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Unox Spa : VMware and EMC behind the renewal of information systems and backup

The leading international operator in the market of professional ovens for bakery, confectionery and food, redesigns the information infrastructure by consolidating server farm in a VMware environment and the area storage with EMC CLARiiON – CX3. Also resolved the critical processes of saving and restoring your data with the backup solution and EMC Data Domain deduplication, reducing application time backup windows, optimizing procedures and drastically reducing the storage capacity required for storing information.

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A bit of history

Established in 1990, thanks to a continuous process of innovation and development of new technologies to be applied to products, Unox Spa for a turnover of 60 million euros – has quickly established itself in the international market as a leading manufacturer of professional ovens in the industry bakery, confectionery and food. The headquarters is in Vigodarzere, in the province of Padua, where there are also establishments and installations in which occurs the complete cycle of production (design, engineering, realization of individual components, assembly and quality control), storage and shipping of the entire and wide range of products ranging from cooking plates for bars to combi ovens for restaurants, hospitals and large facilities. Unox today is present in over 85 countries worldwide in which exports more than 80% of its production, and is the first international operator by number of professional ovens sold annually. A market, the foreign, of fundamental importance in which the company operates through importers and with a growing number of branch offices, pursuing a strategy to have a direct presence in key states for greater control of operations.

Benefits

  1. Maximum integration in the SAP environment
  2. Increase in performance and improved service levels
  3. Flexibility and ease of management servers and applications
  4. Lower energy consumption
  5. Reducing costs of hardware and software management
  6. Optimization processes Backup
  7. Data deduplication
  8. Elimination of backup windows and storage busy
  9. Flexibility growth
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IT, the vital engine company

For a company that does research and development innovation the fundamental pillars on which to build their present and future business, IT infrastructure is a vital asset. “In unox IT services are considered as strategic and important as the business itself,” says Andrea Bettiato, ICT manager. “The operational management, research and development, design, production, archive of technical documentation, it all depends on information systems. They are the repositories of know-how built up over twenty years. For this reason the computerization is to us the greatest attention and importance by all, from the Directorate-General “. Flexibility, safety and efficiency are therefore essential requirements for IT Unox and they are based on the choices and the development of infrastructure that must always be able to meet the needs of individual departments, responding promptly and effectively.

The evolution of the infrastructure

The computer systems of Unox Spa have been expanded and modified over time, adapting each time the operating requirements. But the real breakthrough happened in the last three years redesigning the entire infrastructure with the primary objective of simplifying the management of resources and applications, improve service levels and increase security and data protection by optimizing processes backup. Another important motivation for change was the decision to acquire the SAP ERP, to manage the activities of local and remote branch offices, and the application of Siemens Teamcenter, for the management of the technical documentation of the products, two applications that needed to strengthen significant infrastructure. The IT evolution occurred through by two basic steps. The first, in 2007, covered the consolidation of server farm of a new blade platform for VMware virtualized environment and storage management with the adoption of an EMC CLARiiON CX3. The second, in 2010, has faced and solved the critical backup jobs, come to saturate the available time windows endangering the security of information and the company’s operations, with the implementation of the backup solution and EMC Data Deduplication Domain.

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Step 1: server and storage consolidation

The IT infrastructure, enhanced over the years by adding new servers to meet the needs of new applications and services, had reached a level of complexity that require action optimization and rationalization of resources. The presence of 15 servers of varying power and configuration, not interconnected and easily interchangeable, it required an increasing management difficulties showing little flexibility to change and use and exploitation of resources is not balanced.

A complex situation that affected the quality of service to users, further burdened the increase of the electric system that was saturating the total capacity of power supply to the engine room, and the maintenance more difficult and costly for the succession of upgrades to add servers and storage cards.

Moreover, the decision to acquire the SAP ERP application and the Siemens Teamcenter®, would require the inclusion of other high-performance server, threatening to exacerbate an already in itself quite critical.

“In 2007, with the support of Lan & Wan Solutions, the system integrator for years behind us in the choices and in the design of our infrastructure” Bettiato adds, “we redesigned our computer system consolidating server farms and storage in a virtualized environment to streamline and optimize the use of resources while increasing performance, decreasing costs and to add ease and flexibility of management by improving service levels. One step we have taken choosing the environment for VMware server virtualization, supported by the SAN storage EMC CLARiiON CX3. The benefits of performance, cost and reliability have been almost immediate. “

The 15 physical servers were consolidated in a blade server with VMware Infrastructure Enterprise 3.0, enabling 7 virtual machines on which were present the same application. A reduction achieved not having the need for redundancy and distribute certain services across multiple physical servers for problems of processing power. The activation of new virtual machines, currently 20 in total, to support new applications, including SAP ERP and Teamcenter of Siemens, has occurred then with extreme speed and simplicity. To support the VMware was installed a SAN storage with EMC CLARiiON CX3-10 Fibre Channel disks with a total capacity of 4 TB early, later expanded to about 10 TB. Storage infrastructure, high performance, highly reliable, scalable and able to perfectly serve the new IT architecture of Unox, allowing you to efficiently manage corporate data and ensure fast and secure access to applications.

