IP Pathways: Pushing the Boundaries of Storage Efficiency with NetApp

CIO VendorJoe Shields, President
“We help companies navigate the noise that’s out there by providing best-of-breed solutions and proven architectures…they can use to predictably manage and protect their infra¬structures,” says a confident Joe Shields, President of IP Pathways, alluding to today’s mounting pressures of explosive business growth and escalating IT demands. Being an avid cyclist and an amateur mu¬sician, Shields’s interests also spill into boating, canoeing, and golf¬ing. This diverse basis of activities translates into his overarching strategy at IP Pathways—exist as a well-rounded organization that understands every aspect of the customer business. “We have to be an absolute expert in everything we do, including those [areas] outside of our comfort zone, and have a comprehensive solution portfolio,” notes Shields.

The consumerization of IT services is driving companies to come up with forward-thinking strategies and creative plans to stay com¬petitive. Leveraging a close partnership with NetApp, which began when IP Pathways’s cornerstone was laid in 2007, the company has been providing strategic platforms that help businesses grow. They have also been heavily investing in developing strategies and archi¬tectures, making them a frontrunner in implementing and supporting NetApp technologies.The fact that Dave Hitz, co-founder and EVP of NetApp, recognized IP Pathways as “a NetApp leader” in storage ef¬ficiency, showcases their prowess in data storage. “We have the most efficient NetApp storage deployments globally,” claims Shields. IP Pathways pushes the boundaries of storage efficiency and ensures that the NetApp platforms are utilized to their fullest potential. Strong partnerships and sound engineering resources are important to effectively implement NetApp technologies, and IP Pathways has been leading that charge for a while now. The company is knee-deep in engineering training investment, and they work really hard to be certified and up-to-date with the latest of NetApp technologies in order to deliver real value to their clients.

Leveraging NetApp’s range of flexible storage products, robust portfolio of data protection replication features, and SAN manage¬ment suites, IP Pathways builds resilient and strong solutions. With many companies found to be having subpar infrastructure capa¬bilities that fail to ensure maximum data security, IP Pathways makes full use of NetApp’s native deduplication, compression, and efficient replication to protect data, helping companies ef¬fectively compete in business markets. IP Pathways simplifies the network infrastructure, increases application performance, and reduces Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), using a single plat¬form without ever bringing disparate systems into the picture. “With a fully deployed NetApp solution, in the proper architec¬ture, there is virtually no need for any other backup management and data protection solution,” states Shields.

One of IP Pathways’s core values that permeates throughout their organization is, “Do whatever it takes for the customer.” From vendor product selection to engineering investment, skills development, and frontline support, IP Pathways strives to de¬sign and develop solutions that lead to customers’ success.
“We only represent solutions we truly believe will be successful on our customer base. This is the reason why we continue to suc¬ceed at a higher rate than our competitors,” comments Shields.

IP Pathways is more than the sum of the vendors they represent; they continuously look at ways to improve their solutions and services, and fine-tune them to meet the customer needs. “We ensure maximum stability and efficiency in the investments that clients make,” states Shields. Complementing the company’s effective business practices is their sophisticated lab environ¬ment. Before releasing a product, they always test it in their lab environment and perform evaluations to make sure it effectively fits into their overall architectural strategy that they present to customers.

IP Pathways has had many remarkable success stories over the years. However, one case study of which IP Pathways is exceptionally proud is saving Iowa Workforce De¬velopment (IWD) $6 million annually in oper-ating costs. Being one of the largest state agencies in Iowa, IWD assists up to 400,000 individuals and 75,000 companies a year. When deep cuts in federal funding necessitated closing more than half of IWD’s offices, the agency had to find new ways to deliver the same breadth and quality of services. IWD engaged IP Pathways to provide a groundbreaking approach for delivering workforce services in a cost-effective way.


IP Pathways simplifies the network infrastructure, increases application performance, and reduces TCO



Using VMware View virtual desktop infra¬structure and shared NetApp storage, services were provided to about 15,000 desktops across the state of Iowa. “We basically implemented two times the number of access points for workers to receive services, and helped them increase their point of pres¬ence to their customer base,” says Shields. IP Pathways achieved this on a tight budget, while reducing the state’s storage require¬ments by almost 50 percent, saving them millions in the process. “NetApp and IP Pathways are constantly innovating. They are helping us use technology to transform operations in amazing ways, which enables us to better serve the community,” says Gary Bateman, CIO, IWD. This demonstrates IP Pathways’s ability to deliver proven solutions and strategies that ensure cli¬ents’ success.

Having just opened a brick and mortar data center, IP Pathways is set to heavily invest in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and cloud offerings. The company is focused on delivering best-of-breed solutions while continuing to grow its market footprint and meeting the customers demand for localized DRaaS, hybrid cloud, and IaaS. “We will be increasing our product portfolio. You will see a lot more ‘as-a-Service’ and cloud solutions from us over the next 12 to 18 months,” reveals Shields.

Company
IP Pathways

Headquarters
Urbandale, IA

Management
Joe Shields, President

Description
Provides solutions that reduce complexity within IT infrastructure by reducing data center footprint, consolidating data storage and management, simplifying virtualization, and optimizing application performance and security.