Exar uses CloudVelox to Protect and Upgrade Business-Critical Oracle Stack

April 15, 2016 velox.admin

Exar Slashed DR Costs and Increased Protection and Dev/Test Agility

Challenges

  • Expensive refresh for aging hardware and data center
  • Dev/Test engineers waited weeks for labs
  • Oracle downtime wasn’t an attractive option

Payoff

  • RPO’s taken from 2 days to 1 hour
  • DR costs substantially reduced
  • Dev/Test accelerated by 3x

Exar, a California-based semiconductor company, develops and markets a broad portfolio of high performance integrated circuits and system solutions for global consumer and industrial markets.  Established in 1971, the company has maintained its competitive edge by continuously driving innovation in products and operations.

Renato Siljeg is the VP of IT and his team is responsible for managing Exar’s complex global infrastructure and operations (including a fully-automated supply chain) as well as the company’s business-critical apps. Their highly standardized infrastructure includes Cisco, Oracle and NetApp and is about 80% virtualized, with over 100 VMs and servers.

Business Continuity: A Global Challenge

Information sharing is critical to Exar operations, especially the global flow of predictive business intelligence between employees and partners. Downtime, therefore, has a significant impact on Exar’s ability to respond to changing conditions around the world.  The Exar team is continuously focused on improving SLAs related to business continuity, especially for its business critical Oracle stack.

Their secondary data center needed an expensive hardware refresh and their Oracle databases were running on physical servers in their secondary data center.  To add more complexity, the Exar team also needed to upgrade from Oracle 11 to Oracle 12R with the assistance of an external vendor.

Extensive testing would be required before the stack could be redeployed back into the primary with reasonable confidence.  There’s more: some of their Linux servers weren’t standard and couldn’t be easily replicated in the cloud.

“We increased productivity, reduced costs and established a new standard of operating excellence for our Oracle stack thanks to CloudVelox and the cloud.”

Siljeg’s team thusly looked for a way to leverage the cloud for an increasingly important business critical environment running on hardware in need of a refresh. Yet there weren’t many attractive options. A hardware refresh would be too costly. Solutions for moving workloads from physical environments were typically hamstrung by compromises, from high cost to high risk tradeoffs, including downtime. At least that’s what they thought before they discovered CloudVelox.

Leveraging the Cloud for an Oracle Stack

The Exar team had some cloud history already.  They launched a cloud initiative in 2013 and had adopted SaaS offerings, including Office 365, SharePoint and OneDrive, as replacements for premise-managed apps. Their hands on experience with IaaS, however, was quite limited.

“We felt that the cloud could help us to improve our Oracle disaster recovery SLAs while reducing risks and costs,” advised Siljeg. “So we decided to evaluate different approaches. The deeper we looked the more complex, and intrusive things appeared.  There were risks and costs everywhere.”

Then they discovered CloudVelox and quickly completed a Proof of Concept of its One Hybrid Cloud™ (OHC) software. The PoC involved 2 of Exar’s internal IT team with CloudVelox sales engineering support.  It was completed in a matter of weeks.

“We were able to significantly increase our Oracle protection while reducing costs thanks to CloudVelox.”

“CloudVelox stood out from the start,” Siljeg continued. “And that was just the beginning. It turned out that their software could help address many issues that had held us up.  The CloudVelox ‘full stack’ approach gave us the ability to easily tackle a very complex problem.”

Protecting and Upgrading Oracle with Confidence

The results were immediately apparent. RPOs were reduced from as high as two days to under an hour, and TCO dedicated to DR protection was substantially reduced. The Exar team could build labs 3X faster than before, accelerating Dev/Test efforts.

The team used One Hybrid Cloud™ during the PoC to clone an instance of its entire Oracle stack on the cloud and then gave VPN access to the third party to do upgrades and extensive tests on the environment.  After testing was complete the upgraded environment was then easily deployed by the Exar team into their primary data center. The secondary data center was replaced by the cloud, resulting in less risk and cost and increased productivity.

CloudVelox also helped the team to address deployment challenges with their Oracle Linux 32-bit server, which isn’t standard and doesn’t have a direct fit into the AWS environment. In addition to automating the cloud migration, CloudVelox software was able to overcome the issue so that the server could indeed function within the cloud.

Dev/Test Efforts Accelerated

“We were able to significantly increase our Oracle protection while reducing costs thanks to CloudVelox,” added Nate Angara, Director IT Infrastructure and Services at Exar.  “During the short PoC process we also discovered that we could quickly extend our engineering infrastructure into the cloud. Dev/Test could quickly accomplish complex simulations and testing, in 2 weeks instead of the 2-3 months typically required. That was a big productivity boost for us.”

Before CloudVelox Exar had to provision and deploy physical servers in order to build custom simulation labs. The process added weeks to development and test projects.  One Hybrid Cloud™ software could blueprint the application environment and extend it into the cloud via a highly automated process, limiting errors and time-consuming manual tasks.

“CloudVelox gave us the ability to immediately exceed business objectives.” Siljeg stated. “We increased productivity, reduced costs and established a new standard of operating excellence thanks to CloudVelox and the cloud.”

Bottom line: CloudVelox software allowed the Exar team to reduce RPOs from as high as 48 hours to under an hour for their complex and critical Oracle supply chain. In addition, Exar engineers could extend labs into the cloud 3X faster than before, which substantially increased productivity.

In The News

Automation slashes chip maker’s cloud migration time by 75%: SiliconANGLE May 6,2016

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