“The technology has been great … it’s been pretty much flawless…”
Todd Richert, Director of Infrastructure
Capsilon, now a part of Ellie Mae, is transforming the way mortgage companies work. It builds intelligent tools that transform the way mortgage lenders, investors, and servicers run their businesses.
- Managing a large volume of small files
- Mortgage filing
- Ease of use
- System efficiency
- Visibility into the storage system
- Long-term partnership and support
- Ellie Mae’s acquisitions and outlook send it along the multicloud journey (siliconANGLE article)
- Qumulo on the Road: Capsilon (video)
For Capsilon, simple storage offers a path to seamless innovation.
An innovative approach to the mortgage industry.
Capsilon builds products that transform the way mortgage companies work, making mortgages transactions easier and less expensive for those who facilitate them, and those who acquire them. Based out of San Francisco, California, Capsilon has grown to more than 500 employees, with data centers in both San Francisco and Denver, Colorado.
Capsilon’s mission is to transform the entire mortgage experience with technology solutions that create significant efficiencies and enable better decision-making at every step. They help customers to store documents long term, and help them automate that process. Banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions all across the country depend on Capsilon’s automation and infrastructure to offer them better productivity, and decreased time to complete a mortgage.
Offering this level of efficiency to customers requires seamless infrastructure. Director of Infrastructure Todd Richert runs all data center operations, overseeing everything from hardware to the operating system.
“Our company is a technology company, and we’re a cloud company,” shared Richert. “Technology is critical to everything we do. Storage and compute power are critical to every part of our company. We couldn’t do anything without them.”
Billions of small files inspired the search for simpler data storage
Capsilon’s data intensive workload puts rigorous demands on their storage system. “Right now we have about 30 billion files. Each loan that we process contains roughly 4,000 files, and they’re all under 10kb in size,” said Richert.
With such a high number of small files and their volume rapidly scaling with their business, the infrastructure team took a hard look at the situation with their previous vendor. Looking not just at today’s needs, but their needs in the next few years, Richert found himself questioning whether that solution was enough to meet their needs.
Namely, Richert observed shocking inefficiencies within their storage system. “Every terabyte of data we stored in the previous solution was using about 10 terabytes of actual physical storage. We were wasting a lot of space and that had implications on rackspace, power, cooling, heating, and constantly having to add more drives.”
But efficiency wasn’t their only pain point. Richert knew the level of customer support they were experiencing, and the intensity of management couldn’t possibly be the best the industry had to offer. “We were also having issues in terms of drive placements taking way too long, taking weeks to add nodes, and having a hundred plus drive failures in a single year. We were constantly working on this vendor’s solution, and it became a full time job for my staff to manage.”
HPE and Qumulo offered a compelling alternative
Well versed in HPE products, Richert looked to his relationship with HPE for alternatives. They recommended he take a look at Qumulo’s product line with HPE based on how closely Qumulo’s value add aligned with his current struggles.
Once Richert dug into Qumulo’s offering on HPE hardware, he was excited to see the product in action. “Having the HPE name behind it was helpful. My company has a strong affinity for known brands and having HPE behind it was a solid winner. We also require encryption on disk for data at rest, and this was the only solution that met that need at the time.“
“Having the HPE name behind it was helpful. My company has a strong affinity for known brands and having HPE behind it was a solid winner. We required encryption on disk for data at rest, and this was the only solution that met that need at the time.”
Todd Richert, Director of Infrastructure
Selecting Qumulo for efficient storage
Before making the final decision to choose Qumulo, Reichert and his team needed to change their internal conversation about how value is quantified when it comes to data storage. “Changing the conversation from price per gig to price per logical gig was key,” elaborated Richert. “What does it actually cost us to store one gig of customer data? Ultimately that’s the number that matters.”
Richert ran the numbers with his team and found the results staggering. “By doing that calculation, Qumulo came out dramatically ahead because we were about to go from a 10 to 1 conversion ratio with a previous vendor to a 3.5 to 1 with qumulo.”
When Richert and the rest of Capsilon’s leadership team looked at the value on the table, it became a much clearer decision.
“Being able to get from 256 kb down to 4 kb made the most efficient use of the drives for all of our files. That combined with having encryption and having a major vendor like HPE behind the hardware were some of the deciding factors that led to our final decision.”
- Scale. Better management for high numbers of small files in a growing company.
- Real-time Visibility. Better insights into the data led to better business decisions.
- Storage Efficiency. Higher return on investment in capacity.
- Customer Value. Meaningful partnership and investment from support.
The power of simple storage you can see
Now, with time under their belt using the Qumulo system, Richert and his team have seen a clear improvement in their storage system. “The technology has been great; it’s been pretty much flawless,” said Richert.
Richert expressed appreciation that his Qumulo system requires little resources and effort from his team. “The majority of my team doesn’t know anything about Qumulo. They worked in the previous solution every day because there were always problems. WIth Qumulo, we perform a quarterly upgrade, and other than that, we generally don’t have touch it. So the technology is rock solid.”
The visibility of Qumulo’s data analytics have also been a game changer for Richert and his team. “I can log in at any time and I can see exactly where the data went or where it’s growing. If there’s a performance issue, I can see where that performance is coming from. The real-time aspect has been huge for us.”
This is a big change from the previous vendor, who offered some level of visibility but at such a delayed cadence that it wasn’t offering Richert’s team the timely information they needed. “Most vendors have some version of the data available. But in our previous solution, for example, it would take six to seven weeks to be able to get that data, if it existed at all.”
“Changing the conversation from price per gig to price per logical gig was key. What does it actually cost us to store one gig of customer data? Ultimately that’s the number that matters. By doing that calculation, Qumulo came out dramatically ahead because we were about to go from a 10 to 1 conversion ratio with a previous vendor to a 3.5 to 1 with Qumulo.”
Todd Richert, Director of Infrastructure
Building a long term partnership
Richert has also been impressed with the real partnership forming between his team and Qumulo. Particularly the option of working with the Qumulo team through Slack has offered Richert the support they were hoping for.
“I can’t say enough about how flexible and available Qumulo staff have been. If I post a question in my customer Slack channel, I’ve got an answer almost always within minutes.” Said Richert. “I’ve actually never even called the Qumulo phone number. I just use the Slack channel because you guys are so responsive. That’s been amazing.”
But partnership isn’t just about accessibility. Richert is impressed by the genuine level of engagement he receives from the Qumulo team. “Whenever I have a concern, I feel that Qumulo representatives, regardless of who they are, are genuinely concerned and want to make it better. Every case is treated as a unique individual case. I feel like the people know my systems, and they care about me.”