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Flash array gives Mitsubishi Power juice to handle SAP implementation

Dave Raffo

Mitsubishi Power Systems turned to an all-flash array from Nimbus Data Systems to get an application-specific performance boost when shifting from a legacy ERP

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system to a new SAP SQL database.

Matt Wattles, enterprise infrastructure architect for the power generation solutions company, said the Nimbus S-Class Flash Memory array provided a noticeable improvement over his Hewlett-Packard EVA 4400 Fibre Channel SAN system. He said Nimbus cut the SAP database load time from a minimum of four hours to one hour and reduced backup times from nearly two hours to 20 minutes by relieving I/O bottlenecks after he moved the database from the EVA to the S-Class.

“Our main problem was we were doing fairly large SQL dumps from our existing ERP system to our new SAP database, and the timeframe was unacceptable,” Wattles said. “It took four, five or six hours per load.”

Mitsubishi went looking for a solid-state drive (SSD) storage system late last year, came across Nimbus at a trade show and brought in a system for testing last November. Before finding Nimbus, Wattles said the company was concerned about the pricing and reliability of solid-state storage.

Mitsubishi brought in one of Nimbus’ S-Class 2.5 TB systems, which starts at less than $25,000. Wattles said the cost of the system eased price concerns. It’s too early to judge endurance, but performance has been outstanding, he said.

“We turned it on, and did a transfer that night,” he said. “And the developers were very impressed. The first one we did got it down to an hour. It was better than we were hoping for.”

So far, SAP is the only application running on the Nimbus system. Mitsubishi is still using HP EVA and MSA systems for its main storage needs.

“As we see more applications needing higher IOPS, I’m hoping we can go towards more solid-state solutions,” Wattles said. “We would like to increase our solid-state storage.”

Before switching over, Wattles said his developers were complaining about performance. “They’re a lot happier now,” he said. “They want me to move everything I possibly can on there, but I have to judge the actual need versus the want.”


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