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IBM Systems and Technology Group                                                                                   Energy ...
IBM Systems and Technology Group                                                                                    Energy...
IBM Systems and Technology Group                                                                                    Energy...
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011IBM United Kingdom LimitedPO Box 41North HarbourPortsmouthHampshirePO6 3AUProduced in the ...
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Western Power Distribution boosts performance and cuts recovery time

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Celerity, an IBM Premier Business Partner, helped WPD consolidate 15 servers onto just five new IBM® Power® 750 machines and migrate 15 TB of data from existing disk arrays onto a pair of IBM XIV® Storage Systems. The two XIVs are mirrored between the company’s two data centres, enabling rapid failover in case of disaster. Subsequently, following a major corporate acquisition, the server and storage environments were expanded to support more users and larger volumes of data.

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Western Power Distribution boosts performance and cuts recovery time

  1. 1. IBM Systems and Technology Group Energy & UtilitiesCase study Western Power Distribution boosts performance and cuts recovery time Celerity helps to consolidate server and storage infrastructure to IBM Power and XIV technologies Western Power Distribution is the electricity distribution network Overview operator for the Midlands, South Wales and the South West. The company delivers electricity to over 7.6 million customers over a service Business challenge area of 55,300 sq. km. The network consists of 216,000 km of overhead Western Power Distribution (WPD)’s existing server and storage landscape lines and underground cables, with 184,000 substations. The company’s was due for a refresh, providing an role is to ensure the power network of poles and pylons, cables, wires opportunity to rationalise and simplify and substations provides electricity to homes and businesses in the the entire infrastructure. The top priority Midlands, South Wales and Southwest England around the clock. was to ensure that in case of disaster at the company’s main data centre, core systems could be restored within a single Investment in people and equipment combined with technical working day. excellence and innovation have shaped WPD’s business, making it Solution one of the most efficient service providers of all the UK’s electricity Celerity, an IBM Premier Business Partner, distribution companies. helped WPD consolidate 15 servers onto just five new IBM® Power® 750 WPD’s business processes are supported by two main sets of IT machines and migrate 15 TB of data from existing disk arrays onto a pair of IBM systems: a number of Windows and Linux servers running in both XIV® Storage Systems. The two XIVs are physical and VMware environments, and a number of core business mirrored between the company’s two data applications (mostly Oracle applications) running in an IBM AIX centres, enabling rapid failover in case of disaster. Subsequently, following a major environment on IBM Power Systems servers. corporate acquisition, the server and storage environments were expanded to “With our VMware environment, we were able to restore servers support more users and larger volumes quickly during our disaster recovery tests,” comments Al Kellaway, of data. Computer Manager at WPD. “However, for the AIX environment, we were relying on an outsourced disaster recovery solution that could take two or three days to get all our systems back online. We wanted to be able to achieve same-day recovery, so we decided to switch to a new DR solution that we would manage in-house.” Seizing the opportunity A first step in improving DR performance would be to simplify the underlying infrastructure, which included around 15 IBM Power Systems servers and a number of IBM disk arrays. Most of these systems were nearly five years old, and WPD was due to start a hardware refresh – so it was an ideal opportunity to rationalise and consolidate.
  2. 2. IBM Systems and Technology Group Energy & UtilitiesCase study “We sent out an invitation to tender, and we were impressed by a joint Business Benefits proposal from IBM and Celerity,” says Kellaway. “Celerity is one of our preferred IT suppliers, and they had done a good job on several • Reduced disaster recovery time from two other smaller projects, so when they proposed a solution that was both days to a matter of a few hours. simpler and cheaper than the competition, we were confident that they • Consolidated the AIX server estate by 66 could deliver.” percent, cutting management workload and saving on power, cooling and per- processor software licensing. Moving to POWER7 Celerity helped WPD consolidate its 15 existing machines onto just • Supported WPD’s acquisition strategy five new IBM Power 750 servers, each with eight IBM POWER7 by scaling to handle more than twice as many users and three times as much processors and 64 GB of memory. Three of the servers are located at customer data as originally planned. the main data centre in Plymouth, and are used to support production and test/development environments for the company’s Oracle-based • Enabled zero-downtime maintenance by moving active workloads seamlessly asset management, billing and metering applications, its Progress-based between servers. payroll system, and several other applications. The other two servers, which act as a standby for production failover, are installed at the • Simplified storage management with thin provisioning, snapshots and other company’s DR site in Exeter, more than 30 miles away. advanced XIV features. “Even though we’re moving from 15 servers to just five, the new POWER7 processors are so much