Navis, LLC Uses Storage Solutions in Providing Robust, Virtual, Terminal-Operation Systems to Ports around the Globe
 
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Navis, LLC Uses Storage Solutions in Providing Robust, Virtual, Terminal-Operation Systems to Ports around the Globe

Navis, part of Cargotec Corporation, provides software that manages cargo movement through terminals. The company combines the industry’s best practices with innovative software and world-class services that enable customers to maximize performance and reduce risk. Whether tracking cargo through a port, automating equipment operations, or managing multiple terminals through an integrated, centralized solution, Navis provides a holistic approach to operational optimization.

Navis’ terminal operating system (TOS) is well known in the industry, as approximately 26% of all containers that move anywhere in the world is managed by a Navis solution.

As demand for the company’s TOS increased, Navis’ physical storage capacity needs increased significantly. To combat storage capacity issues, Navis used Oracle's Pillar Axiom 600 to create a virtualized TOS that is adaptable to any client’s IT architecture and easy for engineers to install. It also reduces physical server needs.

In addition, Navis implemented Sun Storage Archive Manager so it could optimize disk performance around real-time needs and use Oracle’s StorageTek SL3000 modular library system with StorageTek T10000C tape drives as the low-cost tier in its archive.

 
Moving to a Virtual System

Previously, terminals used time-consuming, manual processes to track containers that entered and exited their ports—whether from a truck, train, or ship. Now, these tracking systems are computerized, as Navis’ TOS integrates with a customer’s system to automate terminal operations from the gate, to the vessel or yard, enabling terminals to more easily and accurately track cargo.

But as demand for Navis systems escalated, the company’s engineering and development teams found it increasingly difficult to implement new solutions in a timely manner. In addition, each terminal maintains a unique system with differing needs. For instance, some maintain very effective IT organizations where Navis is needed to provide only limited assistance. Other customers need an extensive installation, and Navis assists with the initial go-live phase, followed by regular maintenance and support throughout the product lifecycle.

A further complication Navis faced involved physical server space. With the legacy architecture, each new customer installation required another server, and Navis realized it would soon run out of space without a significant data center expansion.

After extensive research, Navis found virtualization to be the answer to its obstacles. With this in mind, Navis turned to Oracle and implemented the Pillar Axiom 600 storage system.

“Oracle’s Pillar Axiom 600 had all the components we needed to achieve our goals and still maintain the performance and reliability our customers demanded,” said Stephen Schleiger, manager of systems engineering, Navis, LLC.

With Pillar Axiom, Navis acquired the ability to logically partition the storage environment to support various virtual instances, ensuring optimal performance. It deployed the solution in Navis’ Oakland, California and Chennai, India main operational areas, replicating the two systems to enhance redundancy, automate processes to ensure information is in the right place at the right time, and recover data quickly in case of a system outage. The virtual environment enabled Navis to continue to take on new customers without adding servers.

 
Maintaining Optimal Performance

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Navis, LLC

  • “We’ve worked with Oracle for the last 20 years and are constantly impressed with its solutions and support. Oracle’s Pillar Axiom 600 and tape storage solutions, including StorageTek SL3000 modular library system with T10000C tape drives, have enabled us to stay aligned with our return-on-investment goals and meet customer needs for a virtual, high performing, and flexible terminal operating system.” – Stephen Schleiger, Manager of Systems Engineering, Navis, LLC

  • Develop a virtualized TOS to enable customers—which include terminals around the world—to effectively monitor containers entering and exiting their ports
  • Ensure the TOS is flexible to meet customers’ unique IT environments, as terminals maintain different infrastructures and have varying needs
  • Meet increasing storage demands while reducing physical server space by creating a virtual TOS environment
  • Partition the storage environment to support various virtual instances while maintaining performance
  • Ensure data redundancy to quickly restore information in the event of an outage

Solutions

  • Implemented Oracle’s Pillar Axiom 600 storage system to provide customers with a virtualized TOS to effectively monitor cargo that is entering and exiting their ports
  • Used Pillar Axiom 600’s virtual architecture to keep pace with the demand for its engineering operations to develop new software applications while maintaining the flexibility to customize solutions so that they correspond with each customer’s IT infrastructure needs
  • Consolidated the physical storage environment space and reduced the number of servers with a virtualized TOS
  • Acquired the ability to partition storage environments based on usage needs—for example, for a solution to a critical customer problem—to ensure optimal performance for the virtual instances
  • Deployed Pillar Axiom 600 in Navis’ Oakland, California and Chennai, India main operational areas to replicate the two systems for enhanced redundancy and automated processes that ensure information is in the right place at the right time
  • Used Oracle’s StorageTek SL3000 with T10000C tape drives as the lowest tier of storage to enhance data recovery in the event of an outage, while ensuring maximum return on investment
  • Used Oracle Storage Archive Manager and StorageTek SL3000 with T10000C tape drives to keep more data available in-house
  • Used Sun Storage Archive Manager to enhance performance by automatically moving data between tiers, based on usage frequency, to ensure the most critical data is easily accessible

Why Oracle

“We considered a number of solutions, including a long look at EMC, but we quickly discovered that for our investment, Oracle Pillar Axiom 600 was our best option and would give us the biggest bang for the buck,” said Stephen Schleiger, manager of systems engineering, Navis, LLC.

“Pillar Axiom has the ability to perform deduplication, and it offers a high quality of service. In addition, it fits our ongoing requirement of being a 100% virtual shop while maximizing performance. Further, Pillar Axiom is an easy system to use, with an intuitive interface that minimizes staff training needs. Oracle’s price, performance, and flexibility made a strong business case that we couldn’t ignore.

“In addition we would not have been able to implement these best-of-breed solutions without Oracle’s support,” Schleiger said. “We found our close partnership with Oracle to be an extensive value-add. Oracle offered input to our engineering teams and shared ideas with us. Its input has been just as important as the products we’ve purchased. In addition, as we expanded our partnerships with other vendors and manufacturers, Oracle stepped up to the plate and was critical to our success.”