Somacis

CASE HISTORY

SOMACIS

SOMACIS

Somacis has been operating for over 40 years in the international market, producing high-tech printed circuit boards and offering innovative solutions to its clients. With over 700 employees and facilities in the USA and China, Somacis is competing with all large companies scattered around the world. The high level of innovation achieved by the Italian company allows it to focus on the telecommunications segment, characterised by higher business volumes but also by the highest technology rate, also playing a leading role in medical, aerospace and military sectors.

Somacis management has been able to combine the strong values ​​of its tradition (the headquarters has remained in Italy) with a strong vocation towards innovation and customer service. This happy union led the company to evolve its offer both in the segment of small lots of high engineering and in the production of high volumes of standard circuits.

THE GOAL

Equip the client with a storage solution that can provide the space and the performance needed to support business growth

THE SOLUTION

A newer, more flexible storage platform than the previous one, which can use both budget-friendly SAS disks and SSD performance, whilst providing better performance above all.

3PAR for the large scalability of the hardware component, but also the modularity of the software, the flexibility which could facilitate any developments in the IT system. One of the many features is tiering, combined with the ability to mount solid-state disks.

THE TECHNOLOGY

  • 3PAR Storage
  • Proactive Care 24

For Somacis, technology for is not just its market of reference (that of printed circuits for hi-tech sectors) but a real vocation, given that innovation has allowed the company to compete on the global arena with larger-scale groups.

In constant growth in recent years, thanks also to strategic management choices and continued attention to the most powerful IT and hardware platforms, Somacis soon found itself having to deal with a storage system that was struggling to keep up with the company.

"The existing SANs felt the weight of the years," recalls Emilio Sergi, Somacis CIO, "because the adoption of new high-performance software on one hand and virtualisation of the servers on the other demanded performance that the older machines could no longer carry out, leaving us in a real bottleneck, not only for IT, but for the growth of the entire company."

The classic 'last straw' that brought down the proverbial camel was a new circuit design application implemented by the company's technical division. The solution required extensive resources and response times concerning the entire infrastructure that had become unsustainable.

"We definitely understood that our storage system needed a boost, so to speak," recounts Sergi, "to complete a performance and generational leap, so that we could remain competitive in terms of time-to-market, design and production of increasingly complex print circuits, like the multi-layered ones that are required by the telecommunications industry today."

The choice was not easy

Somacis went on a search for a newer, more flexible storage platform than the previous one, which can use both budget-friendly SAS disks and SSD performance, whilst providing better performance above all. In fact, the specifications are more articulate and complex because the solution must be able to integrate with the virtual environment that the company has implemented in the meantime, and must be able to secure a safe and timely backup. As if that were not enough, Somacis's specifications also foresaw a slightly longer lifecycle than the one normally considered. "We wanted to make an investment that would last over time," Sergi explains, "and one which would guarantee us at least five years of operation. Therefore, we needed scalable storage, but also a modern concept that could accompany the company in its future developments."

"We had a positive experience with HP's EVA architecture," Sergi continues, "but over the years it began to show its limits. So we started to evaluate other solutions and brands, while discarding HP Lefthand because high availability and redundancy were not our main requirements. So, when we were considering switching to another vendor, our long-running partner TT Tecnosistemi surprised us by showing us the features of the 3PAR solution, which we always considered beyond our investment possibilities."

In fact, TT Tecnosistemi managed to formulate an offer that would be sustainable for Somacis, which at that point did not hesitate in choosing 3PAR over the competing architectures. "Once it became clear that we can afford this investment," says Sergi, "3PAR convinced us on all fronts, even in direct confrontation with the highly-dedicated and specialised competition. Thanks to our collaboration with TT Tecnosistemi, which among other things brought us into direct contact with HP's 3PAR specialists, we were able to shed our last doubts and finally reach the obtain scalability of the hardware components, as well as achieve software modularity, the flexibility for which could facilitate future developments in our information system. One of the many features is tiering, combined with the ability to mount solid-state disks: the ability to automatically distribute data on disks with different functions has allowed us to achieve much higher performance than the previous system, and it still leaves a large margin for the future!"

No downtime, many prospects

While during the specification and product selection phases, Somacis had moved with a great degree of autonomy, so as to have the widest range of choices, once the desired 3PAR architecture had been identified, the work has proceeded in close collaboration with TT Tecnosistemi, whose experience helped ensure a smooth and painless implementation.

"We have not had any significant downtime," says Sergi, "and the old and new systems had worked in parallel for some time, allowing us to move data with utmost ease. Now that the system is operational, we can say we have reached all the goals - a level of performance having an order of magnitude greater than in the past, simplified management and backup procedures, ease of deploying new environments (even temporary ones, for testing or for quality control) and optimising disk space, thanks to a new compression algorithm that saves about 30% more the disk space than ever before."

The cherry on the cake is surely the proactive customer service, which is indispensable for those organisations that, like Somacis, have a in-house IT department with only a limited number of professionals. "For us, Proactive Care is an optimal solution," concludes Sergi, "because we do not have an in-house storage specialist. HP brilliantly fulfills the task of keeping the systems healthy, allowing us to focus on the business and to preserve the investment value for at least the five years we set as our objective."

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