"Over the past three years, Fujitsu has created a stable, flexible and cost-effective platform that can scale as our company grows. This will enable our future expansion, while making management simple"
Regis Pitolet, IT Infrastructure and Operations Director, TECTEO Group
TECTEO Group is an industrial group that pursues a dynamic and diversified policy in the energy and telecommunications sectors in Wallonia and Brussels. The group’s strategy is expressed through four brands: RESA specializes in the management of electricity and gas distribution networks in the Province of Liège; VOO is the main telecom operator for the whole of Wallonia and parts of Brussels; TECTEO Invest maintains the company’s financial investments in other companies; and TECTEO Energy is dedicated to the development of new projects in the renewable energy sector.
TECTEO Group was created through the merger of ten diverse public and private sector companies. As a result, there were more than 15 segmented data centers across Belgium, making it impossible to merge business applications across the group. Furthermore, they were difficult and time-consuming to manage.
“Four years ago we had 15 different data centers, each of which had a different architecture and infrastructure which led to a lack of consistency and high management costs,” explains Regis Pitolet, IT Infrastructure and Operations Director. “We wanted to consolidate all these disparate systems into one easy-to-manage server and storage solution in the most efficient way possible.”
Pitolet had experience working with Fujitsu from previous roles and asked the company for advice. Fujitsu suggested a staged migration to a new centralized and consolidated data center, starting with a pilot phase. This would minimize disruption to the business.
“The objective of the project was to harmonize the diverse, difficult to manage systems in the different areas of the group so they could continue to play a key role in the company’s competitiveness,” adds Pitolet. “By simplifying the management, we also expected to reduce the total cost of ownership.”
Fujitsu consolidated and virtualized the infrastructure of two data centers, starting with a virtualization project and a consolidated SAN in each data center. There were two distinct tracks running throughout the project: one was dedicated to the data center consolidation program, while the other focused on providing enough capacity to handle the company’s growth and need for new services.
“We took a pragmatic, long-term approach to ensure the migration was smooth and did not disrupt our operations. It was thanks to the flexibility and expertise of the Fujitsu team that we were able to carry out such a seamless project,” says Pitolet. “We have now virtualized 90 percent of our applications and have almost 1,100 virtual machines running on 50 Fujitsu servers in two fully replicated sites.”
Fujitsu also implemented IaaS, which provides the company with a well-performing solution while reducing management costs significantly. It effectively provisions services across the business as and when needed.
“Over the past three years, Fujitsu has created a stable, flexible and cost-effective platform that can scale as our company grows,” comments Pitolet. “This will enable our future expansion, while making management simple.”
TECTEO Group now has two fully replicated Tier 3 data centers in Villers-le-Bouillet in South Belgium, comprising a total of 20 PRIMERGY RX600 S6 servers, 4 ETERNUS DX400 S2 SANs, 1 ETERNUS DX8700 S2 and 30 PRIMERGY RX300 S7 rack servers. Together, they deliver almost 25TB of RAM and more than 1PB in storage capacity.
TECTEO Group is enjoying increased efficiency and lower costs and, although the company has continued to grow, Pitolet has not had to increase the numbers in his own team because the new solution is simple to administer. New services can be deployed in a matter of hours rather than weeks, helping the company become more agile and responsive to changing market demands.
“We are more flexible and can react more quickly to the needs of our users and customers, thanks to the ease of deploying new services,” continues Pitolet. “The applications also perform more effectively which in turn makes our users more productive. Overall, it has transformed how we do business.”Moreover, moving from a heterogeneous environment to an integrated, consolidated architecture has had an impact on energy use by reducing the number of physical servers and thus electricity and cooling consumption. Two hundred servers have been replaced with just 50 Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers which collectively host 1,100 virtual machines.
“We have managed to reduce our hardware footprint considerably even as we have grown as an organization. When we started the project we were handling 10TB of data; that has since grown to more than 1PB across the company,” says Pitolet. “It is thanks to Fujitsu’s flexibility and scalability that this growth has not affected the migration or the provision of new services. And by implementing a fully replicated dual site concept, we are safer than before even in the case of a major disaster.”
With the new replicated data centers up and running, Pitolet is continually looking to fine tune performance and get the best out of the solution.
“We are constantly modifying the architecture for maximum efficiency and we’re involving more of the business so we can identify their needs and ensure they are met,” concludes Pitolet. “We’ll continue to work with Fujitsu in an effort to increase capacity and service level without increasing costs.
“Fujitsu was a flexible, pragmatic and knowledgeable partner with the ability to scale up as the project grew in scope.”