Thursday, October 6, 2022

How Data Centers are Used by Bosch, PayPal, Groupon, Orange, and Suez: Case Studies

Data centers allow companies to increase their compute, storage, and networking infrastructure.

See below for five case studies on how organizations in different industries are using data centers as part of their infrastructure: 

See more: The Best Data Center Companies

1. Orange Caraïbe

Orange Caraïbe is a telecommunications company based in Guadeloupe. 

Business leaders were at a point where they wanted to have a more energy-efficient data center that would support the company’s business diversification goals. Since the company’s base is located within an island chain in the Caribbean, their energy costs for the IT infrastructure were significantly higher than companies operating data centers from mainland France.

“We’re widening our scope beyond telecommunications to provide a broader range of digital services,” says Xavier Pioche, IT infrastructure department manager, Orange Caraïbe. 

“To support our new business model, meet our environmental goals, and reduce our costs, we wanted to replace our aging storage system.”

Team members frequently dealt with storage-related issues, such as disk failures.

Company leaders embarked on a data center transformation with IBM FlashSystem storage technology. Doing so provided twice the capacity and enhanced performance in a small, highly dense footprint. More specifically, the storage capacity in their production data center went from 250 TB to 662 TB after deploying the technology upgrades.

“The all-flash systems have no moving parts, and we gained a single point of control for the entire environment,” Pioche says. 

He also discusses how the technology resulted in a more sustainable data center. 

“Our energy consumption dropped by 94% when we moved to IBM FlashSystem, which helps us make our operations much greener and reduces our power costs by the same percentage over five years.

“Moving to IBM FlashSystem also allowed us to go from three racks to one 2U space, a decrease of 98%, giving us plenty of space to grow into in the future. Our calculations show that we’ll also save tens of thousands of euros on cooling our storage solution, since it’s so much more efficient and compact.”

Industry: Telecommunications

Data center products: IBM FlashSystem and IBM FlashSystem 7200

Outcomes: Orange Caraïbe more than doubled its storage capacity while significantly reducing energy consumption.

2. Bosch

Bosch has about 410,000 worldwide team members and enjoys a global presence in the connected technologies realm. 

The company’s decision-makers sought to improve data center operations, knowing that doing so would directly and positively impact the company’s capabilities for providing services.

“Bosch’s vision is to transform into a leading IoT company,” says Jan Holzmann, senior manager for Central Network Services, Bosch. 

“We continue to support traditional data center applications while accommodating a rapidly expanding IoT footprint with completely different infrastructure requirements and aggressive time-to-market goals. Intent-based networking and advanced automation are essential to this transition.”

The company invested in solutions from Cisco that significantly accelerated networking management tasks. What used to happen across several maintenance slots and weekends now occurs in one time slot with minimal effort.

Bosch can also simplify some of their data center and network management tasks through automation. The improvement gives employees more time and resources to focus on innovation.

“Cisco ACI and Cisco NAE are the foundation of Bosch’s next-generation data center platform,” Holzmann says. “We believe this is the right solution to meet our business challenges today and in the future.”

Industry: Technology and services

Data center products: Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI), Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switches, and Cisco Network Assurance Engine (Cisco NAE)

Outcomes: Bosch adopted one network platform for all data centers and reduced time spent on networking operations to support the increased pursuit of innovation. As a result, Fabric deployment time accelerated from days to minutes.

See more: How Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDCs) are Used by JE Dunn, Işbank, BCX, Nýherji Iceland, BCX, and Netherlands Cancer Institute: Case Studies

3. PayPal

People can use PayPal’s service in more than 300 markets around the world. Since any outage on PayPal’s side could interfere with customers’ abilities to move their money, the company must keep its data centers as stable and free from issues as possible.

Industry experts continually find that human error causes most data center incidents. 

Shawn Tugwell, the director of data center architecture and engineering at PayPal, liked the idea of taking a holistic approach to overseeing all data center operations, from staffing to operational management and planning. The Management and Operations (M&O) Stamp of Approval certification indicates that a data center meets industry-recognized criteria for uptime. The Uptime Institute issues these certifications with a two-year validity period.

