Sin Chew Media improves data access with a new disaster recovery platform

Decreasing recovery point objective by 98 percent with IBM and Integrated Global Solutions Bht

Published on 28-Jan-2013

"Today, our disaster recovery infrastructure empowers our business with a 67 percent faster RTO and a 98 percent faster data RPO. In the unlikely event of a disaster, we are certain that our production services and data will be intact." - Junn Mun, Senior ICT Manager for Systems and Infrastructure, Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad

Customer:
Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad

Industry:
Media & Entertainment

Deployment country:
Malaysia

Solution:
Business Continuity, Business Resiliency

IBM Business Partner:
Integrated Global Solutions Bht

Overview

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad (Sin Chew Media) is one of the largest Chinese print newspapers in Malaysia. The group owns four national newspapers, more than 30 magazines, and operates a popular online news portal — www.sinchew.com.my. The group employs around 3,000 employees across 52 branch offices and seven satellite print sites with local editorial presence nationwide.

Business need:
Malaysian newspaper publisher Sin Chew Media wanted to reduce risk and support growth by improving the availability of mission-critical data and ensuring rapid recovery in the event of a disaster.

Solution:
Working with IBM Business Partner Integrated Global Solutions Sdn. Bhd, the company implemented asynchronously replicated IBM® Power Systems™ servers at its primary and secondary site.

Benefits:
Decreases recovery time objectives by 67 percent and recovery point objective by 98 percent, reducing business risk in the event of a disaster. Improves SAP ERP performance by 30 percent.

Case Study

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad (Sin Chew Media) is one of the largest Chinese print newspapers in Malaysia. The group owns four national newspapers, more than 30 magazines, and operates a popular online news portal — www.sinchew.com.my. The group employs around 3,000 employees across 52 branch offices and seven satellite print sites with local editorial presence nationwide.

Meeting growth challenges

With its business growing rapidly, Sin Chew Media wanted to scale its operation while ensuring complete business continuity through its VMware Site Replication manager implementation, which enables mission-critical production services to fail over to a disaster recovery site at the touch of a button.

As Junn Mun, Senior ICT Manager for Systems and Infrastructure at Sin Chew Media Corporation Bhd, explains: “As a group, we have a policy of reviewing and refreshing our IT infrastructure every three years. This serves two essential purposes; first, it enables us to gain the vital capacity we need to continue growing as a business, by increasing both the physical storage capacity and the performance of our application servers.

“The second aspect is investment protection—based on the results of our reviews, we can determine whether to scale out an existing technology or switch to a new platform.”

Consolidating with IBM BladeCenter

In recent years, Sin Chew Media adopted SAP ERP running on IBM Power Systems servers and IBM BladeCenter® POWER® processor-based blades, replacing planning applications running on a heterogeneous x86 server environment. Most other mission-critical applications were also migrated to the new IBM Power® environment after the initial implementation was complete.

“After the initial adoption of SAP ERP and migration of applications to IBM AIX® on Power, our business continued to grow,” says Junn Mun. “We have found AIX to be an extremely reliable and stable platform for our Oracle database. This is vital for us, as the Oracle database supports our important SAP ERP applications.”

Need for a resilient platform

“Business expansion was no problem for us from an ICT perspective,” continues Junn Mun. “Our challenge was to ensure that the growing amount of data in our production systems is always available and could be restored in the event of a disaster.

“We determined that our recovery time objective [RTO] was six hours, and our recovery point objective [RPO] was five days. This presented a high level of business risk. If there were a failure to one of our production systems, the publication or an entire edition would have been jeopardized—costing us at least $2 million in tangible loss, and damaging our brand image.”

Building a disaster recovery solution

Sin Chew Media engaged its trusted IBM Business Partner Integrated Global Solutions Sdn. Bhd. to design, configure and implement a feasible disaster recovery solution tightly coupled to current and future business needs.

Junn Mun comments: “To reduce our business risk in the event of an unexpected outage, we decided to create an asynchronous mirror of our SAP ERP production systems at a geographically separate data center.”

Working together with Integrated Global Solutions, the Sin Chew Media ICT team migrated the SAP ERP production environment to an IBM Power 720 Express server, with its Oracle database hosted on an IBM BladeCenter JS12 server. Integrated Global Solutions deployed additional IBM Power System servers at a secondary location to mirror Sin Chew Media’s mission-critical SAP ERP production environment.

“Thanks to the professionalism and experience of Integrated Global Solutions team, the solution was delivered on-time, within budget, and without any major setbacks,” says Junn Mun.

Assured business continuity

Since implementing its IBM disaster recovery solution, Sin Chew Media has gained the assurance of business continuity—enabling the group to continue to grow its business operations with confidence.

“In the past, our RTO was six hours and our RPO was almost a full working week—meaning that it would take us six hours to get back up and running with data from five days before,” says Junn Mun. “Today, our disaster recovery systems enable an RTO of just two hours, and an RPO of 30 minutes—an improvement of 67 percent and 98 percent respectively. In the unlikely event of a disaster, we are certain that our production data will be protected.”

Boosting SAP performance

In addition to substantially reducing its business risk, Sin Chew Media has also benefited from a boost in SAP ERP application performance.

“SAP applications are the cornerstone of our business,” says Junn Mun. “Our new Power Systems hardware enabled us to decrease SAP ERP application access times by 30 percent overall—allowing more reporters to use our systems concurrently without loss of responsiveness, and offering us additional headroom to grow.”

Planning for the future

Following the successful implementation of its robust IBM disaster recovery solution, Sin Chew Media has plans to create a digital group-wide asset management system supported by IBM XIV® Storage System technology. When complete, the system will enable the group to archive news stories and images, and monetize content to external news agencies.

“Through our work with IBM and Integrated Global Solutions over the years, we have been able to steadily increase the resiliency and performance of our environment,” concludes Junn Mun. “With this latest solution, we have gained the business continuity we needed to reduce our business risk, together with additional capacity and performance.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
BladeCenter JS12 Express, Power 720 Express, Storage: XIV

Software:
AIX

Operating system:
AIX

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America January 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, BladeCenter, Power, POWER, Power Systems, and XIV are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Actual available storage capacity may be reported for both uncompressed and compressed data and will vary and may be less than stated. POC03115-USEN-00