The scalability factor
When an organisation is the size of metal manufacturing major
Hindalco, technology is crucial. This, according to Sanjeev Goel, the companys
Senior Vice-president for IT, is the reason for deploying a fresh batch of servers.
We have around 2,500 users and are planning to move
to 10,000 by 2010, reveals Goel. He explains that the number of business
applications was constantly rising.
The Scalability Hurdle
Goel states that application integration became essential as it was becoming
onerous to manage and deploy applications due to the organisations size.
Achieving scalability was one of the biggest challenges that we faced.
Thus arose the need for scalable servers. The company put together a robust
disaster recovery management plan that called for the use of high-end servers.
The Best Option
We wanted to look at servers that would be easily scalable, is Goels
reply when asked about what kind of solutions the organisation was looking at.
IBMs Power 5 series servers seemed the best option. This technology
helped us get into rack mode. These servers can scale vertically, which
saves space as well. Hindalco has chosen p570 DB servers with Oracle 9i configured
at the data centre, and a DS 8100 storage array with a capacity of 4.5 TB. The
OS is IBM AIX 5.3.
Goel says that IBM was chosen since the value for money they provided
with the Power 5 architecture was greater than that offered by the competition.
He says that a DS 8100 has been installed at the secondary site to ensure fast
recovery in the event of a disaster. The servers have features to make sure
that problems at the chip or memory level can be handled by the servers. These
multi-application servers take care of our increasing application deployment
to Goel, the project was phased, and it was ensured that every phase was given
due importance. The project started in September 2005 with a branch integration
project. After evaluation and synchronous DR, the servers and SAN were in place
This was the deployments most important phase when the bulk of the systems
were deployed and data movement took place. Between October 2005 and February
2006 we have been able to add 32 new sites, he says as he informs that
the entire project was completed within five months.
Availability has gone up, is the first response from Goel as he
lists the benefits that Hindalco has achieved because of the implementation.
He says that the implementation has resulted in zero downtime and no data loss
Pre-implementation, flash copies of data were made. We can now take multiple
images for the clone and test environment. Goel also states that for an
international organisation like theirs, online visibility is vital and this
implementation has ensured that.
When asked about the business benefits, Goel says that the company is currently
in the closing stages of project stabilisation. According to him, this is the
reason that savings havent been quantified.
On the horizon
Goel says that for now the architecture has been finalised
and that the organisation will stick to it unless there is need for upgradation.
This was the reason the rack model was chosen. More modules can simply
be added without the need to actually upgrade the servers themselves.
As far as the future is concerned, he says that the company is planning to touch
the five billion dollar turnover mark, but that this should not call for a technology
upgrade any time soon.