IT Infrastructure in Manufacturing: A Use Case (Part 2 of 2)

We left off with ABC Manufacturing researching their options for the infrastructure upgrade. A Hybrid Cloud solution was chosen over Full Virtualization or On-Premise because it integrates both virtual and physical environments. To transition, ABC partnered with a local “As a Service” company for deployment, management, and support.

To fully utilize the existing investment, the two new servers were moved to Plant #2 (the smaller site) in anticipation of increased growth. A new Hyper-converged environment was installed in Plant #1, delivering an increased performance capacity for the main production areas. Transferring the servers to Plant #2 and establishing the Hyper-converged infrastructure gave ABC the ability to now replicate between sites.

The solution gave ABC access to a dedicated virtual space, where critical production systems are replicated in the Cloud. In addition, all backups for both locations are Cloud-based and easy to restore if needed. As a private Cloud provider, ABC’s partner ensures that all security and compliance requirements are met, protecting them from both human error and external threats. ABC has complete visibility and can manage their entire infrastructure from a single pane of glass. The following shows ABC’s updated infrastructure in a Hybrid Cloud solution.

ABC had several concerns regarding unexpected growth and how their existing technology could continue supporting the workload. They were primarily focused on three issues; utilizing the current equipment, scaling appropriately, and addressing the single point of failure.

  • — ABC wanted to keep their ERP and critical systems on-site to avoid wasting the servers they just purchased. The Hybrid Cloud solution (with both physical and virtual components) allowed them to operate holistically across both locations and the Cloud.
  • — The Hyper-converged environment is incrementally scalable, preventing unnecessary spending on unutilized capacity. ABC can grow efficiently based on their needs instead of guesses. ABC’s IT team proposed that a partnership with an “As a Service” provider would increase productivity, thereby creating a more cost-efficient workplace. As most of the maintenance is offloaded to the provider, ABC’s IT team can focus on strategic initiatives.
  • — Replication across both sites and into the Cloud removed ABC’s single point of failure concerns. Continuous communication and redundancy across the network significantly reduce downtime risk.

6 months later… ABC Manufacturing’s infrastructure is being fully utilized. They couldn’t be happier with daily operations and the 24/7/365 support their partner provides. After adopting the Hybrid Cloud model, ABC manages their growth appropriately and cost-effectively and are expanding with Plant #3 in the fall.