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Cairn India operates the largest producing oil field in the Indian private sector and has pioneered the use of cutting-edge technology to extend production life. Today, Cairn India has a world-class resource base, with interests in nine oil and gas blocks in India and one in Sri Lanka.
Cairn India sells its oil to major refineries across India and its gas to public and private buyers. The company was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in January 2007 and is the fourth-largest oil and gas company in India with a market capitalization of more than US$12 billion. In 2011, Cairn India became part of the Vedanta Group, a globally diversified natural resources group with interests in aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, silver, and iron ore markets.
Cairn India deployed two SPARC Enterprise M5000 servers from Oracle and two SPARC servers replacing SPARC T2 Series systems, which had reached end of life. The servers run core ERP software and the Oracle Solaris 10 operating system in a clustered server environment provided by Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3. The company also runs Oracle Database.
“The SPARC Enterprise M5000 servers improved the ERP application response time by 68%,” said Udayveer Singh, manager, SAP-IT, Cairn India. “This helps us maximize productivity and enhance customer service while enabling our senior managers to make quicker business decisions.”
When Cairn India began operations in 2006, it deployed a SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage its financial reporting, inventory, procurement, production, oil and gas project management, human resources, employee self service, and joint venture management activities. This ERP system was running on 16 highly available SPARC servers at its data center in Chennai, India.
“Cairn India initially deployed a SAP human resources module, which was used by 127 staff,” said Singh. “By 2010, we had deployed several modules that were being used by more than 2,000 staff across the organization. We quickly realized that we needed to upgrade our server infrastructure to support our complex application environment and the rapid growth of our oil and gas exploration business.”
The new SPARC Enterprise servers have helped improve the response time of Cairn India’s ERP, enterprise portal, and business intelligence applications by up to 68%. These applications are responding in 600 to 900 milliseconds on the new SPARC servers, compared to around 2,500 milliseconds on the previous systems.
“Staff members use our ERP and business intelligence applications to complete around 7.1 million internal and external SAP dialog steps—the processing needed to get from one screen to the next—each month,” said Singh. “This is expected to increase by approximately 30% over 12 months.
“These dialog steps are generated by various financial, inventory, procurement, plant maintenance and human resources transactions, business intelligence reports, and employee self-service activities,” he continued.
“This performance improvement enables our staff to perform business critical activities—more efficiently. It also means senior managers can generate reports from our financial and business intelligence systems about 60% faster than previously.”
The SPARC servers have helped Cairn India overcome CPU utilization bottlenecks that slowed down application performance. CPU usage in the SPARC Enterprise M5000 and other SPARC servers is around 15%.
“This means there is plenty of room for growth and our applications will continue to perform well on these servers as our transaction load increases,” said Singh. “We are confident the servers can support future growth in our oil and gas operations.”
The SPARC M5000 and other SPARC servers are less expensive to maintain than the previous servers because Cairn India’s SAP-IT team can replace parts quickly. This ensures the organization experiences minimal business downtime if components need to be replaced.
Cairn India deployed Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3, an extension of the Oracle Solaris operating system, to create application clusters that protect its core ERP systems from unexpected disruptions.
Oracle Solaris Cluster 3.3 provides automatic failover capabilities by replicating data between these clusters. If one of the SPARC servers fails, the solution ensures that staff can continue to access data and use the ERP system to manage oil and gas exploration projects. This also eliminates the risk of data loss following a server failure.
Cairn India has used Oracle SPARC servers since 2006. The SPARC Enterprise M5000 and other SPARC servers were chosen because they best suited the organization’s requirements of high availability and scalability.
“The new SPARC Enterprise M5000 servers are flexible and reliably support the core ERP applications that are crucial to the success of Cairn India,” said Singh.
“We see a big advantage in only having to work with one vendor when we need server and database support following Oracle’s acquisition of Sun. We also did some research and found that Oracle has been the safe, reliable, and scalable database of choice for SAP customers. Oracle Database and database options are constantly optimized for SAP applications.
“CAIRN has also been using SPARC servers for six years; they are robust and provide the maximum value because they last a long period of time,” said Ganesh Radhakrishnan, head, SAP practice, Cairn India.
Cairn India’s internal SAP-IT team began the deployment in December 2011 and switched on the new servers in March 2012.
During the implementation, the team of domain experts spent one month studying the organization’s requirements and drafting a plan. Cairn India also engaged Oracle Consulting to design the final system architecture.
Cairn India’s SAP-IT team completed five tests to ensure there were no technical and functional issues when the servers went live. The team completed similar tests with its business partners to ensure seamless data transfers between its applications and external online banking systems. It also tested the automatic failover capabilities to ensure the infrastructure would continue to run following a server failure.