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By McLeod Glass
In today’s fast paced, constantly changing IT landscape, it can be hard for companies to keep up with the latest and greatest datacenter trends. Many organizations opt to wait until a new category of solutions is road-tested by others. Other companies strive to be at the forefront of new technology – operating under the mindset that IT should be an innovation driver in the business and a game-changer in terms of competitive advantage for customers.
One company who likes to lead the way with new datacenter technology is Promesa, Equador’s largest wholesaler of auto parts and hardware. Founded in 1962, Promesa is the country’s leading importer of automotive and home improvement tools.
One distinguishing feature that sets Promesa apart from other businesses is they are constantly looking for new, innovative IT solutions that can help them improve their business. So when Promesa’s IT team began hearing about the proposed benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) several years ago, they were immediately intrigued. “It was like a wave that hit the IT community in Ecuador. Everyone was talking about spinning up virtual machines, setting up weekly restore points, replicating nodes and clusters, and moving archives to secondary data centers,” explained Margarita Castillo, Consultor SAP-BASIS at Promesa.
HCI delivers scalable, all-in-one virtualized solutions that integrate software-defined compute, storage, and networking into a single, easy-to-manage platform. And hyperconverged infrastructure speeds application performance, improves efficiency and resiliency, and allows IT to perform backup and restores of VMs in seconds.
With their current IT environment, Promesa was experiencing significant headaches. Their current backup and storage tools weren’t working, and their disaster recovery was too time-consuming and complicated. “To be perfectly honest, our backup tools and our storage media were prone to failure. Our disaster recovery protocols were a nightmare, and our DR simulations were stressful,” said Castillo.
The IT department was also experiencing issues with backup and recovery for their integral SAP HANA environment.
“We had to back up and recover our SAP HANA database separately… If we had a crash—any kind of crash—I couldn’t restore the entire server at once. I had to prepare a new server, with a fresh OS, and I had to reconfigure SAP from the start. Only then could I mount a backup of the SAP HANA database. This was not high-availability architecture by any stretch of the imagination. Our entire SAP HANA environment production resided on a single, aging server, and it was awful,” explained Castillo.
Promesa needed a solution that could simplify, speed up, and streamline their IT, and HCI fit the bill –even if SAP HANA was not yet certified to run on this type of infrastructure. After first deploying HPE SimpliVity HCI to everything except their SAP HANA environment, Promesa immediately saw improvements in the speed of their backups, recovery times, and end-user experiences.
Then, in October 2018, Promesa was curiously optimistic to learn that HPE SimpliVity had been certified for SAP HANA environments. With this new certification, Promesa would be able to migrate their IT infrastructure 100% to HPE SimpliVity HCI.
Moving forward to today, Promesa can now create a new SAP HANA test environment from a backup of their production system in just three seconds. HPE SimpliVity’s deduplication and compression features also reduced Promesa’s memory usage from 900GB to 600GB, providing extra capacity to run batch processes during business hours instead of overnight. The automotive and hardware provider is also experiencing 10:1 deduplication rates, 20:1 data efficiency, and around a 63% reduction of devices.
In the event of an actual system failure, HPE SimpliVity also reduced their recovery point objective to just 10 minutes. At the same time, HPE SimpliVity is so fast, Promesa can back up their entire 500GB SAP HANA server every 10 minutes. As a result, they never lose more than 10 minutes of productivity in the event of a crash. Before HPE SimpliVity, it would take them an entire day to recover using a week-old backup.
“We knew that everything would work, but we hadn’t realized how much more efficient everything would become,” said Castillo. “Our primary data center is now 100% hyperconverged, and it makes a tremendous difference.”
Promesa’s journey to HCI is a good example of an organization that strives to be at the forefront of new technology. By operating under the mindset that IT should be an innovation driver, they continue to create innovative solutions that benefit their IT, business, and customers.
McLeod Glass is Vice President and General Manager of HPE SimpliVity & Composable at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of the product lifecycle across HPE Software-Defined Infrastructure. This includes HPE Composable Infrastructure, Hyperconverged and Cloud Software product lines. McLeod has held positions in engineering and product marketing across multiple HPE business units managing server, storage and software product line.