Published on 05-Dec-2011
Business Resiliency, Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, Energy Efficiency, SmartCloud - Foundation, Smarter Computing, Virtualization - Server, Virtualization - Storage
With more than 1,900 employees, a distribution network in excess of 1,000 partners and more than 85,000 clients, Zucchetti Group is an undisputed landmark in the Italian ICT (information, communication, technology) sector. Zucchetti Group also operates worldwide, in the U.S. and in most major European, North and South American, Middle Eastern and North African countries. Zucchetti Group strives to deliver excellence in products and services and to develop innovative solutions to support customers’ requirements.
Zucchetti Group is expanding rapidly, and faces constant requests to add more capabilities for its clients. Adding more physical servers and storage was an unsustainable approach, as some 700 servers had already filled the company's data centers near to their limits in terms of physical space and energy consumption. Zucchetti Group wanted to add business continuity and disaster recovery services, and to enable a long-term growth strategy.
IBM® provided a complete cloud-based, end-to-end, turn-key solution, based on a range of IBM technologies including IBM BladeCenter® with BladeCenter HX5 blades, IBM XIV® Storage Systems, IBM Tivoli® Service Automation Manager, IBM Systems Director Standard Edition 6.2, IBM BladeCenter Open Fabric Manager and VMware® vSphere™ virtualization.
Around 700 physical systems have been replaced by 16 IBM BladeCenter HX5 blades, a reduction of more than 97 percent. Rack space requirements have been cut by around 94 percent, from 578U to 32U. Energy costs have been cut from over €300,000 to around €10,000 annually, a better than 97 percent improvement. The IBM solution delivers a flexible, scalable and resilient infrastructure capable of growing to meet client demands and supports a full disaster recovery service.
To read an Italian version of this case study, please click here.
With more than 1,900 employees, a distribution network in excess of 1,000 partners and more than 85,000 clients, Zucchetti Group is an undisputed landmark in the Italian ICT (information, communication, technology) sector.
Zucchetti Group also operates worldwide, in the U.S. and in most major European, North and South American, Middle Eastern and North African countries. Zucchetti Group strives to deliver excellence in products and services and to develop innovative solutions to support customers' requirements. Zucchetti Group’s competitive edge includes advanced technological know-how and in-depth knowledge of management and production processes and skills acquired in different market sectors. There are more than 20 Zucchetti Group companies, and their clients include small, medium and large businesses, banks, insurance companies, central and local public administrations and professionals, both in Italy and worldwide.
The need for a long-term growth strategy
Zucchetti Group is expanding rapidly, with constant requests to add more capabilities for its clients. Adding more physical servers and storage was an unsustainable approach, as some 700 servers had already filled the company's data centers near to the limits of physical space and energy consumption. Zucchetti wanted to find a way to meet new client demands, to add business continuity and disaster recovery services, and to enable a long-term growth strategy.
Entering the cloud
It was clear that the existing and growing IT infrastructure of more than 700 servers was becoming too expensive and complex to manage. Working with IBM Global Technology Services, Zucchetti Group developed a strategy that would cut costs and improve performance by moving away from reliance on physical systems and introducing virtualized, cloud-based services for its applications.
The IBM Global Technology Services cloud solution
IBM Global Technology Services designed an elegantly simple cloud solution based on two IBM BladeCenter H chassis, each with eight IBM BladeCenter HX5 blades. Each chassis was shipped with its own rack, console and peripherals for installation at two different sites, to provide a high level of service continuity. The BladeCenters are managed by IBM Systems Director Standard Edition and IBM BladeCenter Open Fabric Manager. Using VMware vSphere, each of these enormously powerful blade servers supports multiple virtual environments.
To manage growing data storage needs, Zucchetti Group replaced its existing storage devices with two IBM XIV Storage Systems, each offering 43 TB capacity. One was installed at each data center. The XIV units support Zucchetti Group’s applications and data, and the company uses the built-in synchronous and asynchronous replication services to copy data between locations to ensure that critical data is always protected.
The two data centers are connected using four Cisco MDS 9148 multi-layer fabric storage switches, provided and configured by IBM. Zucchetti Group uses IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager to monitor and manage its applications and devices, and IBM Tivoli Service Request Manager provides remote support requests, implemented by IBM Global Technology Services.
The result is a solution that uses a high degree of automation to ensure reliable, continuous operation. Applications reside on virtual servers supported by the BladeCenter HX5 blades, and users need to know little or nothing about how those physical servers are configured. VMware vSphere automatically adjusts virtual server resources to ensure service delivery targets are achieved. The XIV Storage Systems deliver storage capacity according to need, and the complexity of managing multiple devices from several vendors has been eliminated. Automated storage allocation using thin provisioning has removed the need for detailed storage management, and in-built data replication across the two data centers ensures that data is always protected against disaster.
Reaping the benefits
Zucchetti Group is using virtualization to deliver a private cloud where provision of processing and storage capacity is automated, resulting in a dramatic reduction of floor space and energy consumption. The 700 physical systems have been replaced by just 16 IBM BladeCenter HX5 blades, a reduction of more than 97 percent. Rack space requirements have been cut from 578U to 32U (around a 94 percent improvement), and energy costs have been cut from over €300,000 to around €10,000 annually (a better than 97 percent improvement).
The twin IBM BladeCenter and XIV solution at each data center provides the disaster recovery and resilience services that Zucchetti required. Data centers that were reaching their limits in terms of space and energy can now comfortably support almost 20 times the total workload of the previous solution, without any need to add rack space or upgrade their power supplies.
Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011. IBM Italia, Circonvallazione Idroscalo, 20090 Segrate (MI), Italy. Produced in Italy, November 2011. All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, BladeCenter, XIV and Tivoli 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. 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.