Founded in 1985, M&R Printing Equipment Inc. started out with three employees, maintaining and repairing equipment for screen printers who were dissatisfied with the service that their equipment manufacturers provided. Eventually, the company went on to become the world’s largest manufacturer of screen printing equipment for the graphic and textile industries, a position it holds to this day. M&R remains heavily invested in advanced technology, earning numerous patents and remaining in the forefront of innovative design and rapid product development. The company produces a wide array of screen printing equipment at facilities in Glen Ellyn and Niles, Ill., and in Wojnicz, Poland, and has distributors and support operations throughout the world.
M&R’s legacy hardware infrastructure showed signs of aging and users were experiencing system failures and slowdowns. In looking to modernize, the company wanted to take advantage of virtualization as a way to improve scalability and performance while reducing costs. Its IT leadership knew that a shared storage environment would be an important part of such an initiative.
M&R built its consolidated and virtualized infrastructure on Oracle technology, including Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage 7320 appliance, Sun Blade X6270 M2 servers, Sun Blade 6000 chassis, and Oracle Database 11g. It used a Sun ZFS Storage 7320 appliance as the foundation for a shared storage environment, significantly reducing the company’s storage footprint, cost, and complexity, and improving efficiency of the company’s Oracle Database 11g environment. The company also consolidated 22 physical Dell PowerEdge servers to 3 Sun Blade X6270 M2 servers inside a Sun Blade 6000 chassis, while running 41 virtual environments, leading the company toward its goal of a 12:1 virtual-to-physical machine ratio. Further, the company decreased data center energy consumption and cooling costs by 52%, with an 87% energy consumption reduction across servers that were replaced.
M&R considered a number of vendors, but ultimately chose Oracle Sun ZFS Storage 7320 appliance for a variety of reasons. First, M&R was consolidating its servers on a Sun Blade 6000 chassis. To ensure interoperability, the company wanted to operate its system with a single vendor. Sun ZFS Storage 7320’s performance capacity also exceeds other vendor products. Further, M&R found it much easier and less expensive to add additional storage shelves with Oracle, as opposed to buying an additional system, as required with other solutions.
“Our smooth implementation is a testament to the simplicity of Oracle’s Sun Storage ZFS appliance. With some initial help from the Oracle team, we completed the entire install and configuration in house, including upgrading the firmware and allocating the drive space,” said Jason Coe, IT Manager, M&R Printing Equipment Inc. “The ease of use continues. We have not had to log into the appliance for months.”