thanks to integrated Recreate
by up to 70% during AIX updates
thanks to management made easy
IT modernization for global retail operations
The REIFF Group is a family-owned trading company rich in tradition, headquartered in Reutlingen, Germany. It operates 19 trading companies with approximately 80 sites in Germany, Europe, Morocco and China. The group’s core business is focused on trade with technical and elastomer engineering products. Apart from REIFF’s trading companies for technical products — REIFF TechnischeProdukte GmbH, REIFF Technische Produkte China, Roller Marokko and Kremer GmbH, and REIFF’s own elastomer manufacturing operation R.E.T. REIFF Elastomertechnik GmbH, the group is also successful with its REIFF Management & Service business unit. The IT systems enabling sales via the group’s brick-and-mortar outlets and various online stores were in need of a tech refresh, an opportunity seized upon by the company to completely overhaul and modernize its IT infrastructure. REIFF’s goals: security, reliability, scalability, simplified complexity, and reduced administrative overhead. In addition to introducing new IBM hardware, Axians’ Dynamic Power Cloud Manager (DPCM) has proved a particular boon, providing for a convenient, user-friendly automation solution for the IBM Power environment.
Project Requirements & Goals
A large share of the REIFF Group’s tire business is already transacted online: the group serves as a wholesaler in the background and supplies online tire vendors. The systems for the company’s own user groups are available from a central location: this was enabled by an IBM Power7 solution. Yet REIFF’s three server systems (two p770’s and one p740) and its storage area network (SAN), featuring two V7000 systems from IBM’s Storwize family, had reached their performance limits.
Capacity bottlenecks were the order of the day whenever new SAP systems or their release updates were installed. The group’s growth and technological development meant that its IT infrastructure had reached its end of life. This prompted Axians’ IBM experts to develop a seamless approach for upgrading REIFF’s environment to the IBM Power8 processor generation.
For years REIFF has relied on Axians’ Dynamic Power Cloud Manager (DPCM) for administering its infrastructure. Thanks to DPCM, administrators are able to simplify all the functionality and management tasks involved with the virtual servers (LPARs) for the IBM Power systems running AIX, IBM i, Linux and SAP HANA.
The Power admins at REIFF use this “Swiss army knife” to primarily administer SAP workloads and database systems (e.g. Informix DB). The “capacity planning” feature of in Axians’ DPCM aided in designing the future IT environment. The roadmap was quickly drawn. As well as replacing the legacy systems, the technology refresh included adding another server system to the three already in place and replacing the old storage area network (SAN) with new Storwize units.
Axians designed a solution that distributes the workload among four symmetrically equipped IBM Power S822 server systems. The SAN storage is realized by way of two IBM Storwize V5020s, making for a virtualized hybrid storage solution.
The combined use of SAS and SSD hard disks and IBM’s Easy Tier technology enables data tobe migrated automatically among various storage levels based on real-time analysis process patterns. The SAN design remained unchanged for the most part — including host-based mirroring. This principle means that the servers assume the job of synchronously mirroring the data on the other (mirror) storage site. Four new SAN switches form two fabrics for the redundant link between the server and storage systems. vSCSI mapping (or mapping the LUNs to the client logical partitions (LPARs)) in a shared environment with multiple Dual VIO server installations generally requires considerable effort. However, the DPCM facilitates optical disk mapping drastically while employing best practice rules for a redundant and performant link. This also applies to the reverse process, since after migration the discarded V7000 had to be restored step by step.
In order for REIFF to benefit from a performance boost prior to migration, Axians put a loan machine into operation before installing the new IBM Power8 environment. The Axians experts quickly shifted part of the workload to this server system using DPCM, thus taking a significant load off the existing environment.
Tasks / Objectives
- Modernize the IBM Power environment
- Reduce maintenance costs
- Security, reliability, scalability, simplified complexity, and reduced administrative overhead
- Seamless upgrade to IBM Power8 processor generation in ten workdays
- Deployment of Axians’ Dynamic Power Cloud Manager (DPCM), an automation and admin tool for IBM Power environments
- Hardware solution: four IBM Power S822 units, two IBM Storwize V5020s, SAS and SSD harddisks, IBM Easy Tier technology, four new SAN switches,
- DPCM from Axians
- Simple and intuitive management of complex IT environment enabled by DPCM
- Enhanced performance
- Cost savings thanks to flexible maintenance of IBM Power machines
- Integrated recreate function: increased availability of systems made simple and quick in the event of disaster recovery
- Downtimes during an AIX update reduced by up to 70 %
- Customer’s staff can be instructed on the system in a minimum of time without having to acquire deep expertise