Huhtamaki builds a resilient and flexible private cloud

Enhancing service levels with future-proof solutions from IBM

Published on 06-May-2013

"We feel very confident in the roadmap for IBM Power Systems and IBM i in the coming years, assuring us we have made the right decision in the building blocks of our new cloud computing approach to IT." - Aki Kemppi, Group IT Service Manager, Huhtamaki Group

Customer:
Huhtamaki Oyj

Industry:
Consumer Products

Deployment country:
Finland

Solution:
Business Resiliency, Cloud Computing, High Availability , Virtualization, Virtualization - Server, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
ICT Group Oy

Overview

Huhtamaki Group is a leading manufacturer of consumer and specialty packaging, with 2012 net sales totaling EUR 2.3 billion. Foodservice and consumer goods markets are served by approximately 14,200 people in 64 manufacturing units and several sales offices in 31 countries. The parent company, Huhtamaki Oyj, has its head office in Espoo, Finland and its share is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

Business need:
Global consumer packaging company Huhtamaki wanted to capitalize on economies of scale for computing resources but faced the challenge of serving geographically dispersed locations across a huge area.

Solution:
The company began building an internal cloud for IT services based on the IBM® Power® 720 Express platform, virtualized with IBM PowerVM® software, and supported by IBM storage solutions.

Benefits:
Accelerating provisioning of new services by 99 percent, the solution enhances productivity and agility. Cutting the time taken to recover from disaster from days to minutes lowers business risk.

Case Study

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

Huhtamaki Group is a leading manufacturer of consumer and specialty packaging, with 2012 net sales totaling EUR 2.3 billion. Foodservice and consumer goods markets are served by approximately 14,200 people in 64 manufacturing units and several sales offices in 31 countries. The parent company, Huhtamaki Oyj, has its head office in Espoo, Finland and its share is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. Additional information is available at www.huhtamaki.com.

Seizing control of IT
Employing approximately 14,200 people in 31 countries, Huhtamaki is a truly global company. The organization saw an opportunity to capitalize on economies of scale for its IT resources, but faced the challenge of serving geographically dispersed locations across a huge area. Specifically, it was looking to replace disparate ERP systems hosted on aging servers with a common approach.

Aki Kemppi, Group IT Service Manager at Huhtamaki Group explains: “About half of Huhtamaki’s employees – or 6,000 people – are regular IT users, served by an IT team of only 120. This means we are always on the hunt for ways to simplify and streamline IT. For some time now, we have been moving towards greater standardization, and one obstacle was the old servers we had in place at a number of locations supporting disconnected ERP systems.”

Cloud computing changes the game
Huhtamaki decided to radically adapt its technology strategy, consolidating local IT systems and standalone servers into a centralized private cloud, hosted at a new production datacenter in Espoo.

“We wanted to transform our approach to IT, moving towards offering technology as a service to our employees,” says Kemppi. “Cloud computing makes this possible, helping to ensure service continuity across the business – we just needed the right partner to help us achieve this goal.”

The company engaged IBM Systems and Technology Group, requesting a thorough proof of concept for a solution based on fully virtualized IBM server and storage solutions. Kemppi comments: “Because we were one of the first companies in Finland to deploy such a set-up, the proof of concept was a learning experience for both us and IBM.

“After some initial challenges, we were able to work together to create an ideal solution. Although being an early adopter is always risky, we felt confident it would pay off by putting us ahead of the competition, and we are now glad we made that decision.”

Boosting resilience
Following the successful proof of concept, Huhtamaki engaged IBM Advanced Business Partner ICT Group to deliver the hardware. The company took the first steps in building a cloud solution by deploying an IBM Power 720 Express server virtualized using IBM PowerVM software, supporting a number of logical partitions (LPARs) running the IBM i operating system. An additional Power 720 server is deployed at Huhtamaki’s backup datacenter, located 100 kilometers away. IBM RackSwitch™ G8264 technology offers extremely high port density, freeing up valuable rack space for the company while delivering top networking performance.

Huhtamaki implemented IBM System Storage® SAN Volume Controller to manage a virtualized storage pool comprising IBM System Storage DS5020 and DS3400 and IBM Storwize® V3700 disk arrays distributed between the primary and backup sites. Data is replicated in real time between the two locations.

“Previously, it could take us days to recover a server from a disaster,” says Kemppi. “Now, real-time replication of our business-critical IBM i environment means we can restore this part of our infrastructure from a serious failure in minutes with no data loss – so far, our record when testing DR is just ten minutes. By enhancing resilience of our systems in this way, the IBM solution lowers business risk.”

Enhancing performance and agility
Huhtamaki has seen significant increases in the performance of systems moved to the private cloud, as Kemppi describes: “Systems running on the IBM Power 720 servers and SAN Volume Controller have much faster response times – the difference is remarkable.”

Using PowerVM software, Huhtamaki can dynamically reconfigure LPARs with no impact on production systems, offering unprecedented flexibility. Integrated management tools help the company’s IT team deliver services more quickly.

“Building a cloud based on IBM solutions is changing the way Huhtamaki IT capacity management works,” states Kemppi. “Before, it could take several months to provision new services; now we can do it in a single day – a theoretical improvement of over 99 percent. Because we can make changes to the environment without users even noticing, we can be more innovative and responsive than before, a key competitive advantage.”

Preparing for the future
The IBM PowerVM solution forms a basis for Huhtamaki’s IBM Power Systems™ strategy for the future, with plans to support increasing numbers of locations via the private cloud. The innate scalability of the Power Systems, SAN Volume Controller and Storwize platforms will help ease this process, as will the in-built load balancing on the IBM i operating system that Huhtamaki plans to leverage to simplify day-to-day management. As Huhtamaki rolls out access to the private cloud to more corners of its business, it will increasingly benefit from economies of scale, driving overall IT costs down.

“Our new approach is to add server and storage nodes as and when we need them,” says Kemppi. “The beauty of the IBM solution is that the only delay to scaling up will be procuring the new hardware – after that we simply plug the new machines in and introduce them to our virtual environment. Load-balancing through IBM i will automatically distribute workloads across the new systems to optimize performance.”

He concludes: “We feel very confident in the roadmap for IBM Power Systems and IBM i in the coming years, assuring us we have made the right decision in the building blocks of our new cloud computing approach to IT.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Power 720 Express, Power Systems, Power Systems running i, Storage, Storage: DS3400, Storage: DS5020, Storage: Storwize V3700, System Networking, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8264

Software:
System Storage SAN Volume Controller, PowerVM, IBM i, PowerVM Standard (VIOS)

Operating system:
IBM i

Service:
STG Lab Services: Power, STG Lab Services: Storage

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 Oy International Business Machines Ab PL 265 00101 Helsinki Finland Produced in Finland May 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Power, Power Systems, PowerVM, RackSwitch, Storwize and System Storage 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: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. IBM and ICT Group are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor ICT Group makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. 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. 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. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.