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Animex Foods Boosts Productivity with Hitachi’s High Availability Data Storage

Animex Foods
  • Challenge

    Keep processing plants working reliably around the clock to maximize productivity.
  • Solution

    Deploy a high availability data storage solution to ensure continuous business operations.
  • Outcome

    • Increase plant reliability and maximize production output.
    • Reduce critical database maintenance windows from 12 hours to just minutes.
    • Accelerate key month-end closing reports and improve financial management.
    • Cut storage costs with a 4:1 data compression and deduplication ratio.
    • Achieve faster RTO.
Customer Story Customer Story Customer Story

Challenge

Modern Meat Production Requires Reliable IT

Animex Foods is one of the largest meat producers in Poland. With over 11,000 employees, Animex operates twelve plants and has been recognized as the best employer in the agricultural and food industry in Poland. The company owns successful brands such as Krakus for Polish ham and smoked meats and Morliny and Berlinki for sausages and hot dogs among others.

Its processing facilities continuously monitor all its livestock and every stage of production. Its digital processes and advanced data analytics support business operations along the entire value chain—from procurement to delivery.

Artur Kaczmarek, CIO at Animex Foods, says: “Modern food production at the industrial scale requires highly available and reliable IT systems. Our plants operate around the clock, every day. Any outage generates costs, which quickly add up. Eliminating downtime is vital to maintain our profit margins and keep ahead of the competition.”

As the company grew, Animex quickly reached a point where it needed to add storage capacity. However, its existing storage infrastructure could not be expanded. Its storage arrays had also become too slow to support the fast-moving business effectively.

He adds: “At every plant, we employ between 500 and 2,000 people. If we are forced to pause production, those employees can’t work, making any interruption very expensive for us. 

 

Solution

Upgrading Storage for Exceptional Availability and Performance

Working with long-time implementation partner WASKO, Animex deployed Hitachi Ops Center Analyzer to better understand the performance issues it was facing with its existing storage systems. Metrics from Ops Center Analyzer enabled Animex to identify bottlenecks and reliability problems, while its machine learning (ML) capabilities generated recommendations for improving resource utilization. Based on these insights, the team decided to replace the entire storage environment at its plants.

“Hitachi Ops Center really helped us to improve our storage architecture.” confirms Artur Kaczmarek. “With a consolidated view across all components, we find and resolve issues much faster than before.”

To ensure the highest level of reliability, WASKO and Animex deployed 16 Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) E590 systems across all its plants, plus additional arrays for backup and other infrastructure services.  And to support its central SAP business applications and SAP HANA databases, Animex upgraded its existing storage solution to a new VSP E990 system.

Animex uses VMware virtualization at its central data center and plant deployments, and all its virtual machines boot from virtual disks backed by Hitachi storage. The company also relies on Hitachi Data Protection Suite to ensure business continuity at all times.

“Today, all our storage systems are from Hitachi Vantara,” says Artur Kaczmarek. “The high-performance NVMe architecture allows us to streamline operations and make the most of our new storage systems.”

He adds: “This transformation was possible with two strong partners: WASKO and Hitachi. We have worked with both companies for over ten years now and they always deliver what they promise. We know that we can trust WASKO and Hitachi completely.”

From Customer Testimonial
Customer Testimonial

This transformation was possible with two strong partners: WASKO and Hitachi. We have worked with both companies for over ten years now and they always deliver what they promise. We know that we can trust WASKO and Hitachi completely.

Artur Kaczmarek

CIO
Animex Foods

Outcome

Seamless Operations with Cost-Efficient, Standardized IT

Animex has achieved impressive performance improvements since moving to the latest Hitachi Vantara solutions. “In our accounts department, crucial month-end closing reports can be compiled much faster,” says Artur Kaczmarek. “This saves time and streamlines the financial management of the entire company.”

The food producer has relied on SAP ERP for many years and its main database is now almost 20 TB in size. Thanks to the ultra-low latency Hitachi storage, all 2,500 business users can access data from SAP ERP and SAP Business Warehouse almost instantly, enabling them to work more productively. The new storage has also enabled Animex to accelerate critical database maintenance tasks from 12 hours to just minutes.

“In the past, we had issues when routine tasks overran their maintenance window and affected performance for business users,” says Artur Kaczmarek. “Today, maintenance always finishes on time, so plant operations are seamless, which increases production efficiency.”

With new features such as Adaptive Data Reduction (ADR), which provides compression and deduplication, Animex has also cut costs by increasing effective storage capacity. Artur Kaczmarek comments: “We’ve achieved a compression and deduplication ratio of 4:1, and our backups are twice as fast as before.”

Animex takes full advantage of Hitachi Ops Center to consolidate the management of its storage environment. Artur Kaczmarek explains: “With Hitachi Ops Center, we have a single console which saves a lot of time for system administration. We can even schedule system upgrades without downtime. Our IT operations are on a different level now.”

He concludes: “Working with WASKO and Hitachi to standardize our storage systems has increased plant reliability and production output. We haven’t had a single issue raised by our plant directors since we switched to Hitachi.”

about

WASKO

WASKO is a leading IT service provider in Poland and is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. A strategic partner of Hitachi Vantara in the region, WASKO employs over 1,200 highly qualified specialists across the country. The company focuses on long-term technology partnerships and supports digital transformation across all industries.

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