Case Studies


EOH Case Study - PG Bison

EOH Case Study - PG Bison

Posted in Case Studies on Tuesday, May 6, 2014

 

Overview


Country: South Africa

Industry: Manufacturing

Customer Profile


PG Bison is a leading manufacturer of wood-based panel products. Focused on managing its forestry and manufacturing assets in a professional and sustainable manner, it employs 1 960 people across the country. Operations include forestry, sawmilling, resin and wood-based panel manufacture.

Business Situation


PG Bison's data centre environment had reached its capacity limits and required significant upgrading. Physical and technological components had reached end of life, and business changes had outpaced the IT environment. Capacity and performance increases were required, along with backup and disaster recovery improvements, against a background of cost reduction imperatives.

Solution


EOH's Cloud Services division implemented a fully outsourced, managed, consumption-based Hybrid Cloud data centre solution. This allows on-demand growth, with comprehensive backup and disaster recovery capabilities. No upfront investment in IT infrastructure was required, and PG Bison's existing infrastructure was integrated to optimise continued return on existing investment.

Benefits

 

  • Cost savings and cost transparency

  • Data environment flexibility and control

  • Complete business & technical visibility of data environment

  • Removal of data infrastructure management burden

  • Improved backup and disaster recovery response capabilities

  • Full governance and compliance satisfaction

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CASE STUDY

 

PG Bison reaps the benefit of EOH Hybrid Cloud - putting them in control


PG Bison is a leading manufacturer of wood-based panel products. Focused on managing its forestry and manufacturing assets in a professional and sustainable manner, it employs 1 960 people across the country. Operations include forestry, sawmilling, resin and wood-based panel manufacture.

The company's data centre environment had reached its capacity limits and required significant upgrading. Business changes had outpaced the IT environment. A major capacity and performance overhaul was required, along with backup and disaster recovery improvements, against a background of cost reduction imperatives.

It became clear that the company needed to reduce its own IT burden and move from an IT ownership model to a more flexible, consumption-based one.

PG Bison chose EOH Hybrid Cloud Services to design and implement a fully-managed, outsourced data hosting environment, which was integrated with the existing infrastructure it wished to retain.

The Challenge


PG Bison's data environment was at a crossroads. The existing infrastructure was no longer capable of serving the company's requirements. It needed to be simultaneously expanded and streamlined, in order to cope with increasing data storage and access demands.

Additionally, some of the physical hardware was reaching the end of its lifespan, becoming difficult to maintain, and new power and cooling equipment was required. Security, redundancy and backup capacity needed to be improved. Added to this a longer than necessary disaster recovery response time posed a risk of serious business interruption, requiring urgent optimisation.

It was clear that to address all of these issues, significant financial and resource investment would be required for PG Bison to upgrade its own data centre capacity, performance, security and reliability.

PG Bison realised that it needed to move away from owning its IT infrastructure, to reduce its own resource commitment and concentrate its capital -on core business activities. It needed to become a consumer of IT infrastructure that could respond more quickly and appropriately to its changing business requirements.

Solution


Cloud Services from EOH assisted PG Bison in designing a fully outsourced, consumption-based data centre solution, to meet its current challenges and future business requirements.

After consultation, architecting and scoping was aimed at allowing PG Bison to expand and simplify its data environment, retain the components and aspects that were working, and eliminate elements that were reaching the end of their lifespan or becoming too expensive to maintain.

The EOH Hybrid Cloud solution was used so that PG Bison could retain its existing infrastructure as a private cloud, which was integrated with a broader cloud infrastructure, with full redundancy and backup capabilities.

This allowed the company to outsource all non-core business elements to a fully-managed, hosted environment, while keeping certain applications on its own infrastructure - with full integration between the two, for optimal efficiency.

It gave PG Bison the flexibility and elasticity to expand and adapt its infrastructure according to business requirements.

Two months of planning went into the migration, producing detailed project plans and contingency plans to ensure maximum business continuity. Actual migration of PG Bison servers to the EOH hosting environment was implemented over a single weekend. One more week was required to transition the physical environment to a virtual one, with a further 2 days to configure the disaster recovery site to be switched on after a soak-in period.

The entire project was coordinated using EOH's "Right First Time" project management methodology. EOH integrated PG Bison's risk and governance matrix into the project plan, working closely with the company to ensure compliance with all necessary governance regulations and requirements.

The migration was successfully completed with no downtime.

The Hybrid Cloud solution specifics included:

  • Data centre server co-location - allowing PG Bison to continue to use equipment in which it still has an investment, without having to invest further in its on-site IT infrastructure. Current end-of-life servers were moved into a Managed Hosted Cloud, allowing PG Bison to use consumption-based capacity while maximising existing investment.

  • EOH Managed Hosted Cloud - an outsourced cloud infrastructure as a fully managed service, combined with PG Bison's private infrastructure to create a Hybrid Cloud infrastructure. The EOH Cloud Manager gives complete control over the entire cloud environment, allowing it to function as a single infrastructure.

  • Security - EOH Managed Cloud is secured by best-in-class perimeter security, giving PG Bison protection against network, content, and application level threats.

  • Disaster recovery - replication between 2 independent, separate sites, architected to be consumption- based, allowing PG Bison to use capacity only when required.

  • Backup - an automated backup solution with restoration possible within a few hours. The solution was also migrated to disk-to-disk, for longer retention (up to 15 years) and faster data restoration.

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Results


PG Bison now has a significantly more powerful and flexible data infrastructure, with reduced infrastructure costs and company resource hours. The company can now quickly implement technical and capacity changes for new projects, with full cost visibility throughout the process.

Automated infrastructure reporting gives continuous insight into infrastructure usage, with threshold notifications for CPU, memory and storage usage to prevent capacity over-run or downtime.

Automated backup has reduced data recovery time and improved productivity, and PG Bison has the peace of mind provided by the new disaster recovery capabilities.

Early warning systems and best of breed perimeter security now ensures that all of PG Bison's mission critical data is protected not only from external threats but also internally. The security solutions allow for full audit and tracking of user activity.

Benefits


Although migration only took place 2 months prior to the time of writing (July 2013), PG Bison has already reported several benefits:

  • Cost savings - in CAPEX, human resources and maintenance costs - projected at a 15% annual reduction in cost to company at current operating levels.

  • Complete infrastructure cost transparency - PG Bison now has a granular view of all the costs associated with each component of its data infrastructure, both current and when projecting changes.

  • Improved flexibility - the IT environment, including disaster recovery, can burst as and when it needs to. The ability to add and remove resources when required not only saves money; it also allows the infrastructure to respond more quickly to PG Bison's business demands.

  • Reduced data management burden - as a fully-managed hosted solution, EOH Hybrid Cloud has removed the need for PG Bison to constantly manage its data infrastructure.

  • Improved infrastructure and data control - EOH Cloud Manager has given PG Bison more control over its data infrastructure.

  • Simplified, more robust backup - the fully automated backup component with proactive management and monitoring removes the burden and risk of managing complex and error prone data protection.

  • Business governance and compliance requirements are comprehensively provided - with full backup, data replication and audit trails.

  • Security - All of PG Bison's data is now secured behind the best of breed perimeter security systems. A fully managed intrusion prevention solution with content and network anti-virus.

 

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