HiQ Finland: Supporting sophisticated, user-friendly smartphone app development

To give developers the resources they need to build exciting new mobile apps for clients, HiQ implemented a hyperconverged infrastructure from Lenovo and Nutanix. Now, it can spin up virtual environments in no time, empowering developers at every stage of the app-building process.
 
HiQ helps to make the world a better place by using technology and communication solutions to make people’s lives simpler. Its consultants design websites and build mobile apps for clients that are simple, attractive and functional, to deliver the best possible user experience.

Antti Pöllä, IT Manager at HiQ Finland, begins: “One of the areas we specialize in is developing smartphone apps for banks. For example, we recently worked with S-Pankki, one of Finland’s largest retail banks, to build a mobile app that lets users manage all their banking and insurance transactions on the go.”

To design, build and test these mobile apps, HiQ’s developers need easy access to robust, reliable computing resources.

“Our existing backend infrastructure was starting to show its age,” says Antti Pöllä. “Though we weren’t experiencing any major problems, we decided to take the opportunity that a routine infrastructure refresh presented to do things differently – to do things better.”

Eager to check out new hyperconverged technology, HiQ looked at several solutions on the market before settling on Nutanix running on Lenovo systems.

Antti Pöllä recalls: “Nutanix offered by far the best value hyperconverged offering. And because we were already big fans of Lenovo, we didn’t need to think too hard about which hardware to choose!”

Working closely with trusted tech partner HardCoreIT, HiQ implemented a Lenovo Converged HX1310 Appliance with three nodes, all featuring Intel® Xeon® E5 processors. Redundant Lenovo RackSwitch G8272 switches ensure low latency connectivity between the HX Series nodes for high performance. In addition to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform software, HiQ uses Microsoft Hyper-V to power its virtualized development environment.

“Two specialists from Lenovo came out to help us with the initial installation,” says Antti Pöllä. “Although they were scheduled to be on site for three days, it ended up only taking two. We then migrated around 60 virtualized development servers and associated Microsoft SQL databases over to the new system. Support from HardCoreIT through the process has been excellent, and everything went really smoothly.”

With its new hyperconverged infrastructure, HiQ can allocate computing resources to development teams more quickly and easily than before, supporting the creation of next-generation, innovative apps.

Antti Pöllä elaborates: “Because compute, storage and networking resources are all virtualized and pooled across the three Lenovo Converged HX Series, we can dynamically allocate resources to meet demand, without worrying about the underlying hardware. We can spin up new virtual environments in as little as half an hour, for example.

“We really like the fact that there are fewer moving parts with a hyperconverged infrastructure, so there’s less to go wrong! It also means that even office staff understand how our infrastructure works, and step in to help if needed.”

He adds: “We use Nutanix Prism to monitor the cluster via a single dashboard. It’s very user-friendly and, crucially, it doesn’t bother me with alerts on every little thing – we can rely on the Prism tool to only pick up on potential issues that need resolving quickly.”

Since migrating its key development systems over to the Lenovo-Nutanix solution, HiQ has also experienced a significant boost in performance. “Feedback from end users has been very positive,” notes Antti Pöllä. “Developers are reporting that systems run faster, which makes it easier for them to get on with their work and build great new services to make people’s lives simpler and more stress-free.”

He concludes: “We’re very happy we made the move from a traditional infrastructure to a hyperconverged one. Our Lenovo-Nutanix solution is fast, flexible and reliable. And because there are fewer moving parts to manage, we can focus on giving developers what they need to create smart, user-friendly apps for our clients.”
 
“Our Lenovo-Nutanix solution is fast, flexible and reliable. And because there are fewer moving parts to manage, we can focus on giving developers what they need to create smart, user-friendly apps for our clients.”
– Antti Pöllä, IT Manager, HiQ Finland
 
Solution components
Hardware
Lenovo Converged HX1310 Appliance with Intel® Xeon® E5 processor family, part of the Lenovo ThinkAgile HX Series of systems
Lenovo RackSwitch G8272
 
Software
Microsoft Hyper-V
Microsoft SQL Server
Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform
• Nutanix Prism
  
To support developers at every stage of the app-building journey, HiQ made the switch from a traditional to a hyperconverged IT infrastructure. With a Lenovo Converged HX1310 Appliance powered by Intel® Xeon® E5 processors, the company can provision virtual resources to developers with ease.

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