Since its inception in 2002, GoSecure has quickly grown into five offices spanning two continents. They provide managed cyber security services to businesses and governments. Over four years ago, GoSecure opened its Atlantic threat hunting division with the goal of finding and mitigating threats other services might miss.
The company's style of threat hunting requires a very tight internal network. When they were looking for a solution to manage virtual desktops for their employees, they required more than just security. The team wanted a NAS that was scalable, cost effective and powerful solution that wouldn't necessitate a quick upgrade to keep up with their business's growth.
GoSecure's employees have inconsistent shifts. That causes them to sit at different desktop shift-by-shift. Their employees also often need to move around often while they are working. This lead to a problem when employees were logging into unfamiliar desktops, leading to decreased productivity. GoSecure wanted to lower that administrative overhead and increase productivity.
To get around this, GoSecure decided to host virtual desktops for its employees, which would give their workers the ability to take the desktops around with them through the office. Travis Barlow, VP of Advanced Security Services and Sean Kearney, Cyber Security Analyst was in charge of picking the solution that would host the VDI instances.
"We decided to move to the VDI instance so that our users could sit anywhere in their area and carry their desktop with them," explains Kearney.
"The idea was basically put 10 clients in for operational analysis (or threat hunting) with multi-factor authentication and all that good stuff," For Barlow, "All that good stuff" is security-speak for having all of the bells and whistles of a secure virtual portal for threat-hunting.
GoSecure spent some time searching for a machine that would be able to handle everything they needed. Their main priorities were scalability and performance.
"The competitor options were considerably more expensive and only gave us a fraction of the space we have now," says Barlow. "We could have bought a really nice car for what they were offering and we would have outgrown it within six months."
After their initial disappointment, Kearney showed Barlow a server from 45Drives that was miles ahead of anything they'd seen so far.
"When we sourced the details of 45Drives Storinator compared to the competition we found they offered a much superior product," says Barlow.
"It made me look really good in Travis's eyes." Said Kearney.
They compared their options and decided to go with the Storinator.
After purchasing, they connected their Storinator to a Microsoft server cluster using Microsoft connection broker. They used their Storinator to host all the VDI instances for their employees, through fast 10gb Ethernet ports. They had high hopes for performance.
"I'm looking at our CPU usage logs, our system load, our physical memory utilization swap, and everything is just a blip. We have anywhere from 20-30 VDI instances created that are utilizing the 45Drives NAS and at any given time we could have 10-15 clients logged in there," says Barlow. "With the Storinator, there is less administration and overhead so we don't need to spend a lot of time configuring. It's just ready to go one, two, and three. It's been a pleasant surprise."
By this point, they had expected to have reached around 40% usage. The Storinator managed to pass their expectations.
"We could support another 12-20 people before we get to that 40 or 50% utilization. That's without upgrading."
As GoSecure's business continues to grow, the company can continue to consistently grow into its Storinator. Despite not needing an upgrade yet, Barlow and Kearney are happy they have the ability to modify their machine or swap out to bigger drives in the future without facing the proprietary restrictions they would have been with the other options they looked at.
"We can do that now, which will help us grow. We won't need to turn around and buy another NAS next year. With the Storinator we have a lot of room to grow. The performance on this machine is mind blowing."
GoSecure is elated at its first Storinator so far. The simplification to the company's workflow has led to higher productivity for its employees.
As GoSecure continues to grow into Storinator #1, the company has set its sights on potentially purchasing another for its Montreal headquarters.
"That's the best compliment we can give you. We want another one, we want more Storinators."