Published on 04-Dec-2012
"Before we deployed the XIV system, we were running four different storage systems, and we had one person dedicated exclusively to working with those systems. By contrast, we spend just five minutes a week managing the XIV system." - Tihomir Pogledić, ICT Infrastructure Manager, Gavrilović
Automation, Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , Storage Consolidation, Virtualization
Gavrilović is Croatia’s oldest producer of sausages and related meat products, and the country's largest meat processing company. A market leader in both quality and quantity, the company has been managed by the same family for nine generations, with a strong tradition and history going back to 1821. As a vertically-integrated company, Gavrilović's operations including farming, processing, packaging and retail - the company has approximately 200 outlets.
As Gavrilović expanded its operations, storage management became increasingly complex. The company wanted to increase capacity, improve performance, and simplify its storage infrastructure.
Gavrilović deployed an IBM XIV® Storage System to store and manage its business-critical data. The solution provides extreme ease of management combined with high performance and resilience.
Major reductions in storage administration, which now takes just five minutes per week. Consolidation from four systems to one XIV system has cut costs, increased efficiency and freed up floorspace.
Gavrilović is Croatia’s oldest producer of sausages and related meat products, and the country's largest meat processing company. A market leader in both quality and quantity, the company has been managed by the same family for nine generations, with a strong tradition and history going back to 1821. As a vertically-integrated company, Gavrilović's operations including farming, processing, packaging and retail - the company has approximately 200 outlets. Over the past decade, the company has concentrated on growing its core business, steadily expanding production and increasing its range of products from 20 to over 140.
As its business grew, Gavrilović’s outdated data storage infrastructure became increasingly difficult to manage. The company needed more capacity, and was concerned that building on its existing infrastructure would further increase costs and complexity.
Tihomir Pogledić, ICT Infrastructure Manager at Gavrilović, comments: "We chose IBM XIV Storage System for its ease of management, its exceptional performance, and its innovative and uniquely resilient architecture. We now have a single, highly efficient technology for data storage that offers low cost of ownership."
Inadequate, inefficient storage
As Gavrilović increased its production and product range, data storage demands increased correspondingly. In parallel, Croatia's ongoing application for EU membership had led to more stringent regulations for food manufacturers—including the ability to track and trace foodstuffs throughout the full supply chain. For Gavrilović, this translated into a requirement to store more detailed information for longer periods.
The company realized that it needed to significantly expand its storage capacity to support its growing business and meet regulatory requirements. Moreover, storage management had become a complex task at Gavrilović, in part because the company had four separate storage systems in different locations. Further goals were therefore to consolidate the storage infrastructure to a single location and to simplify storage management.
Business demands are such that nearly all of the company’s applications must be on line 24/7. With retail stores that work almost until midnight, warehouses and shipments that run all through the night, and production centers that operate throughout the day, there is significant pressure on Gavrilović's IT infrastructure. Any new storage solution would need to offer rock-solid reliability and sustained performance even as the total volume of data grew.
Finally, the solution would need to run almost 'invisibly'. As Daška Domljan, HR and Communications Manager at Gavrilović explains, "Everything we do in the HR department - every report we make, every paycheck we generate—is deeply connected to IT, and the same goes for the rest of the company. IT is incredibly important to the business, we constantly depend on it, but at the same time we prefer it to be invisible and easy-to-use, so that we can concentrate on focusing our attention on crucial business tasks."
Trusting IBM XIV with business-critical data storage and management
Gavrilović is a solid, conservative company that prides itself on providing the highest-quality products to its customers, and sought an implementation partner with a similar ethos. Gavrilović was won over by IBM’s proven record of excellence and reliability. Working together with the IBM team, Gavrilović implemented an IBM XIV Storage System, trusting its innovative, high-performance technology to store and manage the company’s most critical data.
The IT department at Gavrilović was impressed by a number of the XIV system's capabilities. "The unique design of the IBM XIV system and its ability to optimize load distribution across all disks for all workloads ensures the predictable, consistently high performance we need," says Pogledić. "We also appreciate the IBM XIV system’s ability to self-heal and to re-build disks automatically and at high-speed."
Delivering optimized performance and efficient storage management
The IBM XIV Storage System has dramatically reduced the time and effort required for Gavrilović to manage its data storage. The XIV system’s automated optimization and management helps eliminate the need for manual tuning and performance optimization, releasing valuable IT staff to work on other issues.
As Pogledić explains, "Before we deployed the XIV system, we were running four different storage systems, and we had one person dedicated exclusively to working with those systems. By contrast, we spend just five minutes a week managing the XIV system. The solution is extremely efficient at managing itself, to the extent that we often forget that it is even there."
In terms of performance, the XIV system has more satisfied all of Gavrilović’s needs, providing extremely fast read/write access thanks to its highly parallelized architecture. Each time the company needs to add further capacity, the XIV expansion modules will also provide increased processing and I/O resources. In addition, the XIV system provides built-in thin-provisioning capabilities, helping Gavrilović to make the most efficient use of existing capacity and potentially delaying the need to invest in new capacity. Finally, the IBM solution has enabled Gavrilović to centralize its storage infrastructure in a single physical footprint, saving space, cutting costs and reducing complexity.
Foundation for cloud computing
The XIV system has a central place in Gavrilović's future IT plans: the company will take advantage of the solution's natural fit with virtualized server landscapes to provide optimal support for a new private cloud. "The IBM XIV system offers a great foundation for our private cloud, which we have already started to build and will continue to expand," says Pogledić. "As the solution includes all software at no additional cost, we can add capacity and start using new built-in features without any nasty surprises."
He concludes, "The XIV system has really transformed our capabilities, providing the capacity and performance we need in a very compact, efficient and easy-to-manage solution. As we continue to expand our business, it's great that we no longer have any concerns about the scalability of our storage infrastructure."
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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