Panduit Corp. buoys service levels with IBM Power solution

Published on 11-Aug-2011

"We were really looking for the best performance, price, and scalability, and we found that with the IBM solution." - Joanne Tyree, group vice president of IT and network services, Panduit Corp.

Customer:
Panduit Corp.

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
IGF, IT/infrastructure, Business Agility Framework, Business Continuity, Business Resiliency, Energy Efficiency, Green/Sustainability, High Availability , Optimizing IT, Virtualization

IBM Business Partner:
Mainline Information Systems Inc.

Overview

Based in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Ill., Panduit Corp. is a leading provider of end-to-end technology solutions to help companies connect, manage and automate communications, computing, power, control and security systems for a smarter, unified business foundation. Founded in 1955, Panduit has 3,500 employees at locations around the world.

Business need:
Amid rapid growth, Panduit Corp. needed an affordable server solution that could support increased demand on its mission-critical applications with better performance, availability and scalability.

Solution:
Panduit worked with IBM® Premier Business Partner Mainline Information Systems to implement IBM Power® 570 servers running IBM AIX® and IBM PowerVM™ to support its existing Oracle business software.

Benefits:
The IBM solution reduced the footprint of the Oracle Environment from six racks to less than one, lowered licensing costs while powering more applications and achieved 25 percent space savings in the overall data center footprint.

Case Study

Based in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Ill., Panduit Corp. is a leading provider of end-to-end technology solutions to help companies connect, manage and automate communications, computing, power, control and security systems for a smarter, unified business foundation. Founded in 1955, Panduit has 3,500 employees at locations around the world.

Rapid growth spurs data center demand

The nature of Panduit’s business—helping customers optimize their physical infrastructure through simplification, agility, and operational efficiency—also demands high availability, performance and scalability from the data center. But rapid growth at Panduit meant the company’s legacy data center solution could no longer reliably meet these requirements.

“We were really pushing the envelope in terms of performance and capacity, and the enterprise was suffering,” explains Joanne Tyree, group vice president of IT and network services at Panduit. “We were not able to maintain the high service levels that IT likes to deliver to our customers. We needed something that could deliver high performance, high availability, and be able to scale up.”

Delivering performance while limiting downtime

Panduit began exploring new options that could deliver the best performance and scalability at the most competitive price while delivering on specific requirements such as UNIX support. According to Tyree, the capability to take down the system without impacting its business was of critical importance, because all of Panduit’s global business services are delivered from a single data center using a single instance of Oracle. This configuration limited downtime to about four hours each Saturday night, and, as Tyree explains, “any time we go out of that window, we are taking some part of our business down temporarily.”

The hunt was on for a new server solution that could meet Panduit’s needs. The company engaged with IBM and other vendors to evaluate the performance characteristics of potential hardware options. “We were really looking for the best performance, price, and scalability,” says Tyree, “and we found that with the IBM solution.”

Multifaceted IBM solution addresses needs

Panduit implemented two IBM Power 570 servers running IBM AIX and IBM PowerVM to support an existing software stack that includes Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle middleware and Oracle Database 10g. At key phases of the process, Panduit tapped the resources of IBM, IBM Global Financing and IBM Premier Business Partner Mainline Information Systems—a worldwide provider of information technology and business solutions with more than 600 employees nationwide.

“It was very evident to us, in all the research and testing that we had done, that IBM’s Power series was going to significantly reduce our total cost of ownership and give us the long-term scalability and growth that we needed to support our Oracle environment today, as well as in the future,” adds Marc Naese, Director of IT infrastructure and operations at Panduit.

One Power 570 is used in Panduit’s production environment and the other makes use of virtualization technology to run multiple development instances of Oracle. The new virtualized environment includes a number of logical partitions (LPARs) that support various applications within Oracle E-Business Suite, as well as database servers. The second Power 570 also helps Panduit with business resiliency by serving as a failover unit.

Saving time and money with IBM

Among the benefits of the IBM solution, notes Tyree, is the flexibility that virtualization provides for shifting CPU and application memory loads on demand. This capability helps Panduit to scale applications and make sure their customers are receiving the performance, reliability and redundancy they require. The solution has also fit into Panduit’s progressive sustainability policies by slashing the number of cabinets required for the Oracle environment from six to half of one cabinet and achieving 25 percent space savings in the data center—all while allowing the company to run more applications with fewer CPUs.

Tyree and Naese agree that one of the most significant features of the Power 570 has been Capacity on Demand, which gives them the flexibility to activate dormant processors and memory resources without taking systems or applications down.

“It has allowed us to tune our system and react to unexpected demand in minutes,” says Tyree. “It makes our IT organization much more flexible, which in turn allows us to provide the agility that the organization needs.”

Overall performance enhancements from the IBM solution have also improved day-to-day business operations, from more efficient warehousing and manufacturing efforts to more stable and predictable customer service response times.

“Customer service response times have become much more stable,” explains Tyree. “We’re able to work in a much more predictable, comfortable way without having to wait for the system to respond.”

Building success through strong relationships

The solution has fortified an already solid relationship Panduit has with IBM and Mainline. Tyree says Mainline was a key piece of Panduit’s success in the implementation, and she credits IBM with understanding and addressing the unique challenges her organization faced.

“I’ve always felt like I can talk to the people from IBM and say, ‘I’m having this problem, help me.’ And they do,” she says. “They come up with creative answers to my problems and they stick with me to make sure we get things implemented and running smoothly. You really can’t ask for better people to work with.”

With Power 570 on their side, Tyree and Naese believe their data center can continue to expand and successfully meet customer demand for years to come.

“We definitely achieved the objectives that we set out to achieve with our implementation of IBM Power Systems,” says Tyree. “It’s very reliable, very fast, very consistent—and that’s what we needed.”

For more information

Contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/systems/power

For more information about Panduit, visit: www.panduit.com

For more information about Mainline Information Systems, visit: www.mainline.com

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Power 570

Software:
AIX, PowerVM

Operating system:
AIX, UNIX

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 August 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, Power and PowerVM, 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 UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. IBM and Mainline Information Systems are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Mainline Information Systems makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. 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.