

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Jirah Cox: Every every month I turned around and we’ve qualified a new joining qualified a new like Cisco virtual appliance those have been kind of some long standing asks from the field.

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Jirah Cox: Or the headline right last year from for open shift as well, so so really those dominoes are falling then from a hypervisor standpoint.

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Jirah Cox: At this point, if I was like you know meeting with your customer talking through workloads.

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Jirah Cox: The only things I would say or bad fit for HIV or things that are bad fit for virtualization in general right so real time computing you know which gets into like your auto manufacturing type style os is.

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Jirah Cox: And then, things have a high degree of dependence on like Linux random number generation which, if you’ve looked into that at all like it just flat out almost never works on virtualization on any platform.

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Jirah Cox: Random random number generators I don’t know why should my reading on this just don’t work well in vm but.

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Jirah Cox: But so those often need to go on to bare metal but that’s it so things that things that I find don’t work well on HP just don’t work well in virtualization in general right, and there are.

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Jirah Cox: increasingly small number of workloads every year that still might need to be a good candidate for bare metal yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: I think the one you mentioned, there at the end, the idea that you have a virtual appliance that either isn’t supported or doesn’t have the drivers built into it for HIV.

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Andy Whiteside: HIV is based off of.

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Andy Whiteside: a boon to or which would type which.

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Jirah Cox: You so yeah so a lot of our stuff around Santos and then the virtualization management layer is a direct caveat yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Okay i’m sorry I don’t know how to get.

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Jirah Cox: It.

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Andy Whiteside: Well guys thanks for joining and going through this this is.

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Andy Whiteside: You know just more of the same customers.

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Andy Whiteside: realizing that that workload that the cloud is built on or that the the infrastructure, the virtual infrastructure that the cloud is built on that software defined computing layer

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Andy Whiteside: If it’s done in such a way, like new tactics is made it can monetize.

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Andy Whiteside: All the same benefits come to you.

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Jirah Cox: Know yeah that ability to get cloud like inside the firewall, and so the firewall yeah very powerful yes.

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Andy Whiteside: Harvey anything you want to leave us with.

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Harvey Green: go out to the test drive site take a look at what metallics has out there for you.

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Harvey Green: and February 18 is the next INTEGRA the titanic’s hosted boot camp workshop so get out there to the INTEGRA calm and sign up.

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Andy Whiteside: Great gyros euro new rental house close to a chick fil a.

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Jirah Cox: It is also chick fil a.

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Jirah Cox: It the it’s a chick fil a is a service like when your kids and wife are like well chick fil a for lunch you’re like okay just bring you back something yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: that’s even better, I had a great chick fil a moment one time, I was in New York Manhattan the day that the chick fil a on like sixth avenue opened.

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Andy Whiteside: People were.

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Andy Whiteside: stomping all over each other to get to the door.

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It was quite.

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Andy Whiteside: Quite the moment to see chick fil a in New York and how many people were excited about it.

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Jirah Cox: hmm well.

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Harvey Green: Yes, it’s just as crazy here is just there a lot more orderly.

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Andy Whiteside: slow down a little bit there but it’s still amazing and the lines out the door every day at lunchtime yeah.

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Andy Whiteside: Well, gentlemen, thanks for jumping on and cover the new changes quickly with me thank you.

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Joe.

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Andy Whiteside: we’ll do a you next week, see you Oh, you know what i’m going to be on vacation will do in two weeks.

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Jirah Cox: So you enjoy.

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Harvey Green: It alright have fun on vacation.

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Andy Whiteside: i’m going to try.

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To.