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Success story

Intuit improves availability and performance of tax software

Fast facts

Industry: Financial
Region: North America
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA
Company size: 8,000 employees

[Our customers] benefit enormously from both the responsiveness and quality of our TurboTax online application.

Mohit Anchlia, I.T. architect, Intuit

Overview

During the U.S. tax season, Intuit customers rely heavily on TurboTax, software that enables online tax preparation and filing. If the application is slow or crashes, customers risk missing the April 15 U.S. tax deadline, and Intuit risks damaging its reputation. Using Red Hat® Gluster Storage, the company protects against site failures and ensures that service scales to keep pace with demand.

Intuit relies on Red Hat

Intuit needed a fast, reliable, and cost-effective storage solution for its TurboTax suite of tax preparation offerings. TurboTax is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite of offerings, so system responsiveness was a critical goal. To help ensure high availability, Intuit needed to replicate data between two datacenters. Intuit chose Red Hat Gluster Storage and got exactly what it needed, at a cost far lower than proprietary storage systems.

The path to success

Challenge: Survive the tax surge

It’s April 15, and procrastinators have just time enough to log in to Intuit TurboTax and e-file their taxes for a much-needed refund. One problem: At that moment, millions of Americans are doing exactly the same thing. "It's absolutely unacceptable for our application to be down in tax season. If it is, we make the news," said Jeff Ludwig, director of product development for Intuit TurboTax. What Intuit needed was a fast, reliable, and cost-effective storage solution to meet the demands of peak usage periods.

Case study

Intuit leverages Red Hat Storage for always-available and massively scalable storage

Solution: Build an open source storage system that expands as needed

Looking for an alternative to an inflexible, proprietary system, Intuit chose an open source storage solution that allows the company to react and expand quickly to meet customer needs. “We needed a fast, scalable file system that could handle billions of small files,” said Ludwig. Intuit selected Red Hat Gluster Storage because of its distributed file system that scales when customers need it to. “Red Hat worked with us the entire way as we designed and built our architectures,” said Mohit Anchlia, IT architect for Intuit TurboTax.

Software & services

Hardware

  • HP ProLiant DL170e G6 servers

Results: Responding quicker, reducing cost

Intuit is now able to react quickly to the demands of tax filers, ensuring its customers have the tools they need to meet the April 15 deadline. “[Our customers] benefit enormously from both the responsiveness and quality of our TurboTax online application," said Anchlia. The solution also offers Intuit a considerably lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than proprietary systems—the cost per terabyte of storage dropped by a factor of 16 to 1.

Although going down a new path sometimes means taking risks, the rewards can be huge if you can deliver breakthroughs in performance and scalability while reducing costs. Red Hat enabled us to do that.

JEFF LUDWIG, DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, INTUIT TURBOTAX