Tugwell wanted to make sure nothing associated with data center operations got missed within PayPal’s network of colocation providers. He sought to apply the M&O Stamp of Approval and independent assessments to each company to determine their current performance and where room for improvement existed.

The M&O assessment looks at data center team members’ behaviors within five components and checks whether each one met three operational sustainability principles. It also verifies that each business department plays a vital role in keeping the data center functioning smoothly.

“Our culture meshes well with the M&O Stamp of Approval, helping us to make sure that processes are fully in place to ensure everything is running smoothly, from both our enterprise and colo teams,” Tugwell says. 

“We are proud of our teams and are excited about achieving industry-leading 100% scores in our PHX/02 and PHX/04 data centers, our teams care about continuing to achieve our best work, and Uptime Institute helps us in doing just that.”

Industry: Payment services

Data center products: Uptime Institute’s M&O Stamp of Approval certification

Outcomes: The Uptime Institute’s M&O Stamp of Approval provides third-party verification that internal data center practices are working as they should and that the company is on the right track.

4. Groupon

Groupon is a global e-commerce platform that provides customer deals in a marketplace format. 

Company leaders needed to choose a data center partner but had numerous essential characteristics for the relationship. The company’s first data center was in Santa Clara, California. However, Groupon quickly outgrew it.

Storage, service, and uptime are some of the common aspects people care about when they look at data center options. Groupon’s team was even more specific in what the company needed.

“It was important for us to find a wholesale data center provider that could meet our requirements for scalability, customizable high-density power, cooling containment, ISP neutrality, and physical security,” a Groupon representative says.

Groupon’s leaders considered multiple data center markets and selected NTT’s CA3 data center in Sacramento, California. That site provided numerous advantages. It included 180,000 square feet of space, 14 MW of critical IT power, and 20,000 square feet of customer amenities and Class A office space. Plus, since NTT could provide 100% availability and flexible power ramps, leaders had even more reasons to select that company.

NTT’s data center affords Groupon the service and infrastructure required to meet the company’s needs now and into the future. The data center provides low latency, as it takes a 3 msec round trip to reach the Bay Area from the Sacramento location.

Decision-makers also identified long-term benefits associated with Sacramento. The cost of power there is 40% lower than in San Francisco. Plus, the city is in a separate seismic zone and power grid from San Francisco, and there have not been any major earthquakes in Sacramento for the last 100 years.

Industry: E-commerce

Data center product: NTT’s Sacramento CA3 Data Center

Outcomes: The setup of the entire Groupon ecosystem in the data center happened in 41 days, greatly expanding the company’s compute resources for serving customers and delivering applications. The company also saw greater availability, increasing access for customers and helping them connect with Groupon offerings.

5. Suez Water Technologies & Solutions

Suez Water Technologies & Solutions helps clients with wastewater-related challenges. 

After acquiring GE Water, one of Suez’s biggest tasks was to move data from 60 servers off of GE’s network and on to the one managed by Suez.

The company was already using the public cloud, but there was still room for improvement.

“Our company was taking a plethora of snapshots, and we didn’t have visibility or retention control, so our costs continued to escalate,” says Timothy Loranger, leader of cloud infrastructure services, Suez Water Technologies & Solutions.

“Additionally, our backups weren’t centrally managed, so it was a challenge to know how much storage we actually needed.”

The company’s IT team chose the Druva Cloud Platform tool to centralize the management of its data center and cloud workloads.

“Not only did Druva help us determine how much storage we were wasting with excessive Amazon EBS snapshots, but it helped us realize the unnecessary surplus of Amazon EBS,” Loranger says. 

“We were able to work with our application and database owners to cut down EBS storage without sacrificing access to data, by storing data in the Druva cloud and leveraging its long-term retention capabilities. Now, we’re so much more efficient and only pay for what we actually need.”

Industry: Water treatment

Data center product: Druva Cloud Platform

Outcomes: Suez Water Technologies & Solutions achieved a 50% reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) by moving the virtual machine (VM), database, physical server, and Amazon Web Services workload backups to Druva and had a 6x reduction in the resources needed for backup management.

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