Chinese-owned mining company, Minerals and Metals Group (MMG), has implemented Hewlett Packard’s (HP) hybrid Cloud to overhaul its IT infrastructure as the company prepares for expansion into mineral rich countries over the next three years.
MMG’s Melbourne-based chief information officer, Peter McLure, said that as it planned to enter markets such as Africa and South America, legacy IT systems from the 2008 merger between Zinifex and Oxiana that formed MMG had to be overhauled and, in his opinion, hybrid Cloud was the best option.
“We’re taking this hybrid Cloud in two stages. The first stage was to transition services over to HP so they were in a position to take it over. The Zinifex side of the business was using HP but not to the same extent that we are proposing now. At the beginning of June we moved services over to the HP help desk based in Manila, Philippines”
The second stage included implementing the hybrid Cloud model, with the rollout beginning in June after a contract was signed in February.
The hybrid Cloud model includes a mix of data centre hosting services, based at two HP facilities in Sydney, with Cloud-based services for backend applications. A standardised infrastructure platform is in the process of being implemented to ensure reliable service levels to remote mining locations such as WA, Tasmania and overseas sites in Laos and the US.
“We wanted to consolidate where possible the services away from mine sites into a central location [Sydney] which is the utility services model,” he said.
While most IT services such as email would be centralised, McLure added that some IT processing equipment would need to remain at mining locations.
In addition, McLure said MMG would be deploying centralised servers and storage on HP’s enterprise cloud services (ECS) platform with the objective of using ECS to respond to changes and peaks in IT demand.
According to McLure, MMG chose HP partly because of the existing relationship and also because he wanted a global vendor that could “follow the company” to various parts of the world.
Another factor was time to market. “Given I know the company wants to make more acquisitions, we were not in a position to go through a long winded evaluation of different service providers,” he said.
“These Cloud and infrastructure services from HP will provide us with the flexibility our systems need as our business grows,” McLure said. “HP’s global reach will also help us to provide our staff with common workplace offerings such as new HP desktop computers for all our users. This will ultimately lead to consistent service for our staff and customers across the world.”
McLure would not disclose how much the contract was worth, but he said the deal was “worth more than $10 million” over the next four years. MMG has the option of extending the deal for another two years.
The company posted full year revenues of US$3.5 million (A$3.3 million) in 2010, and, according to its website, is the world’s second largest producer of zinc.
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