IBM System x Model 3650 servers, attached to existing IBM DS4300 SAN
IBM-supplied VI-3 VMWare licences
Tivoli Storage Manager
Integral Technology Group’s virtualisation and server consolidation project for long-term customer Foodstuffs not only helped achieve the client’s sustainability goals, but also simplified system management during a large, resource-intensive SAP deployment.
Integral’s sales and marketing director Catherine Blinkhorn says: “The customer was in the middle of a project that was taking up a huge amount of resources. This [virtualisation] project helped re-deploy resources and it meant they had a much more simplified environment.”
Foodstuffs aimed to minimise its power consumption, floor space requirements and improve cooling, as well as gain greater computing power per unit of energy consumed.
Integral initially aimed to virtualise 25 to 30 servers, but far exceeded this goal by providing 55 virtual server instances across only three physical servers – a ratio of 18 virtual servers to one physical, compared to the 8-10:1 ratio originally specified.
“We were surprised by the runaway success of the project. Foodstuffs kept finding more servers to virtualise,” Blinkhorn says. “It was a massive over-achievement in terms of the ratio [of virtual to physical servers].”
The recommended solution was made up of three IBM system 3650 servers, together with VMWare, and was designed to show return on investment and cost savings from the outset.
The project also simplified the client’s systems management, as through virtualisation Foodstuffs was able to reduce the hours spent by staff administering many physical servers.
As well, application availability was enhanced, with better performing and more reliable servers, along with the ability to transport applications.
Integral also deployed Tivoli Storage Manager, based on Intel servers, to provide more robust backup and restore capabilities, says Blinkhorn.
The integrator says it showed that the deployment of TSM, as part of virtualisation, would save Foodstuffs more than $60,000 in software licensing costs, as well as increase the reliability and effectiveness of data protection.
Virtualisation was an extension of Integral’s work with Foodstuffs in Auckland and Wellington over the years, Blinkhorn says. “They’re a long-term customer and what we’ve done for them in the enterprise space around SAP and Unix and high-end storage systems, we can bring that experience into the Intel area with the virtualisation project.”
Meanwhile, Integral was also a finalist for the Information Management Award for its Balanced Configuration Unit Nearline project for Sky Television.