Case Studies

Tower International witnesses a flawless migration to its new Oracle RAC cluster

Company: Tower International – Livonia, MI, USA
Market: Automotive
Technology: Oracle RAC Linux

Tower International is a global automotive parts supplier that competes in a highly cost-conscious business environment. It wanted to achieve the significant cost savings associated with server consolidation through virtualization and database cluster software.

    • Reduced redundancies in IT and PeopleSoft applications across the organization
    • Offset availability risks associated with complex networking and cluster software

Situation


Tower International is a leading global manufacturer of engineered automotive structural metal components and assemblies, specializing in body-structure stampings, frames, and complex welded assemblies. To lower its operational costs, Tower International consolidated its global Peoplesoft applications and data into a centralized environment. However, the new Peoplesoft environment needed to serve global operations, not just North American users—introducing high availability and complex migration requirements.

Tower’s IT management team recognized the risks associated with moving to a consolidated, highly available, clustered server environment. They also realized there was a knowledge gap between Tower’s existing staff and service vendors when it came to migrating to the new environment, and a lack of in-house expertise to tune and troubleshoot complex cluster configurations. Because their PeopleSoft applications were business critical, Tower could not afford any downtime during the migration.

Solution


Working alongside Tower and its third-party service provider, Pythian was engaged to lead the planning and execution of the cluster environment migration. Pythian sent an on-site implementation team to develop the migration strategy and set up a production cluster infrastructure. During that time, Pythian mentored Tower employees on Oracle RAC implementation and operational best practices. Once implemented, the Pythian team provided remote support for the migration to the new platform and continues to provide proactive and reactive services related to the production Oracle RAC Linux cluster, including consolidation of a number of additional environments to the existing cluster.

Results


Tower International witnessed a flawless migration to its new Oracle RAC cluster for its Peoplesoft applications. By retaining Pythian for ongoing Oracle RAC support, it has a specialized and focused set of resources that plays a key role in maintaining system availability. This comes at a fraction of the in-house cost of hiring and retaining a specialized Oracle RAC DBA. Tower International took full advantage of the cost savings of system consolidation without compromising on key skills needed to maintain system availability.

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