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Issue of May 2006 
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Server consolidation

Utilising ERP to the fullest

Auto component maker, Sundaram-Clayton Ltd built an optimal ERP system


T G Dhandapani

Sundaram-Clayton Limited’s (SCL) objective was clear—ERP servers should be as optimally utilised as possible. To achieve this, SCL set about evaluating appropriate server architecture from solution providers such as HP and IBM. “The evaluation was based on techno-commercial matrices which looked at the performance of the solution versus the cost,” explains T G Dhandapani, CIO, SCL.

The solution was based on HP’s Itanium 2-based Integrity servers. Each dual processor server enables the architecture to support No Single Point of Failure and ensures maximum system uptime

The solution was based on HP’s Itanium 2-based Integrity servers. Each dual processor server enables the architecture to support No Single Point of Failure and ensures maximum system uptime.

The servers offer multi-OS compatibility, allowing standardisation of IT infrastructure on a single platform. The cost of deploying two sets of servers for the two business divisions was about Rs 1.8 crore.

Rapid-Fire Introductions

Infrastructure reliability also derives from the fact that the 2-way servers are clustered. As soon as CPU use hits a pre-set threshold, the system is designed to send an SMS to the system administrator. HP OpenView is used to manage the network and SAP’s Solution Manager to monitor application performance.

According to Dhandapani, the development server which ran IBM AIX had to be migrated to an HP Itanium platform during the project. Clustering the servers took some work.

Adapting Servers for the Better

About 250 team members at SCL access the new set-up across four companies and seven manufacturing units. “The transaction time has reduced by almost a third. The IT infrastructure has become reliable, and availability is high as the clustering of applications has resulted in a reduction in downtime. This helps us fully utilise the benefits of ERP. The server architecture is easy to scale since an increased workload in future will only need to incrementally add hardware,” comments Dhandapani.

The SCL Group is presently working on implementation of HR, PS (Project System) and BIW (Business Information Warehouse) modules on a SAP platform as well as SAP implementation at a group company. The present infrastructure with marginal investments in CPU and memory is expected to be sufficient to meet this requirement.

With updates from Vinita Gupta

 
     
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