4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/7/2011
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DTEK Utility Firm Will Cut Downtime by 20 Percent and Boost Agility with Microsoft and SAP

DTEK, a vertically integrated Ukrainian power company, needed to boost efficiency, data access, and system availability. It also wanted to consolidate disparate systems and simplify business processes. With the help of Microsoft Services, DTEK deployed a centralized IT solution built with the Microsoft platform including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. The new architecture includes clustered databases with 9 terabytes of data, virtual servers built with Hyper-V technology in Windows Server 2008 R2, and SAP business applications. The company is also implementing rules-based system management processes with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2. As a result, DTEK expects to reduce downtime by 20 percent, cut maintenance costs by 25 percent, and decrease support costs by 85 percent. DTEK also expects to increase productivity and IT scalability, flexibility, and agility.

Situation

Founded in 2005, DTEK is the first private, vertically integrated power company in Ukraine. It manages one-fourth of the country’s coal production and generates more than one-fifth of the nation’s electricity. DTEK maintains enterprises throughout the energy supply chain, including coal mines, thermal-power plants, and wind-power projects. The company uses its energy resources to deliver electricity to millions of people in the Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk regions of eastern Ukraine. DTEK also trades coal and electricity internationally. In 2009, the company earned UAH15 billion (U.S.$1.9 billion) in revenue.

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* By taking advantage of built-in features in the Microsoft platform such as database clustering and Live Migration to support our SAP implementation, we expect to reduce our downtime by 20 percent.  *

Sergey Detyuk
Chief Information Officer
DTEK

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Before 2008, the enterprises at DTEK maintained separate IT architectures. As a result, corporate employees used disparate business applications and technologies, including heterogeneous hardware and different types of databases. The disjointed architectures were not always reliable, which impeded data access. In addition, the disparity in technologies also hindered collaboration between business units, and it increased costs.

For example, multiple corporate IT architectures used different systems to facilitate similar business processes. Not only did these duplicate systems consume precious data center resources, but they also required additional IT effort to manage and scale. The decentralized architecture also restricted agility because changes often involved multiple IT groups and data centers. Similarly, maintaining a single corporate IT policy across all architectures was challenging because groups used different tools and applications.

The disparity in technologies also prevented employees from accessing the information they needed in real time. In addition, heterogeneous applications could not easily share information. As a result, employees frequently had to reenter data in multiple systems. These challenges slowed productivity and sometimes resulted in inaccuracies. DTEK also lacked integrated reporting tools that employees could use to analyze real-time operational information, such as a consumer’s electricity usage. Instead, employees had to manually collect and process data from multiple systems.

In 2008, DTEK decided to implement a centralized IT infrastructure that could consolidate systems, simplify IT requirements, enhance data access, and automate business processes. The new solution needed to be highly reliable, scalable, and flexible.

Solution

After evaluating leading business applications, DTEK chose to replace its disparate business-process architectures with a comprehensive solution that would streamline corporatewide business processes and provide tools for automation, data analysis, and reporting. It included SAP software, the Windows Server 2008 operating system, and Intel-based hardware. In addition, based on the experience of IT personnel, the initial solution design used IBM DB2 as its database platform. However, shortly after this decision, the global financial crisis occurred, which caused DTEK to delay the design and implementation of its new solution. Microsoft took advantage of this delay to demonstrate the advantages of implementing SAP software on Microsoft SQL Server data management software.

In July 2010, DTEK modified its plan and decided to deploy Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 as the database for its new centralized architecture, instead of IBM DB2. One reason was that DTEK learned how other big companies use SQL Server 2008 R2 to support large-scale SAP installations and mission-critical databases. In addition, SQL Server 2008 R2 provides a rapid return on investment. “Our team performed benchmark tests on SQL Server and determined that it provided the best total solution,” says Sergey Detyuk, Chief Information Officer at DTEK. “Unlike IBM DB2, SQL Server 2008 R2 provides a complete solution with the right blend of performance, features, and support services. It also gives us greater operational value because it is part of the Microsoft platform.”

