M&R Printing Equipment Cuts Storage Costs, Boosts Scalability, and Creates Production Environments in One Hour Instead of Weeks with Storage Appliance
 
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M&R Printing Equipment Cuts Storage Costs, Boosts Scalability, and Creates Production Environments in One Hour Instead of Weeks with Storage Appliance

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.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from

  • “Our deployment of Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage 7320 appliance was a key part of a larger IT initiative in which we also virtualized and consolidated almost two dozen physical servers. This initiative has been an enormous success, as we’ve achieved significant savings and gained scalability, as well as unimaginable flexibility and performance in our IT environment.” – Jason Coe, IT Manager, M&R Printing Equipment Inc.

  • Extend ability to leverage IT virtualization to improve performance and scalability while reducing IT-related costs across the global, 24/7, manufacturing and service operation
  • Create, as a foundation for the virtualization initiative, a highly scalable and cost-effective shared storage environment for the company’s business-critical financial, human resources, supply chain, and manufacturing data, as well as electrical schematics and mechanical drawings, which must be readily available to business and technical staff
  • Accelerate time to deployment for new IT initiatives
  • Improve disaster recovery capabilities for critical business data, while controlling costs

Solutions

  • Launched an enterprise IT consolidation and virtualization initiative designed to improve scalability and performance while reducing expenses, including IT management and energy costs
  • Built, as part of the initiative, a shared storage environment using a Sun ZFS Storage 7320 appliance as the foundation―growing raw capacity by 278%, reducing the company’s storage footprint by 58%, and cutting costs and complexity
  • Acquired the ability to set up virtual labs in minutes, as opposed to weeks, and provision a new production environment in an hour, as opposed to at least two weeks or even months in the legacy environment―enhancing company flexibility and advancing efforts to accelerate IT initiatives that support manufacturing and corporate operations
  • Increased storage capacity in an environment in which data ranges from enterprise resource planning (ERP) system information, to complex engineering schematics for printing equipment―in a cost-effective manner
  • Gained the ability to add additional storage shelves as opposed to purchasing an additional storage library, as required with some competing solutions―a significant savings moving forward
  • Improved developer productivity with the ability to take snapshots of an environment, clone it, and then roll it back to a previous state, when needed, in just 30 seconds
  • Consolidated, as part of the broader initiative, 22 physical Dell PowerEdge servers, which were experiencing slowdowns, 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
  • Decreased data center energy consumption and cooling costs by 52%, with an 87% energy consumption reduction across servers that were replaced
  • Improved ability to manage the IT environment with Sun ZFS Storage 7320’s DTrace analytics and Oracle Enterprise Manager, which provides a single interface from which the company can efficiently troubleshoot and manage its IT infrastructure
  • Gained a foundation to accelerate database back-up and recovery with Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage 7320 appliance, which the company can use as a backup/restore source for existing Oracle production databases in the future

Why Oracle

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.

Implementation Process

“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.”