JP Group drives up reliability and flexibility in its storage environment

With IBM Storwize V7000 and Atea A/S

Published on 16-Jun-2012

"Many smaller companies may think that the IBM Storwize V7000 is not for them, but we are proof that it can be the ideal solution for small to mid-sized companies." - Flemming Andersen, IT Manager, JP Group

Customer:
JP Group A/S

Industry:
Automotive

Deployment country:
Denmark

Solution:
Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , Virtualization, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
Atea A/S

Overview

Founded in 1975 by former bus driver Johannes Pedersen, JP Group manufactures high quality parts for cars, including brake components, filters, exhausts and wheel bearings, among others. JP Group employs a total of 300 people and owns approximately 35,000 square meters of warehouse space.

Business need:
JP Group relies heavily on an ERP system to manage its production processes, warehouses and inventory. The existing ageing, overloaded storage infrastructure was severely affecting performance, with frequent system failures preventing employees from working efficiently.

Solution:
IBM Business Partner Atea A/S helped JP Group deploy the IBM Storwize® V7000 disk system, a virtualized storage solution that makes use of thin provisioning to maximize utilization of resources.

Benefits:
Gained superb levels of availability for the company’s business-critical ERP system, with no downtime since a single SAN Fabric defect was fixed. Reduced the need for capacity by about 40 percent through the use of thin provisioning. An exceptionally intuitive GUI means anyone can learn how to manage the solution regardless of technical expertise. Enhanced performance, with some jobs running 50 percent faster than on the old system. Increased productivity across the company, with IT teams no longer focused on resolving system ‘freezes’ and other employees able to work without interruption.

Case Study

To read a Danish version of this case study, click here.

Founded in 1975 by former bus driver Johannes Pedersen, JP Group manufactures high quality parts for cars, including brake components, filters, exhausts and wheel bearings, among others. JP Group employs a total of 300 people and owns approximately 35,000 square meters of warehouse space.

Keeping business-critical systems online
Every single order received by JP Group is entered into the company’s ERP and warehouse solution, making it a large and important system for the company. Equally, JP Group relies heavily on automated inventory retrieval systems to help employees locate parts across 30,000 different locations in the company’s warehouses.

The company was experiencing serious performance issues with these business-critical systems as its existing storage solution approached end-of-life. System failures became a common occurrence as the storage solution struggled to cope with demand. Add to this the spiraling cost of supporting an ageing storage solution, and JP Group urgently needed to find an alternative.

Flemming Andersen, IT Manager at JP Group, explains, “When our ERP and warehouse solution experiences performance problems, many employees simply could not carry on with their jobs. As a result of this, our relatively small IT team spent much of its time attending to complaints about system freezes, and running restarts.”

Selecting IBM Storwize V7000
Working with IBM Premier Business Partner Atea A/S, JP Group chose to deploy the IBM Storwize V7000 virtualized data storage solution. A team of consultants from Atea took just four days to successfully and securely migrate the company’s data to the new solution.

“Atea highly impressed us, both with the speedy implementation of the solution and also with how they handled a hardware defect that came to attention two weeks after implementation,” says Andersen. “Even though we are not one of their bigger customers, Atea reacted immediately once alerted to the issue, and worked closely with IBM to resolve it in the shortest possible time. Since then, we have not had a single second of downtime.”

Automated storage management
Deploying the IBM Storwize V7000 has resolved issues with the company’s ERP and warehouse system, with integrated solid state drives (SSDs) providing rapid access to business-critical data.

“The IBM Storwize V7000 optimizes data allocation automatically and on an ongoing basis, meaning IT staff can focus on other, more profitable tasks,” comments Pedersen. “The most frequently accessed data is stored on the fastest disks so that it can be called up easily when needed, while the information that is not used that often is kept on the cheaper standard disks.

“The results are easy to see — our systems now run unbelievably quickly. For many of the heavy runs we are actually down to 50 percent of the time it took on the old solution, and we practically never experience any of the ‘freezes’ we struggled with before. The IT team no longer has to deal with complaints about ERP system failures, and productivity across the company has been boosted.”

Optimizing resource utilization
Built-in thin provisioning technology has enabled JP Group to purchase less capacity than expected by maximizing utilization of installed resources.

“By adopting a virtualized storage environment, we can benefit from much more efficient utilization of disk space,” explains Andersen. “The thin provisioning technologies that come with the IBM Storwize V7000 have reduced our storage capacity needs by an impressive 40 percent.”

Easy management
The IBM Storwize V7000 includes a highly intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that makes learning how to use the solution extremely easy. For JP Group, with a relatively small IT staff, this was a key benefit.

“The user interface makes the IBM Storwize V7000 amazingly easy to use — in fact, we are confident that anyone, regardless of technical background, could get to grips with it in a couple of hours,” says Andersen. “But because the solution has proved so reliable, we have barely had to touch it since implementation anyway!”

Andersen concludes, “Many smaller companies may think that the IBM Storwize V7000 is not for them, but we are proof that it can be the ideal solution for small to mid-sized companies. With features that maximize utilization of resources, the V7000 can be relied on to run in the background offering exceptional performance, all at a very reasonable price point.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage, Storage: Storwize V7000

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Danmark ApSNymøllevej 912800 Kgs. LyngbyDenmark Produced in DenmarkJune 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and Storwize 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. IBM and Atea A/S are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Atea A/S 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.