Baldor Electric opts for IBM ProtecTIER and IBM XIV

Protect More. Store Less.

Published on 26-Jul-2011

"We were sold on ProtecTIER the first time we looked at it. We read the tech specs and we thought that this is a perfect fit for what we’re doing." - Eric Breuer, Systems Manager, Baldor Electric Company

Customer:
Baldor Electric Company

Industry:
Electronics

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Business Continuity, Business Resiliency, Data Warehouse, Database Management, Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Infrastructure Simplification, Integrated Data Management, Optimizing IT, IT/infrastructure

IBM Business Partner:
Sirius Computer Solutions, Inc.

Overview

Baldor Electric Company is a global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of industrial electric motors, mechanical power transmission products, drives and generators. With headquarters in Fort Smith, Ark., Baldor products are sold to distributors and original equipment manufacturers in more than 70 countries. A division of ABB, a leading power and automation technology group based in Zurich, Switzerland, Baldor has about 6,800 employees.

Business need:
Faced with an aging physical tape backup system, the company needed a scalable virtual tape solution that could seamlessly integrate into its existing storage infrastructure.

Solution:
Working with IBM Business Partner Sirius and IBM, Baldor deployed an IBM® System Storage® TS7680 ProtecTIER® Deduplication Gateway for System z® and an IBM XIV® Storage System into the company’s existing storage infrastructure, enabling faster and more frequent backups, faster data restores, and seamless data replication to a remote site for disaster recovery.

Benefits:
The IBM solution enables a 14:1 database deduplication ratio, reduces backup times by 40 percent and restore times by 50 percent, and quadruples the number of backup copies stored, from 7 to 28.

Case Study

Baldor Electric Company is a global leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of industrial electric motors, mechanical power transmission products, drives and generators. With headquarters in Fort Smith, Ark., Baldor products are sold to distributors and original equipment manufacturers in more than 70 countries. A division of ABB, a leading power and automation technology group based in Zurich, Switzerland, Baldor has about 6,800 employees.

With this global footprint, the responsibilities for Baldor’s IT department include managing, backing up and replicating a vast storage infrastructure on a very limited budget. Over time, Baldor’s ability to conduct timely backups and restores across its vast network had become problematic using physical tapes.

Reaching the limits of physical tape

According to Eric Breuer, Systems Manager at Baldor, the main issues with the company’s aging physical tape solution included the cumbersome process of managing thousands of tapes, and having them shipped and transported to an offsite vaulting service. There was also the inconvenience of actually having to retrieve data from a vaulted tape, sometimes in the middle of the night. The company also needed to replace a number of aging tapes, which would have been a significant cost.

“All of that weighed into our decision of getting rid of any physical tape,” says Breuer. “It was time to make a move to replace that technology.”

Seamless integration with existing infrastructure

An essential element of any new tapeless backup solution was making sure it could integrate with Baldor’s existing IT operations, which uses an IBM System z10® mainframe as its primary workhorse. Running a comprehensive suite of SAP software, the z10 supports and manages all aspects of Baldor’s business, from manufacturing and marketing to engineering and accounting.

Multiple logical partitions (LPARs) are running IBM z/OS®, IBM z/VM® and Linux on System z, and these are further divided into production, testing and data sharing/failover instances. The storage infrastructure also includes multiple System Storage DS8000® systems.

Closing the circuit with ProtecTIER, XIV

Breuer tapped his longstanding relationship with IBM for a tapeless solution that could support replication, deduplication and disaster recovery while integrating cleanly with the existing storage array. The new virtual tape library (VTL) solution includes two IBM System Storage TS7680 ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateways for System z each with an attached IBM XIV Storage System with 36.4 terabytes of physical storage space.

Breuer says the decision to go with ProtecTIER and XIV was further bolstered by some fact-finding and support from the storage experts at IBM, who indicated that the IBM DB2® compression schemes used by Baldor made it an excellent candidate for maximizing deduplication ratios.

“IBM is the hardware of choice in our realm,” says Breuer. “We were sold on it the first time we looked at it. We read the tech specs and we thought that this is a perfect fit for what we’re doing.”

Making it work—with IBM

Initial tests ran ProtecTIER on Baldor’s premises, alongside the legacy tape system, to make sure the backups were performing as expected. Initial replication testing was performed onsite as well, with both systems installed and connected by local IP links in order to load and synchronize the contents of both systems prior to relocating the second unit to the disaster recovery site. Eventually, Baldor set up its second ProtecTIER device at IBM’s Business Continuity and Resiliency Services facility, in Boulder, Colo., to further test replication capabilities. Once it was at the DR site, the contents of the two machines were fully synchronized within three days. After the ProtecTIER solution went live, Breuer says he was able to phase out physical tape in a matter of weeks.

With the new solution, Baldor can now back up its five production databases twice a day and keep the data for 14 days, for a total of 28 copies. This strategy enables far more coverage than what was possible with the previous solution, which could only save seven copies at any given time.

Performance gains across the board

The resulting performance gains have been significant for Breuer and his team. The IBM solution, which is connected over four FICON® channels, has written 152 terabytes so far. Thanks to a 14:1 deduplication ratio, only 10 terabytes out of the XIV’s 36.4 terabytes has been used.

Daily backup times have shrunk by about 40 percent and restore times have been slashed from about eight hours with the previous solution to about five hours with ProtecTIER. Backup times on Baldor’s production database, which comprises about 95 percent of the company’s data, have been reduced from four and a half hours to two and a half hours.

One of the added benefits of the solution, adds Breuer, is how quickly the backup data can now be replicated offsite. With a daily change rate of about seven percent, data being sent to the IBM site in Boulder is completely replicated 30 minutes after the backups jobs have finished in Fort Smith.

“It’s replicating as I’m backing up,” says Breuer. “When I discovered that, it was like a light bulb turned on. We never had that option under real tape.”

Beyond performance metrics, the new solution has freed up about 100 square feet of data center floor space, which Breuer says “is definitely something we’re looking forward to getting back.”

IBM—a partner for success

From initial research to final implementation, Breuer says working with IBM Premier Business Partner® Sirius Computer Solutions and IBM has been a critical part of the project’s overall success.

“In one word, our working relationship with our IBM team has been exceptional,” says Breuer. “They’ve always given us the support and resources we needed to do anything we’ve ever asked them to do. All I can say is that it has been exceptional.”

For more information

Contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner. Visit us at ibm.com/systems/storage

For more information about Baldor Electric Company, visit: www.baldor.com

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage: DS8000, Storage: TS7680 ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateway for System z, Storage: XIV, System z: System z10

Software:
DB2 for z/OS, z/VM, Linux, z/OS

Operating system:
Linux, z/OS and OS/390, z/VM

Service:
GTS ITS BCRS Resiliency Consulting Services

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America July 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, ProtecTIER, Protect More. Store Less., System Storage and XIV are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. Offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice. All client examples cited represent how some clients have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Performance data for IBM and non-IBM products and services contained in this document was derived under specific operating and environmental conditions. The actual results obtained by any party implementing such products or services will depend on a large number of factors specific to such party’s operating environment and may vary significantly. IBM makes no representation that these results can be expected or obtained in any implementation of any such products or services. The information in this document is provided “as-is” without any warranty, either expressed or implied.