Late 2012 zEnterprise Action

In a flurry of December activity, IBM announced the German manufacturer, ARBURG GmbH, upgraded to two z114 machines. In addition, a pair of Australian companies, Tonkin Consulting and Harris Farm Market, jumped on the PureSystems bandwagon.

It’s particularly nice to see IBM PureSystems gaining traction.  These are hybrid expert systems that can significantly lower the cost of a company’s IT. As for the z114, it has been a bargain since it was introduced.  DancingDinosuar expects a similar low end model of the zEC12 to come out sometime in 2013.

Let’s start by looking at ARBURG, which upgraded to a pair of zEnterprise 114 machines to drive down costs and accelerate its time-to-market. In the process it also wanted to improve customer satisfaction but without compromising on product quality. Specifically, it needed to make better use of the large amounts of data generated daily across its core business areas—development, procurement, production, sales, and services. ARBURG runs the two z114 machines with IBM System Storage DS8800, IBM DB2, and IBM Tivoli Monitoring solutions to support its SAP application environment.

The payback will come fast: reduced energy consumption by 80%. Likewise, implementing the IBM System Storage DS8800 storage cut power consumption for zEnterprise disk storage by 25%, according to the company. In addition, ARBURG runs applications on IBM System x servers with IBM SVC and Storwize V7000 systems. By consolidating on IBM System x servers with virtualization, ARBURG shrunk its number of physical servers by more than 50% and lowered energy requirements by 60%. The company also expects to leverage IBM Easy Tier technology built into the Storwize V7000 to automatically migrate data between spinning drives and SSDs dynamically, moving the most-accessed data to SSDs for better performance and the less-used data to lower-priced, standard drives.

ARBURG would like to grow its SAP environment gradually, avoiding the need to frequently invest in new hardware, thereby saving even more money, minimizing complexity, and maximizing performance. Long term the company plans to use SAP on the IBM technology platform to optimize processes and improve transparency and quality, which it expects will lead to shorter development cycles and reduced time-to-market.

The Aussies took the PureSystems route. Tonkin Consulting, an engineering, environmental and spatial consulting practice, is replacing its existing HP switching hardware and servers with IBM PureFlex. The new system will be the core component of the firm’s new enterprise-wide IT strategy to address its future needs and growth. It opted for the integrated PureFlex System for its a highly automated, simple-to-manage system. It also chose the integrated v7000 storage as well as additional IBM system networking, system x and tape storage products. The company expects the new system to significantly reduce IT costs, potentially halving management costs overall, while dramatically increasing its ability to rapidly scale operations up and down. Additionally, the technology will enable Tonkin to quickly create and deploy a private cloud, which will enable disaster recovery for its offices in South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Harris Farm Markets opted for an IBM Flex System to help support its business growth and reduce IT costs and complexity. It expects Flex to significantly boost the performance of its critical systems, especially its enterprise resource (ERP) system. The IBM Flex System deployment underpins a broader IT strategy intended to support Harris Farm’s continuing growth for at least ten years. As part of its emphasis on scalable efficiency, the strategy will reduce Harris Farm’s data footprint by up to 80% through real-time data compression; and optimize application performance using IBM’s Easy-tier functionality. The customized Flex System will include an IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis; two IBM Compute nodes; and an IBM Storwize V7000 storage system. The Flex System will replace Harris Farm’s existing IBM systems and is expected to be delivered by mid-January 2013.

Let’s hope these late 2012 wins are good signs for 2013.

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