Overcoming the Significant Challenge to Renovate the Data Center

Stephen Rayda, CTO & Ex. Dir., Technology Services, Purdue Pharma L.P
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Stephen Rayda, CTO & Ex. Dir., Technology Services, Purdue Pharma L.P

Stephen Rayda, CTO & Ex. Dir., Technology Services, Purdue Pharma L.P

Purdue Pharma L.P.’s success story with EMC began five years ago when the information technology team faced the challenge to overhaul the DataCenter (DC). Due to the growing size and capabilities of the company, the DC needed more space, power, updated technology and a comprehensive disaster recovery program. Purdue’s vision of how to solve these issues and revive the DC was to think smaller, use less power, simplify the technology stack and, simultaneously, be more efficient in order to free staff time to support the company’s growing demand for agility.

As a long-term supplier to Purdue Pharma,EMC worked with the Purdue Pharma leadership to overcome significant challenges and deliver a groundbreaking solution. After a series of detailed assessments and technology evaluations, Purdue Pharma purchased the very first VCEvBlock Systems, an engineered converged infrastructure that improves data center efficiency and lowers costs. Purdue Pharma combined this revolutionary infrastructure with EMC’s replication technology, RecoverPoint and EMC’s backup technology, Avamar/Data Domain. In the end, Purdue Pharma accelerated virtualization of all applications including tier-1 (i.e. SAP/Oracle), improved disaster recovery and consolidated the data. This transformation has given Purdue Pharma tremendous results – the company’s IT capital budget is down by 50 percent, expenses have reduced by $400,000 per year, outages are down 55 percent, power usage is down over 60 percent, and finally, 100 percent of production applications are disaster recovery enabled.

What’s Next?

The implementation of the vBlock greatly reduced the complexity of server management. However, there was a new challenge - with all of the workloads, now stored on SAN attached storage, the burden on the storage administrators grew. To tackle this, in 2014, Purdue Pharma moved 100 percent of its development systems to EMC XtremIO. This system has dramatically reduced the burden and complexity on the storage administrators. In fact, most storage management tasks can now be handled by the server administrators. Due to the deduplication and compression capabilities of XtremIO, the cost of Flash is significantly less expensive than the cost of the previous spinning disk solution.

Continued Cost Savings

Continuing to contain data center management costs, Purdue Pharma is migrating its primary data center from their headquarters in Stamford, Conn.to a lower cost location in North Carolina, a distance of over five hundred miles. Data center migrations involved the significant logistical challenge of physically moving massive amounts of hardware from one location to another; virtualization has changed this. The work done to virtualize the environment is making this migration dramatically easier. In 2014, using EMC RecoverPoint, Purdue Pharma was able to migrateover four hundred development servers in a period of a few weeks with minimal business disruption. Purdue Pharma looks to migrate the production workloads using the same proven process and technology.

Additional Consolidation

Since virtualization, Purdue Pharma continues to see a reduction of more than 55 percent in outages. With this level of stability in the infrastructure, Purdue Pharma is consolidating the workloads even further. In addition, administrators are using their time to highly optimize the database environment. This has yielded real performance increases that are directly noticeable tothe end user.A further benefit of this work, in 2015, Purdue Pharma has greatly reduced its ESX hosts. As the hosts are replaced with newer hardware, the required capital investment reduces as well.

Each time Purdue Pharma increases its use of EMC, the success stories continue to come. Purdue Pharma’s spend continues to come down and uptime continues to improve. Most importantly, the converged infrastructure and data protection technologies have enabled Purdue Pharma IT to spend less time on infrastructure maintenance and more time on business-facing advancements.

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