TCCT of Thailand relies on IBM XIV Storage

Published on 26-Feb-2012

"Running three different landscapes caused us a lot of headaches, so we were searching for the right technology that could combine all three into one and still provide an exceptional price. There was only one solution that stood out: the IBM XIV Storage System." - Kosit Suksingha, Managing Director, TCCT

Customer:
TCCT

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Thailand

Solution:
BA - Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Optimizing IT, Virtualization, Virtualization - Applications, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

TCC Group, one of Thailand's largest conglomerates, is active across a variety of business sectors including beverages, property, industrial trading, consumer products, insurance and leasing, and agricultural. Its subsidiary, T.C.C. Technology Co., Ltd. (TCCT), was established in 2001. TCCT is Thailand's leading provider of commercial managed hosting and data center services. TCCT has two world-class data centers, one at the Empire Tower in downtown Bangkok and the other at Bangna-Trad in the city's eastern suburbs.The company provides IT services to its parent group and to external companies.

Business need:
With a parent company that undertakes frequent mergers and acquisitions, TCCT faced the challenge of balancing unpredictable growth in demand for IT performance and capacity with the need to keep costs low and reliability high. Equally, TCCT needed to meet emerging demands for faster and more flexible provisioning of computing services.

Solution:
Two IBM XIV® Storage Systems, with XIV remote mirroring across two data centers, providing a single pool of fast, low-cost storage to support virtualized SAP ERP and Microsoft Exchange landscapes.

Benefits:
The XIV systems delivered a 20-percent performance improvement over the previous solution, with less complexity and lower costs. Built-in mirroring enables rapid disaster recovery at no extra cost.

Case Study

TCC Group, one of Thailand's largest conglomerates, is active across a variety of business sectors including beverages, property, industrial trading, consumer products, insurance and leasing, and agricultural. Its subsidiary, T.C.C. Technology Co., Ltd. (TCCT), was established in 2001. TCCT is Thailand's leading provider of commercial managed hosting and data center services. TCCT has two world-class data centers, one at the Empire Tower in downtown Bangkok and the other at Bangna-Trad in the city's eastern suburbs. The company provides IT services to its parent group as well as to external companies.

With a parent company that undertakes frequent mergers and acquisitions, TCCT faced the challenge of balancing unpredictable growth in demand for IT performance and capacity with the need to keep costs low and reliability high. Equally, TCCT needed to meet emerging demands for faster and more flexible provisioning of computing services.

Kosit Suksingha, Managing Director of TCCT, says: “Storage had become one of our key pain points, because we needed to support three very different environments: low-cost file storage, a highly scalable middle-tier for messaging, and extremely high-performance storage for enterprise applications. Running three different landscapes caused us a lot of headaches, so we were searching for the right technology that could combine all three into one and still provide an exceptional price. There was only one solution that stood out: the IBM® XIV® Storage System.”

Strategic storage platform
Choosing the XIV system as its strategic storage platform was part of a broader technology refresh for TCCT. The company needed greater performance, capacity and scalability across the board to support upgrades to its SAP ERP and Microsoft Exchange Server environments. TCCT also aimed to improve efficiency and both simplify and accelerate disaster recovery procedures. The original approach was to recover from backup tapes—an increasingly difficult and slow process as data volumes continued to grow rapidly.

Kosit Suksingha, Managing Director of TCCT explains: “We wanted a single vendor that could provide a total solution across hardware, software and integration. IBM will go with us wherever we go, that's why we chose them. The XIV technology was a key factor in our decision. The Remote Mirroring software bundled with the XIV systems made it cost-effective to replicate data between our two main sites, dramatically improving our SLAs around disaster recovery.”

TCCT's Empire Tower Data Center now hosts seven distinct SAP ERP production landscapes for TCC Group companies. Six of these environments employ IBM Power 570 servers, along with software products including IBM AIX® and PowerVM™ with either IBM DB2® 9.0 or Oracle 10g databases. The seventh SAP production landscape runs on Microsoft Windows® Server 2003 on an IBM System x® 3950 M2 server with Oracle 10g. Also running on the x3950 server is the Group's Microsoft Exchange Server messaging environment. TCCT uses both VMware ESX Server and Microsoft Hyper-V for x86 virtualization. The secondary data center, in Bangna, hosts the corresponding development and disaster recovery environments, also virtualized and running on identical hardware.

All data storage requirements for the entire infrastructure are met by just two IBM XIV Storage Systems—one with 65 TB usable capacity in the Empire Tower site and one with 45 TB in the Bangna site. The XIV systems also provide the crucial cross-site replication that enables rapid disaster recovery. The full twin-center infrastructure supports thousands of users running on SAP and Exchange platforms and both environments are constantly growing. IBM helped TCCT to plan and execute the migration of existing services and data to the new infrastructure.

“The XIV systems gave us the protection, availability, scalability and performance we needed for data storage,” says Kosit Suksingha. “They also allowed us to replicate data between both data centers using the minimum network bandwidth.”

He adds, “Flexibility is a major benefit. In a conventional tiered landscape, if you run out of storage in the high-end environment, you cannot simply go and borrow from the middle or lower tiers. You tend to over-invest in your storage environment so that you have enough capacity to deal with growth in each of the three tiers. With the XIV systems, we just have a single pool of storage that can be used for file sharing, for medium-intensity applications like messaging, and for mission-critical applications. The solution helps us give our customers the flexibility to expand their business at the pace they want and the cost they want.”

Moving toward the cloud
As part of its move towards cloud computing, TCC Group has commoditized its IT landscape, choosing SAP ERP as its business platform and Microsoft Exchange as its messaging platform. With these standard building blocks running as virtualized services on IBM servers, supported by virtualized storage provisioned on demand from the IBM XIV systems, TCCT is able to meet performance and availability requirements, at low cost and with total flexibility, within a simplified infrastructure.

Kosit Suksingha comments: “The entire group depends on our infrastructure, so reliability is an absolute must. Equally, the business is growing so fast that we cannot predict what will be going on in the next few years, so our technology also needs to be highly adaptive and scalable. The XIV Storage System meets all of our requirements for running a large SAP ERP landscape on IBM servers, and also offers 20 percent better performance than the more costly solution it replaced. Data growth is around 10 TB per year, so the fact that the XIV systems are bringing down the cost-per-TB so quickly is a major benefit.”

Headcount is among the largest costs for IT services providers, and TCCT aims to keep its 200-strong organization as lean as possible, even as demands on its business grow. The ease of management offered by the XIV Storage System means that the company requires only one engineer to manage the entire landscape, helping minimize operational costs. Environmental costs are also low, as Kosit Suksingha further explains: “We are a data center operator, so power consumption is a key element in our costing. The XIV storage systems require less power than our previous solution, making the cost of ownership lower and helping us to deliver better services at lower prices to our internal and external customers.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Power 570, Power Systems, Storage, Storage: XIV, System x, System x: System x running Windows

Software:
AIX, PowerVM, DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows

Operating system:
AIX

Service:
IBM-SAP Alliance

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America February 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, DB2, Power Systems, PowerVM 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 www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation 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.