faster than the previous generations that we have plenty of headroom to spare,” explains Paul Fordy, Technical Architect for the AIX environment at WPD. “We’ve got more space in the data centres, and more importantly, we’ve freed up power and cooling resources for other systems. Moreover, because we now have fewer processors in total, our licensing costs for software that is licensed on a per-processor basis should be reduced significantly.” Remote mirroring with XIV Celerity also helped WPD to install IBM XIV Storage Systems at both data centres, using IBM Tivoli Storage Manager to migrate 15 TB of data from existing storage systems onto the new platform. Remote mirroring across the company’s existing gigabit network link ensures continuous data replication across both XIV systems, so in the event of a disaster at the main site, the loss of data will be minimal. Kellaway comments: “The remote mirroring capabilities of the XIV Storage Systems are a critical component of our new DR solution, and should enable us to restore all our systems in just a few hours – a huge improvement on the two or three days of downtime we might have expected with our previous solution. It is also an advantage that we can use our existing network link, instead of having to invest in any additional communications technology.” Simpler storage management Fordy adds: “The XIV also has a number of other features that will help us reduce storage management workload. For example, thin provisioning makes it much simpler to handle storage growth. Also, the user interface is extremely simple and intuitive, so it’s a lot easier to create new storage volumes without worrying about RAID settings and other technical issues. The Power 750 servers help too: for example, the new AIX Virtual I/O Server significantly reduces the complexity of connecting servers to storage volumes.”
  3. 3. IBM Systems and Technology Group Energy & UtilitiesCase study WPD plans to continue performing two full DR tests each year, and aims at continual improvement in recovery times. Solution Components Software “We want to keep pushing the boundaries,” says Kellaway. “A couple of • IBM® AIX® years ago we reduced our recovery time from weeks to days, and now • IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager we’ve improved from days to hours. For the future, we’re planning to Servers take a more business process-oriented approach to DR – so instead of • IBM Power® 750 recovering individual islands of servers, we’ll prioritise the recovery of • IBM XIV® Storage System all the systems that are involved in our core processes. IBM Business Partner • Celerity A platform for growth Soon after the initial implementation of the POWER7 and XIV environment, WPD faced a new challenge: its parent company, PPL WEM Holdings plc, acquired Central Networks Ltd, Central “Even though we’re Networks East plc and their affiliated companies from the E.ON moving from 15 servers group. As a result of this acquisition, WPD’s IT landscape needed to to just five, the new scale rapidly to support a considerably increased workload. POWER7 processors “The acquisition meant that instead of 2,000 users, we suddenly had are so much faster than more than 4,000; and instead of 2.4 million customers, we had 7.6 the previous generations million,” comments Al Kellaway. “Instead of maintaining the existing that we have plenty of Central Networks IT systems, we decided to move the new users and data into our own landscape, expanding our POWER7 and XIV headroom to spare.” systems to meet the additional demand. By standardising on these two technologies, we have been able to swiftly prepare the environment for — Paul Fordy, Technical Architect for the AIX the additional requirements, enabling the data migration project to get environment, Western Power Distribution off to a fast start.” He concludes: “IBM and Celerity have been excellent partners in the journey so far, and we hope to continue to work with them to continue to expand and develop our business in the future.” For more information To learn more about IBM systems and software, contact your IBM sales representative or visit: ibm.com To learn more about products, services and solutions from Celerity, visit: www.celerity-uk.com
  4. 4. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2011IBM United Kingdom LimitedPO Box 41North HarbourPortsmouthHampshirePO6 3AUProduced in the United KingdomAugust 2011All Rights ReservedIBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, Power, Tivoli and XIV are trademarks ofInternational Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictionsworldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at“Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml.Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, othercountries, or both.Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks ofMicrosoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.IBM and Celerity are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products.Neither IBM nor Celerity makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning theother’s products.References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not implythat IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Anyreference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that onlyIBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product,program or service may be used instead.All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM productsand the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performancecharacteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations andconditions.IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts.In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previouslyinstalled. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply.This publication is for general guidance only.Photographs may show design models. Please Recycle POC03072-GBEN-02

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