Start Química takes on the world with IBM

Boosting performance by 30 percent helps production keep pace with growing global demand

Published on 31-Jan-2014

"We believe that IBM Storwize V3700 and System x offer the perfect combination: the solution is very powerful, cost-effective and easy to manage." - Marcello Fonseca Ribeiro, IT and Telecoms Manager, Start Química

Customer:
Start Química

Industry:
Consumer Products

Deployment country:
Brazil

Solution:
IGF, IGF: IT Financing - IBM HW, Business Continuity, Enabling Business Flexibility, Energy Efficiency, Server Consolidation, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
Core Technologies

Overview

Start Química produces hygiene products and cleaning supplies for the automotive, agricultural, food service and hospitality industries, as well as for domestic and commercial use. Based in Uberlândia, Brazil, the company is vertically integrated, managing every step from formulating solutions to manufacturing the packaging and distributing the final products.

Business need:
As Start Química entered new international markets, increased demand put pressure on manufacturing and distribution operations. If the company could not keep pace, it risked losing valuable business.

Solution:
Start Química upgraded to virtualized IBM® Storwize® V3700 storage system and IBM System x® servers, which deliver the high performance needed to sustain rapid, reliable operations around the clock.

Benefits:
Greater scalability and a performance boost of 30 percent enable Start Química to keep up with the fast pace and increased scale of operations, ensuring that products always get to customers on time.

Case Study

Start Química produces hygiene products and cleaning supplies for the automotive, agricultural, food service and hospitality industries, as well as for domestic and commercial use. Based in Uberlândia, Brazil, the company is vertically integrated, managing every step from formulating solutions to manufacturing the packaging and distributing the final products.

In recent years, Start Química has embarked on an ambitious program of international expansion, targeting new markets in Africa, Europe and North America. Growing from local player to global brand has brought a fresh set of challenges. To take market share from well-established competitors, Start Química must ensure that its operations can stand up to the increased pressure of international operations.

Marcello Fonseca Ribeiro, IT and Telecoms Manager at Start Química, elaborates, “For us, the stakes are very high. Every stage of the production and distribution process must be kept running smoothly around the clock. Even small delays can lead to huge setbacks so, for example, if we don’t manufacture an order fast enough we might fail to make a deadline, which could lead to us losing valuable business.”

With operations expanding fast, Start Química found that existing IT systems were struggling to keep pace with the increased demand. With servers and storage systems nearing full capacity, bottlenecks began to emerge, slowing performance and holding the company back from responding effectively to increased operational demand.

Selecting an integrated IBM solution
Recognizing that it needed to make major upgrades to its IT infrastructure, Start Química turned to IBM Premier Business Partner Core Technologies for help selecting the right solution. After evaluating offerings from IBM, DELL and HP, Start Química decided on an integrated solution from IBM.

“The IBM solution offered a level of performance and reliability that none of the other vendors could match,” notes Ribeiro. “We clearly saw that upgrading to such a robust IBM platform would give us the performance boost we were looking for, as well as greater scalability and ease-of-management. We were also able to negotiate a very cost-effective leasing agreement for the entire solution with IBM Global Financing, which clinched the deal for us.”

Saving costs with virtualization
As a first step, Start Química worked with Core Technologies to migrate its business applications and databases to IBM System x servers. By taking advantage of VMware vSphere virtualization technology to provision multiple virtualized environments on each server, the company was able to consolidate 14 physical servers to just three IBM System x3650 class servers, reducing its hardware footprint by more than 78 percent.

“We have achieved cost savings in a number of areas since moving to a virtualized server environment on IBM System x,” comments Ribeiro. “Having fewer physical servers really cuts down on software licensing costs, and also saves money on administration and energy consumption.”

Start Química is currently working to implement an IBM System x3550 class server, which will be used in conjunction with a tape library and IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager software for centralized backup and recovery management, ensuring that business-critical information is kept secure and available, no matter what.

Switching to high-performance storage
To meet rising capacity demands and boost performance in its storage environment, Start Química deployed IBM Storwize V3700. The virtualized storage system is designed to deliver superior performance while addressing growing data requirements and consolidation needs.

Storwize V3700 simplifies infrastructure management with an intuitive and straightforward
graphical user interface (GUI). By providing centralized management and offering a dynamic, real-time view of storage resources, the Storwize GUI gives administrators easy control of the system and improves productivity.

Ribeiro explains, “The Storwize system gives me a clear view of the storage environment: I can easily monitor things like equipment temperature and energy consumption levels, and the system sends automatic alerts if there are any issues. For someone like myself, with limited resources and time to dedicate to system maintenance and data management, IBM Storwize V3700 is a huge help, as it frees me up to focus on more strategic work.”

Start Química also takes advantage of the IBM System Storage® Easy Tier® function, which automatically moves frequently accessed data to faster responding solid-state drives. In this way, the company benefits from high performance where it counts, while maintaining low costs for storing less-frequently accessed data.

“We have seen great improvements with IBM Storwize V3700, and estimate that the solution has boosted performance by more than 30 percent,” says Ribeiro. “We no longer suffer from processing bottlenecks or delays accessing information. The difference was instantly noticed by our end users – we have received a lot of positive feedback about how much faster and reliable the system is, and how it is helping users to work better.”

Sustaining global growth
Higher system performance means that the company can serve the always-on demands of a global business, maximizing production output while keeping delays to a minimum. With virtualized IBM Storwize V3700 storage and IBM System x servers delivering high levels of performance and new flexibility, Start Química has gained a solid platform for driving greater operational efficiency and keeping the business on track for growth.

Ribeiro concludes, “We believe that IBM Storwize V3700 and System x offer the perfect combination: the solution is very powerful, cost-effective and easy to manage. Based on my experience with IBM Storwize V3700 in particular, I would absolutely recommend it to other companies because it is a product that delivers highly satisfying results, and one that is helping support our business as it continues to grow.”

For more information
Contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/storage

About Core Technologies
Core Technologies is a technology integrator with a focus on infrastructure services. An IBM Premier Business Partner, Core Technologies offers services, solutions and products covering a wide range of market needs, always ensuring high added value to its customers.

To learn more about products, services and solutions from Core Technologies, please visit www.coretech.com.br

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage, Storage: Storwize V3700, System x, System x: System x running hypervisor - VMware, System x: System x3550 M4, System x: System x3650 M4

Software:
Tivoli Storage Manager

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Corporation, Systems and Technology Group, Route 100, Somers, NY 10589. Produced in the United States of America. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Easy Tier, Storwize, System Storage, System x and Tivoli 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 ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. IBM and Core Technologies are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Core Technologies 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. 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.

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