Challenge: Migrate 12 sites to new a storage environment without business disruption.
Solution: De-risk the migration with robust processes, an experienced team and proven technology.
Hitachi Vantara has been responsible for providing automobile manufacturer BMW Group with on-demand storage services since 2012. Hitachi provides the BMW Group with a fully managed service, delivered by a 20-member operations and migrations team based in Munich, Germany. The service supports all BMW Group production sites, worldwide, including locations in Germany, China and the U.S.
When the existing Hitachi storage platform was reaching end of life, the joint Hitachi and BMW Group team needed to upgrade to new hardware while safe-guarding production continuity.
With the project impacting 12 sites in eight countries across four continents and involving 1,700 physical servers, this was a massive undertaking.
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Four key factors ensured the success of the complex storage migration project: an experienced and flexible team, proven processes, Hitachi Vantara’s nondisruptive migration (NDM) technology, and a robust change management framework.
The Hitachi migration team worked closely with the BMW Group to create a global migration plan that took advantage of the company’s scheduled downtime windows to avoid disruption to production plants. As part of the six week planning phase, the team held numerous discussions with business stakeholders.
To minimize the risk of disruption, Hitachi developed a robust migration process for every type of system and conducted intensive tests prior to the actual transition. These processes were thoroughly documented in run books, which described in detail each step to be com-pleted by server administrators
Strict change management was also key, with two change managers from the Hitachi team responsible for handling any requests from the BMW Group or Hitachi.
Many of the individual system migrations were planned for weekends, but last-minute changes to the schedule were inevitable to safeguard business continuity for the BMW Group throughout the project. The team was extremely flexible to accommodate these changes. To prevent any delays, a senior team member was constantly available via a dedicated telephone number to deal with any issues and make decisions.
Thanks to the strength of Hitachi’s approach, the migration project was completed without any downtime or disruption to the production processes. The project was completed to budget and ahead of deadline, enabling BMW Group to maximize the benefits of the new storage platform quickly.
The new storage platform, Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1500, has a 70% smaller footprint and requires 80% less power, making it much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. As a result, the new platform will reduce storage costs for the BMW Group significantly.
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