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Monday, 23 May 2016
OSI Food’s European-Wide Data Centers Depend on DataCore’s Software-Defined Platform
The major produce supplier behind fast-food retail giants gains performance and optimization for flagging Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems, SQL databases and VMware environments using DataCore’s SANsymphony across Europe
OSI Food Solutions (OSI) has been successfully using DataCore’s SANsymphony platform to support its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system across Europe. DataCore adds needed agility, resilience and performance to the company’s demanding business applications including Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision), SQL databases, Citrix XenApp and VMware environments.
“As IT support for OSI, it is our job to provide other branches and offices with plug-and-play solutions whenever they are required, so the systems need total compatibility and ease of use, as many production sites do not have their own IT staff. This is why we place great emphasis on reliable systems that are easy to administer. DataCore SANsymphony definitely offers both and from a central management pane,” comments Wolfgang Allgäuer, IT manager for infrastructure based at OSI Food Solutions Germany.
OSI has 17,000 employees located in 60 sites across 25 different countries. Its core business is the production of high-quality convenience meat products, such as meat patties, bacon, pizza and hot dogs. OSI has many large familiar brand name customers including McDonalds, Metro and Tescos, and access to a resilient “Navision” ERP system is essential to facilitate just-in-time logistics.
Storage Solution for Europe-Wide Use OSI Food Solutions Germany serves as both a production site as well as a service provider to its European sister companies within the OSI Group implementing a uniform IT infrastructure strategy across Europe. Adoption of SANsymphony facilitates shared storage and increases performance to its major business applications whilst also safeguarding and optimising OSI’s growing virtual environment. The central IT Department offers procurement, implementation and support of IT infrastructure resting on three pillars: VMware vSphere, Citrix XenApp and DataCore SANsymphony.
Hardware Goes, Software Stays Given that DataCore’s Software-Defined Storage is totally hardware agnostic, OSI continues to reap the cost savings in selection of any underlying hardware:
“The change to DataCore provided us with the option of using lower-priced hardware, while at the same time achieving functionality at enterprise level. We can easily integrate new technologies and freely scale the environment. So the investment has paid off, particularly over the long term,” said Wolfgang Allgäuer.
Apart from the basic functions of virtualization and synchronous mirroring with auto-failover, SANsymphony integrates well-developed storage services, including auto-tiering, thin provisioning, high-speed caching technology and high-level reporting and analysis tools. OSI appreciates the reporting in particular, because it allows any potential latency to be traced and eliminated and deals with spikes in data mining all the way to the backend disk. Integration of VMware vCenter plug-ins into the DataCore GUI has also proved useful as it allows virtual server/storage partitions to be rapidly configured and effectively transferred with a high degree of automation.
The company is planning to add and integrate Flash/SSD memory in order to further increase overall performance. Whether this will take place via external SSD arrays or corresponding PCIs Flash cards, the Software-Defined Storage platform SANsymphony supports both variants and will provide a major boost in performance in combination with DataCore’s parallel I/O technology that is included within the next SANsymphony update.
“We have been using DataCore SANsymphony for years now and we are completely satisfied with it. It’s an easy to manage solution with a good price-to-performance ratio. The combination of DataCore and VMware helps us implement a shared strategy despite the differing requirements at our various international locations” concludes Wolfgang Allgäuer.