Published on 05-Aug-2011
"IBM Power servers and IBM i provide an ideal platform for our business-critical JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications. Specifically, the solution offers the exceptional availability and reliability required to support 24/7 manufacturing processes, while improving the user experience and helping us deliver a better service to customers." - Graham Maples, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer, Juken New Zealand
Juken New Zealand
Juken New Zealand Ltd (Juken) is a New Zealand-based and -registered company which manufactures advanced and innovative wood products from selectively planted, managed and harvested Radiata Pine for local and export markets.
Juken was experiencing unplanned outages in the Intel® and Microsoft® SQL Server infrastructure supporting its JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications. When the company began using the manufacturing component of this application suite, this level of downtime was simply no longer acceptable for the 24/7 operations necessary to run Juken’s mills.
Working with IBM® Business Partners Jireh Consulting and Dimension Data, Juken replaced its Intel infrastructure with IBM Power® 520 and IBM BladeCenter® JS12 Express servers running the IBM i operating system. The company also chose to migrate from Microsoft SQL Server database to an IBM DB2® database.
Gained superb levels of availability and reliability, practically eliminating unscheduled downtime. Boosted response speeds despite an increase in the number of transactions. Reduced the time taken to process overnight batch processes by 45 percent.
Juken New Zealand Ltd (Juken) is a New Zealand-based and -registered company which manufactures advanced and innovative wood products from selectively planted, managed and harvested Radiata Pine for local and export markets. Involved heavily with the New Zealand forestry and wood-processing industries for the past 20 years, Juken is responsible for sustainably managed and certified plantation forests in the Northland, East Coast and Wairarapa regions of New Zealand’s North Island. Juken also benefits from the technology and resources of its Japan-based parent company WoodOne Ltd – a major international housing materials and componentry company. With its head office located in Auckland, Juken directly employs approximately 1,000 people as well as a range of contractors.
Consequences of unscheduled downtime
A committed user of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications since 2003, Juken had long relied on an infrastructure built around Intel processor-based servers and Microsoft SQL Server databases. The infrastructure was not proving sufficiently reliable, with frequent unplanned outages disrupting operations and calling for regular system restarts. Moreover, the company was experiencing difficulties in maintaining data integrity within its Microsoft SQL Server database.
Graham Maples, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer at Juken explains: “The JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications play a huge role in the smooth running of our business. Consequently, any downtime can have significant negative consequences for operations. Our existing Intel infrastructure was simply not robust enough, with unexpected crashes causing us to undertake system restarts at least once a week. This was also threatening data accuracy.”
Requiring a robust platform to support 24/7 manufacturing
Electing to roll out the manufacturing component of the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne application suite across Juken’s mills increased the urgency of eliminating downtime.
“Whereas previously our JD Edwards applications were mainly used during 9-5 working hours, rolling out the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Manufacturing application required 24/7 availability,” says Maples. “We deployed the manufacturing component to generate labels for every single one of our products – and these labels are the key to ensuring that products are distributed correctly. As a result, if the system went down, we could potentially have major issues in terms of logistics.”
Turning to trusted partners for a solution
A long-held relationship with IBM Business Partner Jireh Consulting, which provides ongoing support for Juken’s JD Edwards solution, made them the ideal partner to advise on a new, robust infrastructure. Jireh Consulting suggested moving to the IBM Power platform and running the IBM i operating system, which includes an integrated IBM DB2 database. Jireh was able to cite a number of other customers who had successfully made the same choice.
“The Jireh Consulting team have worked with us for a long time and have proved extremely reliable, so we trust them to truly understand our needs,” comments Maples. “When they directed us towards an IBM solution, this immediately appealed to us, especially when we heard that one of their other customers had suffered just three unplanned outages in the past seven years on the IBM i platform.”
Deploying IBM technology
Jireh Consulting worked with IBM and another IBM Business Partner, Dimension Data, to replace Juken’s Intel platform with an IBM Power 520 server running the IBM i operating system in production. IBM BladeCenter JS12 blade servers support the company’s disaster recovery and test environments. The migration from Microsoft SQL Server to IBM DB2 was handled by Jireh Consulting, and presented a valuable opportunity to improve data integrity.
“We were very impressed by how well IBM, Jireh Consulting and Dimension Data worked together, bringing different strengths to the project,” says Maples. “The migration of our data from Microsoft SQL Server to IBM DB2 presented a particular challenge, since IBM DB2 boasts much stricter requirements for data consistency. So, although this process may have been quite laborious, it laid the foundations for data continuity going forwards.”
Enjoying ultra-high availability on IBM Power
Since deploying the IBM solution, Juken has experienced only negligible periods of unscheduled downtime. By significantly increasing availability in this way, the company is able to reliably keep track of stock and operations.
“Our uptime levels have been totally transformed since implementation of the IBM solutions,” explains Maples. “In striking contrast to weekly restarts, we now just have one monthly scheduled downtime for a full backup, and enjoy highly impressive availability the rest of the time. By removing the threat of unexpected outages, we can be confident our 24/7 manufacturing processes have the right IT infrastructure supporting them.”
Boosting performance and processing power
Although introducing the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Manufacturing application increased the overall number of transactions carried out by Juken’s systems by 64 percent, the company was impressed to find that nonetheless, performance was still significantly enhanced for many jobs on the IBM platform.
“Rolling out the manufacturing component of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne hugely increased the load on our servers – for example, some jobs now involve 36 times as much data as before,” says Maples. “The IBM Power servers are more than able to handle this: some jobs take about the same time to process as before manufacturing was introduced, while others run up to 45 percent faster.”
Improving user satisfaction
With Jireh Consulting and Dimension Data supporting the solution, Juken’s IT team is free to focus on more valuable projects, such as optimising systems to improve response times for users. This further increases productivity and user satisfaction with the solution.
Maples concludes, “IBM Power servers and IBM i provide an ideal platform for our business-critical JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications. Specifically, the solution offers the exceptional availability and reliability required to support 24/7 manufacturing processes, while improving the user experience and helping us deliver a better service to customers.”
Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011. IBM New Zealand Ltd, IBM Center, 25 Victoria Street, Petone, P.O. Box 38993, Wellington, New Zealand. Produced in New Zealand. August 2011. All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DB2, Power and BladeCenter are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Intel, the Intel logo, and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. IBM and Jireh Consulting are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Jireh Consulting makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. 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. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.