KHD Humboldt Wedag
Global leader in the cement industry builds the best of both worlds on SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure: x86 cloud economics with enterprise capabilities
With over 155 years of experience in the cement industry, KHD is a global leader in cement plant technology, equipment, and services. KHD offers a wide spectrum of products and aftermarket services for the cement industry, and is a leader in energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products for the grinding and pyro-processing sections of cement plants. In addition to its high quality product offering, the technology-focused group includes process engineering and project management among its core competencies.
Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, KHD is a global organization with locations in India, Russia, China, Brazil and the United states
As KHD’s business has expanded globally, so has its data growth rates and challenges with legacy IT infrastructure. Costs were increasing and KHD needed a new solution, based on a fundamentally new data architecture. KHD found SimpliVity.
Remote Office Management and Data Center Consolidation
KHD is an organization that specializes in business process and operational improvement. Its use of technology and its continuous improvement in operational excellence are its trademarks and its core competencies which has seen it through the last century and a half as a leader in the cement industry.
The issue: IT was couldn’t keep pace with business demands.
Joerg Ludwig, Chief Information Officer of KHD, describes common challenges: “Our CEO would come into my office on an almost daily basis and ask: ‘How can we reduce our IT costs? Why don’t we move to the cloud to increase IT’s agility?'”
The cause for concern was really two separate but related elements:
- Growing complexity within the data center: to keep up with not only data growth but also the performance requirements of enterprise applications, KHD was forced, over time, to deploy numerous different deduplication, compression and optimization appliances from WAN optimization to storage tiering.
- Increasing cost: capital costs were rising in terms of added storage, compute, various appliances and software licensing. But perhaps a bigger issue was the mounting operational expense. Administrators were spending countless hours on menial maintenance tasks instead of focusing their time on innovation to drive the business forward. And in certain countries, where staff turnover rates are typically high, lack of trained IT resources was impacting growth.
This was not sustainable for KHD. They didn’t just need a new piece of technology. They needed a new architecture with a new operational paradigm.
“What I needed was a solution where I could say to my CEO: ‘Look, I’ve provided the benefits of the cloud and I’ve improved IT productivity while keeping our data safe and secure,'” said Ludwig.
The cloud. Perhaps the most used terms by executives today. But what does it really mean?
It means fundamentally three things:
- Simple provisioning and ongoing maintenance
- Elastic and scalable infrastructure
- A new business model tied to VMs, not hardware
SimpliVity provides the Best of Both Worlds: x86 cloud economics with enterprise capabilities.
Typically, the issue with the cloud is that is forces customers to give up capabilities in order to benefit from its promises of cost reduction and business agility. With SimpliVity, these tradeoffs are eliminated.
SimpliVity provides KHD with the cost and efficiency of the cloud, while keeping its data and applications on-premise with its simple, scalable, modular 2U buildings blocks built on x86 commodity hardware. This is true hyperconvergence. How is this possible?
The power is in the architecture. SimpliVity’s OmniStack software, packaged into the 2U appliance called OmniCube, provides two fundamental technological advances: the data virtualization and global unified management at the VM-level.
The Data Virtualization Platform offers deduplication, compression and optimization of all data inline, at inception, once and forever across all stages of the data lifecycle. “The data efficiency that SimpliVity offered provided the ability for KHD to move data between global locations and eliminated the need for separate WAN optimization products. It also improved KHD’s disaster recovery capabilities,” said Ludwig.
When combined with the Data Virtualization Platform, SimpliVity’s global unified management provides a powerful solution. All SimpliVity resources globally – whether physically located in Germany or India – can be managed from a central location, from a single pane of glass, VMware vCenter.
“We realized dramatic operational effectiveness by reducing the number of products for which the IT staff needed to be trained. Everyone knows VMware vCenter. That is all they need. It’s important in markets like India where average employee turnover rates are high.”
SimpliVity’s solution, providing the best of both worlds, allowed KHD to keep their IT resources on site, while providing the benefits of the cloud: cost reduction, efficiency, agility, and ultimately, the ability to keep pace with business demands.