IBM Systems and Technology Group Case Study

Computer Services

Mercury Technology boosts cloud performance
Reliable acceleration achieved for Oracle cloud applications using RamSan in-server flash storage
Mercury Technology is the leading provider of Oracle® Enterprise Cloud Services and support its clients globally. At a dramatically lower cost than traditional outsourcing or in-house managed systems, Mercury Technology Enterprise Cloud allows commercial and public sector organizations to take advantage of the benefits of Cloud Computing while leveraging the enterprise capability of software from Oracle Corporation. It supports mission critical applications for clients globally enabling them to cut costs, improve service levels and increase the quality of the end-user experience. Mercury Technology’s singular focus on Cloud Computing allows us to satisfy customers’ requirements for efficiency, productivity and provide a positive impact to their bottom line.

Overview
Business challenges
Reliable accelerator for high-transaction customers in a Green Data Center • Required Flash to eliminate storage latency and achieve the necessary performance

Solution

In-server Flash systems offered dedicated storage for each customer without adding to their physical data center footprint

Benefits
Offered clients the fastest possible storage to meet even their most stringent needs • Ability to add advanced in technology where needed, deliver high performance and retain its leadership edge in helping clients • Reduced clients batch processing from five hours to one (five times improvement)

The challenge

Reliable acceleration for high-transaction customers in a Green Data Center
Mercury Technology’s clients depend on Enterprise Cloud for their Oracle infrastructure while increasing productivity and boosting their bottom line. Mercury Technology fulfills this mission through the combination of deep Oracle expertise, best practice and a cloud-based infrastructure. Mercury maintains data center operations in California and Virginia.

IBM Systems and Technology Group Case Study

Computer Services

“Texas Memory Systems has unmatched expertise in the Oracle space. It’s important to have someone not just knowledgeable, but experienced with other customers running Oracle software, and developing their products with the feedback that they get from customers as part of the product lifecycle of improvements and enhancements.”
— Brian Day Vice President of Sales Mercury Technology

Amongst Mercury Technology’s clients are large public companies with global operations and public sector agencies with stringent requirements for performance and reliability. “We do the easy stuff but we also specialize in the hard stuff: very large systems with massive processing requirements and global footprints, such as global supply chains. When we save seconds from millions of transactions, we drive the bottom line to dramatically better financial performance for our clients,” said Brian Day, Vice President of Sales at Mercury Technology. Even the fastest processors and most skillful database tuning are often insufficient to optimize Oracle performance when the problem is latency in accessing data residing on hard disk drives. Mercury Technology needed to eliminate these costly storage delays for its customers, so needed to find an alternative to hard disk drive-based storage. Reliability, availability and security are at the core of Mercury Technology’s offerings, so the solution and vendor they selected would need to earn their complete trust in addition to delivering top performance. Mercury Technology also runs a Green IT operation. So their ideal solution would also be cost-effective and save on power and data center footprint.

IBM Systems and Technology Group Case Study

Computer Services

“We have a strong Green IT initiative into which the RamSan fits. Not only do we get better performance but it reduces our need for power, gives us a smaller carbon footprint, and reduces our costs. It’s a win-win-win for our clients, our company, and the environment.”
—Marc Schissler Business Development Manager Mercury Technology

The first opportunity to deploy a new top-tier solution that would meet all of the company’s requirements for performance, reliability, efficiency and manageability came when a potential client presented precisely those requirements. This semi-conductor manufacturing client runs a global supply chain system across three continents and wanted universal three-second response time for all users, regardless of location. This is a multi-billion dollar operation that could not afford delay or downtime, so the installation would have to be “bullet-proof” yet be pricecompetitive in order for the potential client to switch from its incumbent provider.

