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Virtualization helps India Steel Summit achieve high availability for mission-critical IT systems

By taking the virtualization route, India Steel Summit could effectively address the challenges associated with the aging systems and achieve business continuity and data protection for critical applications

Spread across 37 countries, India Steel Summit (ISS) is Sumitomo Corporation’s first steel service center in India. As the company grew, it started facing challenges with its existing IT system as the traditional systems were not capable of meeting the ever increasing requirements of the organization.

To support its business growth, ISS was looking for a robust system that could meet the existing demands and also handle the future expansions and scalability of the company. Upon thorough evaluation, the company decided to embark on a virtualization journey and zeroed in on a solution from NEC.  For both the tacit and explicit requirements of ISS, NEC proposed NEC Express 5800/R120d-2M servers, which could effectively handle existing requirements and also provide scalability.

NEC further proposed NEC’s ExpressCluster X to deliver the high availability required for ISS’s critical servers and applications, such as its mail server, file server, ERP, endpoint protection application, web application server, and database. ExpressCluster X ensures high availability for mission-critical applications by monitoring resources, detecting system failures, and performing failover of applications to their corresponding standby servers, providing both business continuity for applications and data protection through data mirroring technology.

Koichiro Koide, MD, NEC India says, “Our main objective was to provide the best available failover and business continuity systems to ISS to protect their business need giving them highly reliable, available, and scalable systems being cost effective at the same time.”

These solutions from NEC were deployed to run the VMs containing the company’s critical applications in a fully virtualized environment. NEC ExpressCluster X was deployed to provide business continuity for all the company’s critical applications. To counter any sort of risk and minimize the impact of failover, NEC installed ECX on each guest OS, thereby protecting not only the host system but also the applications running on the guest OSs. ECX monitors the hardware, network, guest OS and applications and performs recovery automatically if it detects a systems failure. Guest OSess do not have to be rebooted after failover, allowing ISS to recover from any failover seamlessly in short time.

Virtualization Advantage

Earlier, the IT team and top management were constantly worried as the existing physical servers being used by ISS were not designed for any failover recovery. The obsolete IT system and servers included the ERP and file servers which were only storing the critical data. There were no automated processes for monitoring servers, detecting failures, and executing recovery. The non-scalability of the existing infrastructure was also a challenge as it could not keep pace with the growing demands of the company. The deployment has enabled the company to effectively overcome these challenges.

Daisuke Kajikawa, Managing Director, India Steel Summit

Daisuke Kajikawa, Managing Director, ISS says, “NEC not only provided a great solution and an impressive selection of products, but also offered comprehensive service support.”

The deployment has helped ISS to achieve high return on investment (RoI) with low total cost of ownership (TCO). ExpressCluster X has slashed downtime and also reduced the financial impact of recovery, as business operations continue on the secondary server if a primary VM fails. This has also led to increased productivity for all ISS employees. ExpressCluster X quickly and accurately detects failures and performs instant and automatic failover recovery providing protection for both applications and data.

Koide adds, “ECX monitors various level of failure (hardware, network, guest OS, application) and execute quick and automatic failover recovery in a virtual environment. ECX has slashed downtime and has also reduced the financial impact of recovery as business operation continues at the time of any failover has led to increase the productivity of the resources of ISS.”



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