Case Study

Healthcare Company: Cloud Object Storage Custom Sandbox

Sophisticated test environment quickly resolves cloud object storage tiering issue


A large US Healthcare Company relies on Dell EMC Isilon CloudPools to cost effectively manage inactive and archival data. Specifically, the Company uses CloudPools to store health logic and non-HIPAA data in Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3. Since leveraging CloudPools and AWS, the Company has seen an 80 percent reduction in inactive and archival data storage costs.

When CloudPools stopped working, the Company was faced with a critical, and costly, problem. Its Isilon storage system had a higher than expected capability utilization rate. Not only was the Company incurring substantial costs from storing inactive and archival data on-premise, but it also was seeing 20 percent space reduction to its primary Isilon storage pool, which had the potential to affect active data.

The Company needed a separate, non-production system to troubleshoot the CloudPools issue with Dell EMC as quickly as possible.


Knowing WWT was the leader in lab testing, a Dell EMC Titanium Black partner an AWS Advanced Consulting Solutions partner, the Company turned to us for a test environment.

Not only did we have an Isilon test system for troubleshooting, but we had a system that connected to AWS.

After a quick scoping workshop to determine the infrastructure framework for a like-to-like environment, we delivered the Company with a custom sandbox for CloudPools troubleshooting in three business days.

Custom sandbox environments and other WWT lab services are provided from the WWT Advanced Technology Center (ATC), an innovation ecosystem that brings leading technologies together in a physical and virtual environment, accessible from anywhere in the world.

Through the ATC, the Company’s Isilon storage administrator and other storage staff were able to quickly access their custom sandbox remotely. The environment comprised of:

  • A 3-node Isilon X200 cluster
  • A small collection of Windows and Linux virtual machines to function as test clients
  • Outbound connectivity to an AWS S3 subscription managed by the Company


After experiencing the same issue with CloudPools on our test system, the Company discovered the cause of trouble to be a knowledge base (KB) article with incorrect instructions. We contacted Dell EMC for a new KB article with updated instructions.

Our custom sandbox allowed the Company to quickly validate the updated article, including that encryption functioned as outlined.

Inactive and archival data is now safely back in AWS S3 for cost savings of inactive and archival data with the Company’s Isilon system freed up for optimal performance of active data.


Leveraging the capabilities of the ATC and our lab services portfolio, the Company addressed their CloudPools issue in days instead of weeks.

We estimate that it would have taken the Company several weeks to procure the hardware required to set up a sandbox similar to the one we provided them. Additionally, the Company’s IT staff would have had to spend valuable engineering time setting up, configuring and reproducing the issue.

The Company relies on many critical systems to maintain its digital leadership in the healthcare industry. The Company knows it can count on WWT to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.