Oncor transforms a data challenge into an information opportunity

Using virtualized storage to manage information assets

Published on 16-Dec-2013

Validated on 16 Dec 2013

"While we still have a broad variety of hardware and operating systems, the XIV systems provide a common strategic storage platform for everything." - José Newman, infrastructure architecture manager, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC

Customer:
Oncor

Industry:
Energy & Utilities

Deployment country:
United States

Overview

Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) is a regulated energy service provider delivering electricity to more than 10 million customers. With more than 118,000 miles of lines, Oncor maintains the largest transmission system in Texas. The company launched a smart metering system, replacing its analog technology with advanced digital meters that collect data regarding use, load and availability. The company uses this information in a variety of ways, from automatically dispatching repair crews more quickly to managing grid loads more effectively.

Business need:
Massive growth in data volumes created by the switch to advanced digital metering compromised Oncor's legacy storage solution.

Solution:
Nine IBM® XIV® Storage System units form a flexible and highly available architecture to secure smar t metering data, the company's most valuable asset.

Benefits:
The IBM solution helped reduces provisioning time for new storage, simplify the storage architecture and eliminate the need to implement and manage tiered storage.

Case Study

Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) is a regulated energy service provider delivering electricity to more than 10 million customers. With more than 118,000 miles of lines, Oncor maintains the largest transmission system in Texas. The company launched a smart metering system, replacing its analog technology with advanced digital meters that collect data regarding use, load and availability. The company uses this information in a variety of ways, from automatically dispatching repair crews more quickly to managing grid loads more effectively.

Challenge
Advanced digital meters help Oncor maximize the value of its infrastructure, benefiting both the company and its customers. Providing time-of-use consumption records at 15-minute intervals, however, generates nearly 3,000 records per customer per month, resulting in tremendous volumes of data to process and store. The company’s greatest asset, near-real-time information about customer needs, threatened to overwhelm Oncor’s IT infrastructure. The company ran IBM® System z® servers alongside heterogeneous brands of UNIX servers using multitiered storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) systems. This fragmented, complex and costly-to-scale environment hindered the company’s ability to meet current demands and seek future opportunities.

Solution
To manage its most valuable asset, Oncor transformed its existing storage landscape, placing nine IBM XIV Storage System units, each fully equipped with 79 TB of capacity, at the heart of its storage infrastructure. The XIV Storage System technology supports all the data tiers, from production to quality assurance and test environments, that formerly required separate management, thereby dramatically simplifying the architecture and slashing administrative costs.


Oncor uses the built-in snapshot function to create near-instantaneous copies of production data with minimal impact on the live system, helping the company implement changes to the existing environment with almost no risk of data loss. If an issue emerges, Oncor reverts rapidly to the most recent snapshot with no impact to the live system, a valuable option when rolling out changes. The snapshots also accelerate standard backup processes. Oncor exports timed snapshots to a clustered IBM System Storage® TS7650G ProtecTIER® Deduplication Gateway solution, which acts as a virtual tape library. Key benefits over physical tape include faster restore speed, easier management and the ability to electronically replicate to an offsite copy of data. The client uses IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager software to back up multiple database applications and flat file environments.

Benefits
• Reduces provisioning time for new storage from days to minutes
• Simplifies the storage architecture
• Eliminates the need to implement and manage tiered storage

For more information
To learn more about Smarter Computing, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/smartercomputing

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage: TS7650G ProtecTIER Deduplication Gateway, Storage: XIV, System z

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 March 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, ProtecTIER, System Storage, System z, Tivoli, WebSphere, XIV and z/OS 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. 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 performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. 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.