KNPC data centre powers up

Kuwait National Petroleum company (KNPC) upgraded hardware to improve application performance

Tags: EMC CorporationKuwait National Petroleum CompanyOil & GasOracle CorporationServers
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KNPC data centre powers up Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) is responsible for three oil and gas refineries in the country.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  July 2, 2014

No matter how sophisticated or efficient your business application architecture might be, without the adequate underlying hardware to run those systems, your business may suffer serious performance issues, and even come to a halt. This was the situation facing Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC), one of the largest oil companies in the region. KNPC was facing decreased operational efficiency and severe performance issues due to legacy infrastructure in its data centre that had not been able to keep up with a high growth of business critical applications, and increased demand on those applications.

At peak times, as many as 500 users could be using business critical applications such as systems to support refinery operations, procurement, and shipping schedules simultaneously. During regular tasks like payroll processing, users across the organisation were struggling with slow response times from other mission critical applications, such as refinery management and petroleum distribution applications, which all resided on the same infrastructure.

The company, which is responsible for managing oil refining and gas processing operations at three refineries in Kuwait, as well as the marketing and distribution of petroleum products throughout the country, also needed an infrastructure that would support expansion plans, as well as meet growing demand in country for petrol. KNPC was also keen to meet its environmental sustainability goals, and cut power costs, by reducing the data centre footprint and improving power efficiency.

According to Abdulaziz Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Duaij, manager Information Technology at KNPC, the only logical way to fix this multitude of problems was to upgrade KNPC’s IT hardware to harness more processing power. The company assessed new hardware infrastructure from two major vendors, before choosing Oracle solutions.

International Turnkey Systems (ITS), KNPC’s ICT partner, was appointed to managed the delivery of hardware and software, including the implementation and set-up of servers, as well as the complete migration of all applications for the project.

The project deployed Oracle’s SPARC Enterprise M9000 server with multithreaded SPARC T4 servers, running Solaris 11, and consolidated KNPC’s existing Sun Fire servers.

The project also involved solutions from EMC and Symantec, including 40 separate Veritas server clusters. The project is the largest deployment of Oracle’s SPARC M9000 enterprise server in the GCC region.

“We purchased Oracle hardware to host our business critical applications, this hardware with high processing power and storage, increased performance and reliability to our users, in addition to that, it hosted our disaster recovery for back-up and restore,” said Al Duaij.

The project has delivered a number of benefits, in terms of enhanced IT performance, which in turn has increased employee productivity. The window for a full back up has been cut from approximately four hours to just 90 minutes, and business processes such as payroll have been accelerated.

“The system gives us the best design to support our databases and Oracle E-Business Suite applications according to our business requirements. System performance, availability, and reliability have all improved tremendously. We now are confident we can scale to develop new key projects—such as clean fuel and a new refinery,” said Al-Duaij.

The multi-threaded virtual Oracle Enterprise server has also opened up KNPC’s network allowing it to share resources with its other offices across the region, offering applications on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis, which reduces hardware infrastructure and system maintenance costs.

During the roll out of the new hardware and applications, KNPC and ITS faced a few implementation challenges.

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