The business challenge
In 2015, Korea Petrochemical Ind. Co., LTD (KPIC) decided to expand its NCC (naphtha cracking center). This project was completed in May 2017 and is currently in full operation. Following the expansion, KPIC has also decided to expand its polyethylene/polypropylene facility at its plant in Ulsan, North Korea, and plans to complete that project by the end of 2018. As a result, improving and expanding its IT infrastructure system — including aging servers and storage — was vital in order to support the expansion of KPIC’s production facilities. In particular, as IT system failures caused the disruption of business processes and the deterioration of productivity, improving KPIC’s aging IT infrastructure systems became a pressing issue. Due to the nature of the energy and chemical company’s business, it is absolutely essential to maintain business continuity in purchase, production and supply. Any disruption in the IT infrastructure system and data recovery will have an adverse effect on the operation of the production facilities. For that reason, KPIC has created a complete IT response system and a data backup and recovery environment by introducing a new backup solution for data protection: the NetApp All-Flash Storage and new network-switch infrastructure. NetApp All-Flash is reliable and safe from natural and industrial disasters. This new solution has enabled KPIC to focus on improving its business efficiency and productivity without having to worry about IT system operation and management.
The Veeam solution
KPIC has improved its server and storage environment and built a data center with 17 TB of storage, consisting of four hosts and about 30 virtual machines (VMs) in Onsan. Veeam Backup & Replication, a virtualization-based Veeam backup solution adopted by KPIC, is optimized for virtual backup environments because it can perform backup and recovery without a VM host agent. This also makes it easier to operate and manage data backup and recovery because there is no need to install the agent. In addition, a single backup solution makes it possible to process OS and data backup at the same time, which guarantees easy management and maintenance. Furthermore, by using cloud services for backup and replication storage, the flexibility and security of data storage can be improved. Quick backup, deduplication and compression using WAN acceleration can reduce space requirements for storage and network traffic during backup.
When sudden unexpected system failures or disruptions occur, VMs can be run in minutes with backup files, providing the same level of service as the physical system, which reduces data recovery time and speeds up business normalization. On top of that, Veeam Backup & Replication supports simple and convenient UI/ UX such as directory structures and copy/save features similar to Windows, which ensures convenience to the person in charge.
In addition to these functional advantages, the Veeam’s backup solutions have superior price competitiveness compared to global backup solution vendors such as Dell EMC and IBM. Veeam is affordable to large companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises that make cost-effectiveness their priority. By taking full advantage of the features and benefits of Veeam solutions, KPIC has been able to improve its server and storage system and establish a safe and reliable data backup and recovery environment, which enables uninterrupted business operations and management. Before actually adopting Veeam’s products, KPIC simulated the operability of the product for over a year by using a pre-test version. Through the simulation, KPIC was able to test the performance of its data backup and recovery environment after they would adopt a Veeam solution. KPIC was able to reduce trial and error and complete the data backup and recovery transition efficiently and successfully by carefully analyzing any problems or shortcomings that may occur before the solution was actually introduced.
The project of introducing Veeam backup solutions to KPIC was led by Goodmorning Information Technology Co. Ltd. (GIT), a company specializing in virtualization, cloud infrastructures and big data. GIT successfully completed the transition of data backup and recovery environments by committing 10 experts (including storage, network, and virtualization engineers) and mobilizing its expertise and know-how about virtualization projects to minimize KPIC's service interruption. Despite a short, two-month project timeline, the transition was completed smoothly and on time. GIT has seamlessly integrated Veeam backup solutions into heterogeneous servers and storage products such as NetApp and has solved problems that could occur during data backupnd recovery tby analyzing the causes of disruptions and taking proper measures. Specifically, the minimal recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives have been achieved by integrating Veeam solutions with the ONTAP OS for NetApp All-Flash storage, which is a component of the larger infrastructure.
With the introduction of virtualization-based data backup solutions and the transition of data backup and recovery environments, KPIC plans to establish an efficient data management environment by securing a data backup and recovery infrastructure, establishing a 24.7.365 data support system and establishing a readiness posture to recover from data disruptions in the shortest amount of time. KPIC anticipates that this plan will help maximize KPIC's competitiveness in overseas business by improving the productivity of their field division, promoting data business and meeting their demand for predictable and analytical data.
- Veeam provided a stable business operating environment by establishing a non-disruptive data service environment even in the event of system failure. With the introduction of Veeam virtualization-based data backup solutions, KPIC established a truly non-disruptive data service environment, thereby supporting a stable business environment and improving business processes and productivity.
- Backup speeds are four to five times faster, recovery speeds are six to seven times faster and the recovery time objective (RTO) is now less than 15 minutes. This made KPIC’s data recovery faster, easier and more reliable. Automated data backup solutions have also helped KPIC establish an environment with an RTO of less than 15 minutes. As a result, it’s possible for KPIC to operate and manage their servers and storage systematically and organically. They’re also now able to respond immediately to data disruptions, which minimizes business interruptions and improves business productivity.
- The data transfer rate is 5.7 times faster than before and the new storage efficiency ratio of a maximum of 15:1 optimizes data management. NetApp Storage, which is No.1 in the All-Flash array market, increased the transfer rate by 5.7 times and has been able to speed up the response time of speed-critical applications. NetApp Storage, with its storage-efficiency ratio of 15:1, has helped KPIC respond to their ever-increasing amount of data more efficiently.
- The adoption of SAN and NAS fusion solutions for cost and operational effectiveness. To support a variety of applications, SAN and NAS should be implemented at the same time. Unlike other vendors, NetApp All-Flash supports this function on the same platform at no additional cost, which enables cost reduction and effective operation for KPIC in the event of future expansions.