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Case Studies

KSA's Al Jazeera Paints leverages NEC's Fault Tolerant (FT) Servers

Al-Jazeera Paints Factory, a division of Al Jazeera Pigment Factory in UAE, has selected NEC Computers’ to streamline its operations and increase production. Established in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in 1991, Al-Jazeera Paints Factory currently has 2500 employees and a turnover of more than SR 100 million (US$ 27 million). Since its establishment, Al Jazeera Paints has expanded its manufacturing capacities to around 50,000 tons annually.

The Challenge

In order to continuously expand its business, Al Jazeera Paints Factory wanted to further develop and streamline its operations. One of the areas it identified was the need for a high-availability (no down time) solution for running its operations, with minimum administration, that could also manage a network of branded hardware (servers, workstations, desktops, etc) and an ERP solution that was developed in-house.

Al Jazeera’s IT team decided that the final requirement to update this infrastructure would need servers for Exchange, SQL and the applications. In addition, the network needed a storage solution and a Backup solution for the factory and its headquarters in Riyadh.

The Solution

After extensive research and evaluation, Al-Jazeera Paints selected three NEC FT (Fault Tolerant) servers one each for Exchange, SQL and Applications respectively, along with its SAN Box D110 and Backup SmartWay Tape with agents for storage and two Rj120-2 servers for Domain Controllers Implementation.

Hussain Sherza, IT Manager for Al Jazeera Paints, said, “We have found the right solution to fit the needs of our organization. The FT servers are really easy to install, implement and administrate. NEC provided us with complete solution through its partner in Saudi Arabia, NajTech. They executed the installation and configuration perfectly. FT Solutions offered effective ways to achieve both the speed and safety required by us in order to drive our operations in the 21st century.”

According to Hussain, “this solution provided by NEC Computer proved to be more reliable, especially because the Fault Tolerant servers are based on hardware clustering”.

The solution was deployed in November (within one month) and included the training of its key IT personnel. The project involved one Project Manager and four senior technical staff from NajTech, NEC’s authorised reseller in Saudi Arabia.

Key Benefits

After selecting NEC’s FT servers, Al Jazeera Paints has experienced several key advantages including a reduction in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Business Continuity and High availability in terms of access to critical applications. According to the IT team in Al Jazeera, the running cost of its former system was getting very high in terms of management of critical applications where the new NEC system with hardware clustering allowed for easy administration resulting in a reduced cost of ownership.

A clear example of how FT has improved Al Jazeera operations system refers to the availability of its ERP application which handles all of its financial and sales transactions. With the old system Al Jazeera paints Group faced a lot of ERP down time because of server problems which in turn resulted in a loss of transactions and some sales.

The NEC FT server is designed in such a way that it delivers its high availability straight out of the box. The high availability is handled by the specialised chipset found inside the FT server and that makes it independent of the software that runs on the server.

Therefore, it not only works out of the box but also supports any kind of application without any modification or configuration. Its integrated management features and accompanying software offer pro-active failure alerts and can notify the administrator of an impending failure via a number of methods including e-mail, so there is no longer a need for continuous monitoring.

The impact of using FT solution in their activity was easily noticed by Al Jazeera stuff and had a positive result on their work. FT administration is very easy and allows the Al Jazeera IT staff to focus more on enhancing the quality of service rather than solving problems.

The result of all of the above is that the administrators at Al Jazeera Paints can now use the time they would otherwise spend implementing and maintaining the cluster on pro-actively ensuring that the network is in line with the business objectives of the company. Thus allowing the IT department to focus their efforts more closely on managing the info as opposed to its infrastructure.

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