Darling Ingredients, the world's largest producer of sustainable ingredients, was facing aging hardware in a colocation facility hosting key infrastructure. Darling’s goal was to modernize without increasing costs. The company began to explore the possibility of bringing the workloads into its own data centers or moving them to the public cloud.
One of Darling's key goals was to avoid increasing its costs with this move. Many costs, such as licensing, remained comparable to its prior solution, however, the company now benefits from the indirect savings of no longer maintaining its former infrastructure, and reduced personnel costs. An important aspect of maintaining the lower costs was the ability to migrate these Oracle applications from on-premises to Oracle data centers with minimal disruptions, using tools that Darling engineers were already familiar with. This saved countless hours that would have been wasted moving the application disruptively to some other public cloud.
Darling had been using Oracle on VMware ESX in its colocation environment, and had tried several cloud providers, but found the reliability and performance lacking. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provided the predictable high-performance infrastructure for Oracle Database and the applications that depend on it.
Darling has moved its enterprise planning, business intelligence, and data integration technology applications from its colocated data center to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Database, Oracle Hyperion, and related Oracle applications, along with third-party applications such as Informatica, Vertex, and Darling's Laboratory Information Management System, all moved as part of this project.
The deployment includes more than 500 compute cores, 50 virtual machines, and databases that total more than 60TB of NVMe storage, along with 70TB of object storage and 4TB of block storage. Darling uses both Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (Service Pack 1) and Oracle Linux operating systems. The deployment consolidated 19 databases from several different applications, including Hyperion, Informatica, and Vertex to three Oracle Database Cloud systems running on bare metal servers. The complete deployment includes 30-plus database instances, including pluggable databases, across 13 Oracle Database Cloud Service on bare metal systems.
Darling’s staff in its Irving, Texas headquarters and in 113 plant locations across the United States also needed secure, reliable bandwidth to use EBS and other applications, so a 10 Gbps Oracle FastConnect connection was deployed. Oracle Integration was used to automate end-to-end processes such as requisition to receipt with prebuilt connectivity for Oracle E-Business Suite and any SaaS, custom, or on-premises applications. Virtual networks were provisioned with Darling’s own DNS to meet the company’s needs to use specific RFC1918 IP addresses and server names.
Darling Ingredients has had an aggressive plan to move all of our key IT applications into the cloud. We have a number of critical Oracle applications, many of which rely on Oracle Database. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Database on bare metal met our stringent performance requirements. Having predictable, high bandwidth connectivity to our end users is critical, and Oracle FastConnect was a great solution.
Oracle Apps DBA Manager
Darling had tried other cloud providers, but found reliability and performance lacking. Oracle's performance doubled Darling's previous hosted solution.
The company enjoyed predictable, high-bandwidth connectivity between applications hosted in the cloud and application end users. Also, Darling saw tremendous efficiency gains: Deployment included consolidation from 19 to 3 database systems.
In addition, the company realized predictable costs and transparent pricing with a true hybrid cloud, rooted in bare metal, easing application migration.
“Oracle Cloud with Enterprise Manager allows me to replicate the Oracle workloads in a show-back, charge-back model under a single subscription, allowing, in turn, the accurate determination of what each business unit is using,” said Tom Morgan, Oracle Apps DBA manager.
Performance improvements were an unanticipated benefit. For example, one payroll application that formerly took 6.5 hours now completed in less than three hours.
With this deployment the team is able to provision quickly and tear down quickly, speeding time-to-solution and controlling costs. The combination of the technology stack and the simple billing enable Darling to easily track usage, map costs to projects, and cross-charge internally for resource consumption. The next step is to move the rest of Darling's production applications running within its own data centers to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, as well.
Oracle provided a predictable high-performance infrastructure for Oracle Database and the applications that depend on it, with secure, reliable bandwidth from Oracle’s 10 Gbps FastConnect connection.
Darling was able to reduce in-house maintenance while enjoying enhanced infrastructure capabilities. It saw savings from no longer maintaining its former infrastructure and reduced personnel costs.