A proper introduction
Picanol group introduces itself as a global diversified business, active in machinery, agriculture, food, energy, water management, efficient (re)use of natural resources and other industrial markets with focus on water. Picanol Group employs approximately 7000 employees worldwide and has over a hundred locations in more than twenty-five countries.
Need to partner up
Being such a large enterprise that keeps expanding, the IT department needs to keep up to ensure business continuity. Therefor the on-prem IT-infrastructure was in need of renewal (a technical upgrade). At the same time they wanted to make their IT-environment future-ready and easier manageable. Although they have a cloud-first strategy, as a production environment they can’t rely on an active internet connection. In search for a reliable solution that fits their business needs, Picanol Group asked Incrius for advice and implementation.
Define business needs
High performance and storage-requirements on their main SQL-databases was of prime essence, also a single-pane-of glass overview on the IT-infrastructure was essential for an efficient management by the IT-department. In addition, easy scalability in a growth scenario would be a great benefit, together with the added value for Disaster Recovery scenario’s. Concluding: Picanol group needed the benefits of cloud management and software-defined infrastructure that is compatible and applicable on on-prem infrastructure demands.
Advice and implementation
Incrius and Fujitsu (OEM-vendor) worked out a hybrid cloud solution, more specifically with Azure Stack HCI from Microsoft. We started with a 4-node Proof of Concept that was tested thoroughly with heavy workloads and real production circumstances. While a former PoC with another partner did not match all their needs, this solution did fit all boxes. Based on this setup the full proposal was tweaked and finalized. The implementation of the final setup consisted of a combination of a technical upgrade (upgrading the current applications and the operating systems they were running on) and a migration.
Ready for the future
The Corona-period put a lot of strain on delivery dates due to the CPU-storage, so it was a race against the clock to get everything ready on time. Today Picanol Group has a 12-node Azure stack HCI up and running successfully in their headquarters in Ypres Belgium and a 4-node setup in their new factory in Romania. With less technical maintenance hours, less failures, easier and faster scalability and more flexibility due to the cloud possibilities of Azure, Picanol Group is ready for the future.