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* Unlike IBM DB2, SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise provides a complete solution with the right blend of performance, features, and support services. It also gives us greater operational value because it is part of the Microsoft platform.  *

Sergey Detyuk
Chief Information Officer
DTEK

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Architects from Microsoft Services collaborated with IT personnel from DTEK to design the new solution using best practices. Detyuk explains, “To gain the maximum value from our investments, we engaged Microsoft Services to help us plan and deploy our new environment in the most effective way.” Microsoft consultants also conducted several technical training sessions to cover areas of interest such as architecture design and the management of SAP business applications on the Microsoft platform.

The new solution includes 14 HP ProLiant BL460c blade server computers that run Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and SAP software. The SAP business applications include SAP ERP Central Component and SAP ERP Human Capital Management, which provide tools that employees can use to manage operations and automate processes. SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse, SAP NetWeaver BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, and SAP BusinessObjects Portfolio facilitate data analysis and reporting.

The SAP environments run on 47 virtual servers supported by Hyper-V technology, a feature in Windows Server 2008 R2. To boost availability, IT personnel also use the Live Migration feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 to facilitate the automatic failover of a virtual machine to another physical host in the event of a server outage; this capability is implemented on 50 percent of the company’s servers.

The SAP applications use information stored in central databases that run SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. Overall, DTEK runs 24 databases that store a total of 9 terabytes of data. To facilitate high availability, DTEK took advantage of clustering in SQL Server 2008 R2. Two clusters, each with two nodes, support four production databases that accommodate 3.6 terabytes of business data. IT personnel use the other databases for quality assurance, testing, and development. To help facilitate continuous data access, DTEK also mirrors and stripes all information to a new storage area network supported by an HP StorageWorks XP24000 Disk Array.

To streamline the management of virtual machines, DTEK uses Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. The company is also deploying Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 so IT personnel can automate rules-based processes that monitor and manage systems.

The team designed and implemented an initial version of its new solution in just 45 days. Approximately 1,500 employees started to use it on October 1, 2010. On January 1, 2011, DTEK made the solution available to 1,800 system users.

Benefits

By replacing its decentralized, heterogeneous architecture with a centralized IT solution built on the Microsoft platform, with SAP applications and HP hardware, DTEK expects to cut downtime by 20 percent, reduce maintenance costs by 25 percent, and decrease support costs by 85 percent. DTEK will also boost productivity and IT scalability, flexibility, and agility.

Reduces Downtime by 20 Percent

With its new IT solution, DTEK expects to boost the availability and reliability of its IT infrastructure. “By taking advantage of built-in features in the Microsoft platform such as database clustering and Live Migration to support our SAP implementation, we expect to reduce our system downtime by 20 percent,” says Detyuk.

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* By implementing SAP applications on the Microsoft platform, employees have the reliable tools they need to quickly make more informed decisions based on real-time information from the supply chain.  *

Sergey Detyuk
Chief Information Officer
DTEK

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For example, today if an application or database server becomes unavailable, it automatically fails over to another system in just seconds. Similarly, when IT personnel need to take a system offline for maintenance, they can transition the workload to another server so that users can still access the tools and data that they need. “We no longer have to take our systems offline for maintenance,” explains Detyuk. “Instead, we have the capability to transition workloads to other virtual servers or a clustered database in about one minute or less.”

Decreases Maintenance Costs by 25 Percent

DTEK has reduced its requirements for data center resources and simplified maintenance by consolidating systems and implementing virtual servers. Not only do IT personnel have less hardware and fewer technologies to manage, but they also have centralized tools such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 to simplify server management and maximize the utilization of server computers. In addition, the company can more easily implement corporatewide IT policies. “Deploying a centralized IT infrastructure on the Microsoft platform will help us reduce the cost of maintaining our IT systems by 25 percent,” says Detyuk.