The EMC CLARiiON installed Unox has SnapView, software that allows you to make point- in-time copies of Mon discs belonging to the same system to be used for different purposes and Replication Manager software to provide automated management of replicas consistent with the application.

This new high-performance and reliable infrastructure has allowed UNOX to start in 2009 with a project of centralization and virtualization of the desktop with the help of Microsoft Terminal Server and VMware VDI, then became VIEW by introducing VSPHERE 4 in 2010. Energy saving is another great achievement. “We have no precise data concerning the electricity consumption before and after consolidation, but assessments made ​​we can safely say that saving is higher than 15 %, whereas today the applications running in your VMware are about three times more than available with physical servers,” said Bettiato.

Step 2 : streamlining the backup process

Until 2009 backup procedures were performed using a robotic tape library with LT03 technology and respecting corporate policies that provide for daily incremental backups and weekly full backups with a retention period of data a month. A process “traditional” that proved no longer adequate for the growing amount of data and information to save and store because of the increasing activities and new applications. The challenge in meeting the backup time windows available were increasingly evident: daily incremental backups lasted the entire night with the risk of not completed before the start of the work, while a week needed for the entire weekend be completed. Not to mention the complex and laborious tape management and recovery time excessively long.

“We had reached a critical level that requires a complete overhaul of the backup processes, increasing the speed by restoring the necessary security guarantees for business information. The alternative of acquiring a new tape library with more performance and capacity, we have opted for an advanced backup and deduplication best suited to our current needs and support future developments that we are planning, “said Bettiato”. We then selected the solution storage backup and Data Domain deduplication from EMC and as well as having brilliantly solved all the problems of performance, after a few months we have achieved a compression ratio of 5: 1 with a view to arrive shortly to 10 : 1. It means that 10 TB of data to be saved corresponds to an effective occupation of storage of 1TB, with the benefits easily imaginable speed and less occupation of space on disk and tape.”

The Data Domain solution offers all the advantages of a disk backup capabilities combined with data deduplication “block of variable length”, patented by Data Domain, compared to that block of fixed length, it reduces the amount of redundant data obtaining compressions by factors of deduplication greater than 20: 1.

With the installation of the library EMC Data Domain DD630 – a nominal capacity of 12 TB corresponding to more than 120 TB of actual data to be saved, considering a compression ratio of 10: 1 – the backup process in Unox has definitely improved. Currently it is changed 5 backup streams in parallel, the first executable sequentially, drastically reducing both the incremental backup and full of that and still have room for improvement given that the library Data Domain has a bandwidth capacity can sustain throughput greater than 1.1 TB / hour, quite far from being saturated.

The period of retention of the full backup has increased from 1 to 3 months increasing security and making any recovery extremely fast executable directly from disk library Data Domain. The tape backup procedure still needs to be disaster recovery, he has benefited. Are stored only the full backup weekly, using data deduplication, now occupy only a couple of boxes than the previous 15-20, to the advantage of ease of handling and storage.

The evolution of information systems Unox

With the construction of the new headquarters of Unox and new plants, scheduled for 2011, the information systems will be spread over two sites with a view to disaster recovery. At the primary site with the existing infrastructure, alongside a secondary site where it will be installed a blade server with VMware to lower power than the main but still be able to withstand the “core” services company. The server will be connected to another Disk Library Data Domain which will have two functions: synchronous remote replication and the main library, disaster recovery and business continuity, and storage network available to the secondary site.

The support of Lan & Wan Solutions

Lan & Wan Solutions, EMC and VMware partners, actively working for over 6 years with Unox providing consulting services and design of information systems and its contribution has been instrumental in the realization of these important projects. It is a young and dynamic organization with expertise ranging from information technology cabling and active in the market for the design, supply of products and services and consultancy of systems data and voice network, telematics and information systems.

“The collaboration of Lan & Wan Solutions goes beyond the commercial aspects. Their skills are an invaluable support for product selection, design and dimensioning of our information systems. It is a constant and high-level consulting that allows us to provide levels of service always adapted to our users,” concludes Bettiato.

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