Global manufacturer benefits from improved IT performance and increased reliability

Client: Laltex Group
Industry: Manufacturing
Project: Production infrastructure refresh
Central provided Laltex with a scalable, reliable storage solution to support its continued growth and streamline its IT operations. The new system is operating approximately twenty times faster due to reduced latency and virtual machines can be cloned in just minutes, delivering significant time and resource savings.
“Going live could have taken us upwards of six months but, thanks to the Fujitsu storage replication implemented by Central, we brought that down to just ten weeks and made the entire transition much easier to handle.”
Paul Bentley, IT Manager
Client

The Laltex Group has been in business for over 50 years. It was established in Hong Kong in 1948 and later in the UK in 1962.

The company supplies products from across seven divisions to the wholesale, retail and promotional markets on a national and European level.

Working alongside its China and United States offices, the business sources from a global network of suppliers to bring its customers innovative products from around the world, ensuring that its customers continually receive imaginative products with outstanding value.

Challenge

Laltex wanted to replace its ageing storage system and outdated thin clients with a new infrastructure that could support its ongoing growth. It was also important that the new system was manageable for its two IT employees.

The company had been dependent on an ageing fleet of Oracle Sun Ray thin clients, supported by a storage platform that originally had just 800GB backbone. With the technology reaching end-of-life, it was further strained as the company had more than doubled in size since its implementation. Laltex wanted to refresh its end-user devices while boosting its storage capacity and performance.

Laltex, an existing, longstanding customer of Central, approached the Central team for advice on how to upgrade its storage platform. It was part of a wider office refurbishment that also allowed the company to install a new network infrastructure with fibre channels for optimal connectivity.

Solution

Central recommended the Fujitsu Storage ETERNUS AF250 with PRIMERGY RX2540 servers to support Laltex’s 120 users. The software would deliver impressive IOPS performance with lowest latency even at full load. It offered a solution that resolved all performance issues in critical applications, including real-time business analytics and VDI environments, without requiring any complicated tuning, making it easy to manage.

The software was modular and expandable, so it could be easily scaled to support Laltex’s continued growth. Fujitsu also provided a guarantee that the technology would be immediately replaced if anything went wrong.

Laltex ran its existing SAN in parallel with the new Fujitsu ETERNUS AF250 for 10 weeks while it gradually migrated its data and applications. The company was able to take its proof of concept device and replicate it in a live environment, which made the migration process much faster and simpler.

Results

Using the ETERNUS AF250, Laltex is now able to take a snapshot of its virtual machines and clone them across its three Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX2540 servers in a matter of minutes, not hours. Log-in times have reduced dramatically while the functionality of key tasks has also reduced significantly, in some cases by 75 percent. All of this combines to make users more productive while reducing the burden on the IT team. With only 12 of the Fujitsu ETERNUS AF250 24 bays currently occupied, it will be easy for Laltex to add cost-effective additional storage capacity as and when it is needed.

Its management overhead has reduced considerably because the Fujitsu servers and storage are significantly more reliable and much simpler to operate with in-built automated quality of service. While performance has improved exponentially, making applications faster and more responsive.

To test exactly how much performance had improved by, Central carried out a number of benchmarks against the previous SAN which showed the Fujitsu ETERNUS AF250 outperforming the old system by approximately twenty times due to latency reducing from 200ms to 5ms.

“Business continuity is important to us and this Fujitsu solution has given us a robust, high-performing platform that ensures continuity across the business.”  Paul Bentley, IT Manager, Laltex.

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