Taking a Long Hard Look

Long View simplifies and accelerates its operations with Cisco Intersight and FlexPod solutions.

Long View Systems

One of the largest privately owned IT services companies in North America, Long View recently modernized its technology infrastructure with Cisco FlexPod solutions, Cisco Intersight, and Cisco+.

Industry: Service provider
Location: Calgary, Canada
Size: 1300 employees
Website: longviewsystems.com



  • Refresh aging infrastructure systems
  • Improve customer solutions and services
  • Increase operational and cost efficiency


  • Modernized IT systems to deliver better performance and availability than hyperscale offerings
  • Simplified and accelerated IT operations and customer deployments
  • Reduced capital expenditures (CapEx) with a consumption-based payment solution

A long, hard look

Long View Systems built its OneCloud hybrid cloud offering—a managed service that aligns customer data center environments with Microsoft Azure—using a Cisco FlexPod solution more than a decade ago. And when the time came to refresh the aging infrastructure which featured Cisco Networking and Compute and NetApp storage systems, the company stayed true to its roots.

"We took a long, hard look at everything," says Lane Irvine, director of strategic alliances for Long View. "We wanted to see if FlexPod is as relevant today as it was 10 years ago, and we wanted to make sure it's still the right fit for us and our customers."

The company evaluated and compared the latest hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions, prioritizing software-defined programmability and automation. And with Long View's determination to maintain the 99.999-percent-or-better availability for which OneCloud is known, reliability was also a necessity.

"After examining several alternatives, FlexPod was the clear winner," Irvine says. "The platform is still best of breed, enabling us to deliver better performance and availability than hyperscale offerings. And the addition of Cisco Intersight is a game changer."

Cisco Intersight—which is fully integrated with the new Cisco FlexPod solution—simplifies infrastructure management, he explains, enabling Long View to orchestrate, automate, and monitor the systems in multiple data centers from a single, centralized console. And because it integrates directly with Microsoft Azure, operational efficiency and consistency can be extended to Long View's cloud and client environments.

"We want to manage 100 clients tomorrow like we manage 10 clients today," Irvine says. "Cisco Intersight is simplifying and accelerating our operations, it's helping us monitor and predict growth, and it's allowing us to spend more time with our customers than our data center systems."

[FlexPod] is still best of breed, enabling us to deliver better performance and availability than hyperscale offerings. And the addition of Cisco Intersight is a game changer.

Lane Irvine, Director of Strategic Alliances

A new consumption model

In addition to reevaluating the foundational infrastructure for its OneCloud offering, Long View also wanted to explore different consumption models.

"Customer demand is variable and unpredictable, and we've historically had to overprovision our environments," Irvine explains. "That's costly from a CapEx [capital expenditure] standpoint, and there's still a possibility of not having enough capacity and not being able to scale quickly enough for customer needs. Supply chain issues and lead times are definitely a concern."

Long View IT leaders were thrilled to hear of Cisco+, a new consumption-based payment solution for on-premises systems that provides on-demand burstability.

"Without Cisco+, we would have been forced to buy 35 to 40 servers to address our growth plans for the next three years," Irvine says. "But with Cisco+, we were able to purchase 10 servers with buffer capacity that can be accessed at any time."

Long View doesn't pay for that capacity until it's turned on, he adds, enabling the company to continuously expand its infrastructure in parallel with customer needs.

"We now have a cost model that is directly aligned with our revenue," Irvine says, "and that makes our [chief financial officer] very happy."

Taking it to a higher level

With new foundational systems and orchestration capabilities, and a more cost-effective consumption model in place, Long View is taking its OneCloud offering to a higher level.

The company is using the automation features of Cisco Intersight to provide new self-service capabilities for its customers. It plans to offer new data protection services through Cisco Umbrella and the multi-factor authentication services of Cisco Duo. And Long View will further align OneCloud with its NextNet managed network solution, which is built on Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switches.

"A lot of data center refreshes essentially maintain the status quo," Irvine says. "But with FlexPod, Cisco Intersight, and Cisco+, we've enhanced our solutions and services, accelerated our operations, and improved our cost model. Most importantly, our customers have enjoyed 100 percent uptime ever since these solutions were deployed."