The China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corp.) is an oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. The company had deployed a Microsoft messaging solution for 200,000 employees for business-critical communication. After testing Microsoft
Exchange Server 2013, Sinopec has decided to deploy it to support daily business operations, reduce its data center footprint, and increase availability.
Headquartered in Beijing, China, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corp.) is one of the largest integrated energy and chemical companies in China. The scope of its business covers oil and gas exploration and production, extraction, pipeline
transmission and marketing; oil refining; storage and transportation of petrochemicals, chemical fibers, and chemical fertilizers; and the import and export of crude oil, natural gas, refined oil products, petrochemicals, and other chemicals. It employs more
than 377,000 people.
Sinopec Corp. deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 to provide email messaging for about 200,000 employees who used the solution to share business-critical information with coworkers, partners, and customers. Employees were given 300 megabyte mailboxes
and managed their email and calendars through Microsoft Outlook Web App or Microsoft Outlook Mobile. For real-time communication, it deployed Microsoft Lync Server 2010 to provide instant messaging, presence, and conferencing capabilities. Employees also use
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 to manage, share, and collaborate on project documents.
||We can reduce significant hardware maintenance and licensing costs by deploying Exchange Server 2013. With fewer servers, we will also reduce power and cooling costs in the data center.
| Zhankui Wu
IT CTO, Sinopec Corp.
Because messaging is so critical to the company’s daily business, Sinopec Corp. wanted to ensure availability of the solution without having to increase the amount of hardware its IT team would need to support. It also wanted to provide larger mailboxes to
help improve productivity. In addition, Sinopec Corp. was interested in security and compliance features, such as eDiscovery and information rights management protection. When it learned that the latest Microsoft messaging solution, Microsoft Exchange Server
2013, provided these capabilities and more, it decided to join the rapid deployment program and run a pilot program to evaluate the latest offering.
After a successful pilot program, Sinopec Corp. decided that it will deploy Exchange Server 2013 in production for 100,000 employees. It deployed the solution in a virtualized private cloud environment. The company implemented database availability groups,
which use continuous replication to update database copies, manage failures that affect individual databases, and provide automatic database-level recovery from a variety of failures, including disk, server, or data center.
IT staff at Sinopec Corp. will use the Exchange Administration Center and Windows PowerShell 3.0 command-line scripting language to perform administrative tasks and manage user configurations. It will also take advantage of role-based access control (RBAC)
to enable different administrative rights for help-desk staff to complete tasks such as restoring email and creating distribution lists. It will use the Operations Manager component of Microsoft System Center 2012 to monitor the solution.
Sinopec Corp. plans to use Information Rights Management (IRM) protection to provide persistent protection to email messages and attachments. IRM prevents forwarding, copying, or printing depending on the rights set by messaging administrators in the Active
Directory Rights Management Services Policy Templates. The company will also take advantage of the eDiscovery search feature, which enables search of mailbox items including email, attachments, calendar appointments, tasks, and contacts.
For employees, Sinopec Corp. will increase mailbox sizes to 3 gigabytes to handle larger attachments and improve employee productivity by reducing the time employees spend managing their inboxes. Employees can use Microsoft Outlook Web App through any popular
browser to access email and calendars. The company also plans to take advantage of the interoperation between Exchange Server 2013 and Lync Server 2010 to provide presence and instant messaging through Outlook Web App. To help employees collaborate across
teams and with colleagues who work in different time zones, Sinopec Corp. plans to implement Site Mailboxes. Employees can file mail or documents in a Site Mailbox where other team members can view the content through Outlook Web App. They can also access
mail and documents directly through a SharePoint site.
By running a pilot program of Exchange Server 2013, Sinopec Corp. was able to understand how the latest capabilities can help improve its Microsoft messaging environment.
Reduce costs. By deploying Exchange Server 2013 in a virtualized private cloud environment, Sinopec Corp. will reduce the number of servers required to run its Exchange deployment by 80. In addition, it will replace its third-party tape
backup solution. “We can reduce significant hardware maintenance and licensing costs by deploying Exchange Server 2013,” says Zhankui Wu, IT CTO at Sinopec Corp. “With fewer servers, we will also reduce power and cooling costs in the data center.”
Ease administration. With fewer servers to manage, administrators can reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance tasks they have to perform. In addition, they will no longer have to manage tape backups. Finally, they can delegate some management
tasks to help-desk employees, which will enable them to focus on more business-critical projects.
Increase redundancy. By implementing database availability groups, Sinopec Corp. can provide a more robust disaster recovery solution and reduce recovery time when failures occur. It can also ensure uptime and improve availability for employees,
and it can perform database restores faster than it can with its current tape backup solution.
Improve productivity. Sinopec Corp. will increase mailbox sizes for employees, which will help ensure they can spend less time managing their inboxes and more time focused on business. In addition, they can easily access instant messaging
and view presence information through Outlook Web App, which means they can also communicate more easily in real time. Using Site Mailboxes, they can also easily share project content.
By upgrading to Exchange Server 2013, Sinopec Corp. can provide a highly available messaging infrastructure that continues to support business critical communication as its employees have come to expect.
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