The next generation data centre

ADNOC Distribution turned to Oracle’s engineered systems to meet growing demand for its enterprise applications and to provide a platform for growth and new services

Tags: ADNOC DistributionOil & GasOracle Corporation
  • E-Mail
The next generation data centre Siddiq: ADNOC was able to move over 50 in-house applications onto Oracle Exadata without changing any code. (ITP Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  May 9, 2014

Managing the demands of enterprise application workloads, and ensuring application availability, is placing an increasingly heavy demand on IT infrastructure. Meeting the need for 24/7 delivery of a growing set of complex business applications is placing an ever increasing load on servers and storage. The latest generation of infrastructure solutions however are not just enabling organisations to keep up with the demands placed on infrastructure, but allowing them to exceed demands, improve performance, and realise cost savings and efficiency gains.

ADNOC Distribution is responsible for marketing and distribution of petroleum products, in the UAE and internationally. With a complex network of stations and depots, selling products as diverse petrol and aviation fuels, motoring services like oil changes and carwash, and the retail operations of its service stations, the company has a massive number of transactions hitting the one million per day mark.

Such large volumes of transactions however place a considerable load on ADNOC’s IT infrastructure, with core business applications were hitting performance bottle necks and availability also an issue. By the end of 2011 it was clear that the infrastructure would need to be upgraded to cater to current demands, and also to accommodate future growth. The company has shown strong commitment to expansion — most recently taking on 74 service stations and a depot from Emarat, and ADNOC also has plans to open in Saudi Arabia next year.

ADNOC is a long time Oracle customer, using multiple modules of Oracle Database and Weblogic, and multiple modules  of Oracle E-Business application, Suite,  including Oracle Human Capital Management , Oracle Payroll , Learning management , Self Service , Oracle Financial, Oracle Inventory. The company also has more Oracle solutions in the pipeline, including  and many more in the pipe line such as Order Management , Enterprise Asset Management and Advance Procurement  and the company has also developed a lot of its own solutions on Oracle technology, according to Awad Ahmed Ali El Siddig, senior database administrator and Oracle Technology Lead at ADNOC Distribution.

“We use Oracle technology to write our own custom applications in-house. We have written many applications in the past 15 years, starting from retail applications that manage our retail business in service stations, we have written a smart card application, to use in filling stations for purchases, we have written sales applications which handle many of the transactions going through our depots, we have written many applications also related to portals, like intranet portals, employee information and company forms, all of those utilise Oracle technology at the back end,” he explained.

While ADNOC had previously used servers, storage and networking from a number of different vendors, when it came to planning for this next upgrade, the company decided to go with Oracle’s engineered systems for its highly demand database application and infrastructure requirements, for a number of reasons, El Siddig said, in part because of the ease of dealing with one vendor and the speed with which an engineered system could be rolled out, and also because of the benefits that a fully integrated system could bring.

“We decided we want a solution that is ready to be deployed. The concept of engineered systems is all about hardware and software engineered to work together. You have an optimisation between hardware and software which is done by the mother company. You get everything from a single vendor with a single contract, and you are ready to go. You focus more on your real business rather than the low level stuff,” he said.

The company planned out its IT requirements for the coming five years, and developed a plan for a mega-project, which would adopt new systems in phases, in order to bring value to the business as quickly as possible. ADNOC Distribution worked with many vendors, with Oracle as one of the key vendors, to calculate the requirements of the project, starting with an Oracle Exadata Database Machine. The pre-configured machine was installed at ADNOC’s facilities, and was ready to run and test in just three days.

In the first phase of the project, all of ADNOC’s Distribution in-house applications, around 50 of them, were consolidated onto Exadata within six months. The benefits to the business was immediate, El Siddig said, with a twenty times improvement in performance, and full availability of the applications that serve around 3,000 of ADNOC’s 8,500 employees. In the second phase, databases for the Oracle applications including eBusiness Suite, HRMS, Financial and Inventory were moved to Exadata, delivering greatly improved end user experience — for example, the payroll process was cut down from three hours to 18 minutes.

In terms of getting the system up and running, El Siddig said that the process is as simple as just following Oracle’s best practices, and that the engineered systems are able to cater to 98% of any workload.

“That is the beauty of the solution, you get all the scalability and performance, without changing your in-house code,” he said.

In the third phase of the project, an Oracle business intelligence and data warehouse was also moved to Exadata. The shift to engineered systems again delivered a big increase in performance, with the Extraction, Transformation and Loading process (ETL) cut down from between seven and ten hours down to an hour and a half. This means that IT is now able to give availability of data on the same day, to enable business units to take decisions more quickly.

“We now have a fully integrated environment, everything runs within Exadata, from legacy applications, to ready-made applications, to the BI applications, and all those are talking using the same standard layer, and that is the key. It has simplified our back up and our day-to-day reliability. The entire environment is backed up in just three hours compared to in the past, when to back it all up in 24hours was a challenge,” he said.

ADNOC is now working on a project to consolidate all of its business applications onto Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, and will look to leverage the benefits of Exalogic and Exadata working together.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code