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Evergreen Garden Care Ltd opts for Software-Defined Storage as the Cornerstone for Growth and SAP HANA ERP Enablement

DataCore Software today announced that Europe's largest branded consumer garden and lawn products company, Evergreen Garden Care Ltd has adopted DataCore's SANsymphony platform as their infrastructure enablement platform to allow for flexible growth and digital change. As a new international business entity devolving from their US based parent company, Scotts MiracleGro, Evergreen faced several pressing challenges. Their IT management team needed to install an infrastructure that would cover eight countries from UK to Australia, to allow for constant trading without negative impact for millions of transactions of their household brand name products such as MiracleGro, RoundUp and Weedol.

Evergreen's Interim CIO Steve Williams reflects. "With the impending move away from the US corporate infrastructure, we had the chance to create a highly performant environment engineered from the ground up. In total, we had 76 business systems to consider and due to criticality and process enhancement, we prioritised delivery of the new SAP ERP system first."

Evergreen consulted DataCore Gold Partner Waterstons, to submit recommendations on deployment of a new infrastructure that could act as the cornerstone of digital agility, serviced by a flexible storage layer that would perform highly and without interruption to the global supply chain but at a more reasonable cost than prohibitively expensive hardware solutions. Waterstons submitted a tiered reference architecture delivered through DataCore's SANsymphony platform.

SAP HANA TDI Integration and Optimisation Key:

Simon Birbeck, Principal Consultant and DataCore Master Certified Engineer at Waterstons, details more. "The Evergreen infrastructure needed to be flexible for future growth. They also wanted SAP HANA Tailored Data Centre Integration (TDI) - an alternative approach of deploying SAP HANA giving flexibility in the selection of the hardware components for server and storage virtualisation. DataCore's software-defined stance matched their flexibility needs and offered a hybrid approach whilst boosting performance. It was proven, certified for SAP HANA and effortlessly capable of synchronously mirroring within the hosted data centre, and asynchronously replicating to Evergreen's Disaster Recovery site in France."

With SAP HANA TDI centre stage in the install and a tight deployment schedule, SANsymphony had to quickly prove in testing that it could support the storage requirements of the VMware virtualised server farm and SAP HANA HWCCT KPIs, straight off the bat. It did, and more beside. Critical, as even though HANA is an in-memory database, it still relies on the performance of underlying storage for all database write operations. The solution was deployed as a three tiered, continuously available solution with DataCore's SANsymphony automatically allocating data blocks to the most appropriate and latest generation hardware, Tier 1 NVMe read intensive, ultra fast response, enterprise class SSDs. Followed by Tier 2, Generously served Flash and lastly, Tier 3 SAS drives for the less frequently accessed data.

Simon contemplated, "Operating internationally from Australia to Europe, Evergreen are constantly trading and processing using their SAP ERP system so 24x7 fast access is required. Latest technologies were included in the Evergreen rollout, including NVMe (non-volatile memory express) and SSDs equipped to boost bandwidth and reduce latency. We complement DataCore's software with NVMe to auto assign the hottest, most valued data blocks to this prized storage while increasing performance further still through Parallel I/O."

Steve Williams, Interim CIO comments, "We were committed to developing an in-memory system to increase our performance capabilities, but we knew that we needed an equally highly performant underlying solution to apportion the data to these technology advances. To achieve that, we relied on the power of the software to auto migrate data to the most appropriate storage and boost it through parallel caching."

Just 12 months after the sale from the parent company and faced with an aggressive transition and enablement plan, Evergreen boast a fully functioning, optimised always-on infrastructure that worked from the get-go to support SAP HANA, ingested data from Scotts Miracle Grow and other business critical applications. Evergreen management firmly believe that processes can only be improved if decisions are made in real-time, accessing data and applications without delay. This constant state of high availability has made Evergreen systems and data secure and durable in this vital transition time. Planning for a disaster scenario is also enabled with an asynchronously connected DR site in Lyon, France.

Steve concludes, "With divestment timescales as tight as we faced, we needed a tried and tested system that would work first time and would gain the necessary SAP accreditations. We found that in DataCore. Given our change success, we escalated the role of IT from being a supporting partner to a fundamental business enabler that exceeded timescales, performance and availability needs and using software as the key, we future-proofed the journey for future growth."

The full Evergreen story can be accessed here: https://www.datacore.com/document/evergreen-garden-care-case-study/

Published Tuesday, February 19, 2019 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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