The solution

High performance in-server RamSan PCIe flash storage
Mercury Technology realized that they needed to bring in Flash Solid State Disk (SSD) to eliminate storage latency and achieve the necessary performance in order to win the business and launch a premium enterprise cloud offering for Oracle EBusiness Suite (EBS) Applications. Texas Memory Systems, an IBM® Company immediately stood out as the most trusted vendor in delivering high-performance Flash storage systems. The company has more than a 30 year record of performance leadership and innovation and is the vendor of choice for all of the world’s largest SSD installations. “Texas Memory Systems is the only company that has such a long history in this technology. The other vendors are newer players, none of whom have been working in the Oracle world. A lot of companies are venture-financed start-ups that may be here today and gone tomorrow since their investors will want their money back in two to three years. We wanted the stability of Texas Memory Systems and had spoken with them over the last ten years,” according to Mr. Day.

IBM Systems and Technology Group Case Study

Computer Services

After meeting with the Mercury Technology technical staff and assessing their needs, Texas Memory Systems recommended their in-server RamSan PCIe Fault Tolerant Flash products. These cards are easily inserted into a server’s PCIe slot to deliver 450 gigabytes (GB) and 225 GB of storage capacity respectively. They deliver up to 120,000 sustained I/Os per second (IOPS) with a mere 50 microsecond latency. This industry-leading latency is key to RamSan’s ability to accelerate transactions and improve user response time. The in-server RamSan Flash systems utilize NAND SLC Flash, the highest performing and most reliable Flash available today. Advanced Error Correction Coding, wear-leveling algorithms, RAID, extended power, excess chip provisioning, and an embedded PowerPC all ensure extreme reliability and a five year life for the RamSans. Power consumption is a mere 15 watts. The in-server RamSan flash storage systems enable Mercury Technology to offer dedicated storage for each customer without adding to their physical data center footprint. According to Marc Schissler, Business Development Manager at Mercury Technology, “The Infrastructure Group was so excited that they installed them straight away and were up and running within the hour.” Installation and configuration was straightforward and the performance improvement was immediate. With the RamSan PCIe card family, Mercury Technology offers clients the fastest possible storage to meet even their most stringent needs. The company now offers a full selection of tiered services to meet all needs, with the top tier incorporating in-server RamSan flash storage systems for optimal performance. RamSan was an integral part of the high performance solution that helped Mercury win the supply chain system business of the large global semiconductor client and easily meet their three-second global response time goal. In fact, the

IBM Systems and Technology Group Case Study

Computer Services

Solution component
Hardware

In-server RamSan Flash Storage systems

significantly faster processing times being achieved using RamSan have resulted in that client’s decision to switch to Mercury Technology for additional Application needs. Batch jobs that previously took five hours to process now finish in under an hour. “We see the RamSan as a secret weapon, although I guess once this case study comes out, it’s not much of a secret,” quipped Brian Day. The RamSan is proving itself a strong ‘Green‘ choice as well. It sits in the server, so it requires no additional data center space or cooling and uses just 15 watts of power. This brings significant savings in power as well as the infrastructure required to deliver power and cooling over the product‘s lifetime. “We have a strong Green IT initiative into which the RamSan fits,” said Marc Schissler. “Not only do we get better performance but it reduces our need for power, gives us a smaller carbon footprint, and reduces our costs. It’s a win-win-win for our clients, our company, and the environment.” By offering RamSan flash storage as part of its advanced Cloud services for Oracle, Mercury Technology is clearly demonstrating its ability to add advanced technology where needed, deliver high performance and retain its leadership edge in helping clients use the best possible technology for their needs. When asked what advice Mercury Technology would offer to anyone considering a RamSan Flash system deployment, Mr. Schissler suggested: “We see SSD as an exciting technology and a becoming more prevalent across all customer systems in the future as costs are reduced.”

For more information
To learn more about Texas Memory Systems, an IBM Company please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/storage/tms

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America December 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, RamSan and Texas Memory Systems are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many ju-risdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT-ABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted accord-ing to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Actual available storage capacity may be reported for both uncompressed and compressed data and will vary and may be less than stated. Please Recycle

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