Cuts Support Costs by up to 85 Percent

With its new solution, DTEK can minimize other expenses and, at the same time, reduce risk. For example, IT personnel no longer have to engage multiple third parties to pinpoint issues, which speeds time to resolution. “By consolidating our core infrastructure on the Microsoft platform, we can reduce our software support fees by up to 85 percent,” Detyuk says.

Facilitates Scalability, Flexibility, and Agility

Today, DTEK can quickly modify its systems to meet changing business requirements—and the new solution easily scales with growth. For example, in January 2011, the company’s database grew by 58 gigabytes. In addition, system workloads increased to include more than 72,000 database updates each day and up to 87,000 dialog steps each hour.

Scalability is also enhanced in other ways. For example, having fewer applications at one location means that less effort is required for updates. Centralized administrative tools, such as System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, also facilitate IT efficiency and consistency. Detyuk says, “As our company’s strategic plan is an extension of the business through the purchase of new assets, our requirements for an architecture that is easy and affordable to scale is considered to be very important.”

Virtual servers also increase IT efficiency because they are easier to scale than physical servers. In just two minutes or less, IT personnel can provision a new virtual server or move applications between virtual servers.

Increases Productivity

Today, employees can access the data they need—when they need it—using a single suite of applications and tools. For example, the average system-response time for a task initiated from an application dialog box is just 571 milliseconds; database requests take approximately 232 milliseconds; and a database update takes approximately 131 milliseconds.

In addition, manual data entry and the inevitable mistakes that arise as a result are greatly reduced. “By implementing SAP applications on the Microsoft platform, employees have the reliable tools they need to quickly make more informed decisions based on real-time information from the supply chain,” Detyuk notes. “Business processes also take less time to complete and require fewer resources to support.”

Commenting on the overall benefit of its new solution, Detyuk concludes, “I definitely recommend the Microsoft platform to other businesses. It is quite mature—and so are the partner solutions from vendors like SAP. We have already received requests from other large companies in Russia to see how we have implemented our solution, which is something we are quite proud of.”

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 delivers higher scalability for mission-critical environments, more efficient IT, and expanded reporting and analytics through self-service business intelligence.

For more information about Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, go to:
www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/R2-editions.aspx

Microsoft Services

Microsoft Services helps customers and partners discover and implement high-value Microsoft solutions that generate rapid, meaningful, and measurable results. As the consulting, technical support, and customer services arm of the world’s leading software company, Microsoft Services enables the successful adoption, deployment, and use of Microsoft solutions and technologies for all customers.

For more information about Microsoft Services, go to:
www.microsoft.com/microsoftservices

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about DTEK products and services, call (38) 044 581 45 39 or visit the website at:
www.dtek.com/en

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 52000 employees

Organization Profile

Based in Kiev, Ukraine, DTEK manages coal-mining operations and generates one-fifth of the country’s electricity. It employs about 50,000 people. In 2009, DTEK earned UAH15 billion (U.S.$1.9 billion).


Business Situation

The company’s enterprises used disparate IT technologies, which hindered efficiency, collaboration, and agility. Employees also struggled with system availability and data-access issues.


Solution

DTEK implemented a centralized IT infrastructure based on the Microsoft platform that includes clustered databases with 9 terabytes of data, numerous virtual servers, and SAP business applications.


Benefits

  • Reduces downtime by 20 percent
  • Decreases maintenance costs by 25 percent
  • Cuts support costs by up to 85 percent
  • Facilitates scalability, flexibility, and agility
  • Increases productivity


Hardware
  • HP ProLiant BL460c blade server computers
  • HP StorageWorks XP24000 Disk Array

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Services
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Hyper-V

Vertical Industries
Power & Utilities

Country/Region
Ukraine

Business Need
Cloud & Server Platform

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Microsoft Services

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