Asteros Consulting helped Gazprom Neft double the speed of its SAP services
Feb 26, 2014
Asteros Consulting successfully completed upgrades to the Gazprom Neft Group's computing platform and finalized the migration of 48 SAP systems. This project enabled the oil company to double the performance of its business services and provide a technological base that would make it possible for the company to achieve the strategic goals that they have set to reach by 2020.
The Gazprom Neft Group intends to double its volume of hydrocarbon production and increase the amount of oil processing by 75% before 2020. In particular, a comprehensive transformation of Gazprom Neft's IT platform was initiated in order to achieve these goals. Part of the project included the decision to upgrade the hardware platform, which was based on IBM equipment, and move the company's entire SAP landscape over to new high-performance infrastructure.
According to the results of the open tender, Asteros Consulting, possessing a solid background in these types of projects, was chosen as the project manager. The international vendors SAP and IBM, as well as professionals from ITSK (the company in charge of administering SAP systems for the Gazprom Neft Group), were also involved in the project's implementation.
“We were faced with moving all business systems over to a new hardware platform. These business systems covered virtually all of the company's operations: production, finance, HR, business analysis, management of capital construction, logistics, sales, etc. These services have approximately 15,000 users. It's hard to overestimate the cost of a mistake in the project's planning and implementation. Any malfunction or delay could shut down one of the important business functions or even completely disable the business for a few hours, to say nothing of the possibility of data loss. According to expert appraisals, the loss in business resulting from 1 hour of downtime could be up to 35 million rubles,” said Konstantin Kravchenko, IT Director of Gazprom Neft.
Gazprom Neft Group's information landscape is based on SAP solutions. The crucial nature of these services to the business severely limited the amount of time allowed for the project's completion. Five months were allocated for the migration of the SAP systems, the most resource-intensive and crucial part of the project. Furthermore, the work had to be carried out simultaneously in two data centers. One of them was in Saint Petersburg and the other was located at the Omsk Oil Refinery. Both centers are interconnected in a single network, which required a complete backup of all SAP systems and provision of disaster recovery.
“According to statistics from recent years, approximately 38% of migration projects end in failure. Detailed planning of the entire process in stages was a key factor in our project's success. The methodology for completing each stage was developed on the basis of the best practices of IBM and SAP as well as our company's own experience. The project team was comprised of over 150 professionals and, therefore, our expertise in managing project resources was extremely important for a reliable and high-quality data migration,” commented Lev Nikolau, Head of Asteros Consulting.
The time when consultants could work with the ‘live’ solutions was sharply limited to two weekends a month. Over the course of 48 hours, professionals imported production systems, connected them with the new environment and tested them. As an additional guarantee of the migration plan's completion, IBM GBS and SAP CIS came forward and offered qualified resource support in case some kind of malfunction occurred that would threaten the project. One of the project's achievements was the fact that there was never any need to return the system to its old equipment.
On the contrary, during the course of the project, every Monday morning business users embarked on their work in normal operation mode and in full volume. The only change that they may have noticed was the increased efficiency of their work. For example, account balances were generated more than twice as quickly. On average, the efficiency of resource-intensive transactions is now over 9 times greater.
The final solution was implemented on an IBM Power 780 platform and IBM V 7000 storage area networks. Each data center has 2 Power 780s installed in a cluster, thereby providing both local and global backup. All IBM Power 780 systems have ‘spare’ resources that can be used to gradually expand capacity without interrupting production systems as workloads increase and new business functionalities are deployed. At the same time, this kind of set-up has made it possible to distribute the production load between data centers and has provided a very economically efficient solution thanks to the absence of idle resources.
In total, 48 systems were successfully migrated to new equipment. The project resulted in the utilization of Gazprom Neft's corporate data centers' resources being reduced from 95% to 60% and an increase in fault tolerance and availability of services. The time it takes to provide new resources to business subdivisions upon their request has been reduced to one week. System recovery time has also been reduced and presently ranges from 5 minutes to several hours depending on the type of malfunction or crash.
“A serious analysis of all the computer systems on the market was made when a platform was being selected for Gazprom Neft. Many factors were taken into account, such as experience in implementing large-scale consolidation projects, as well as the client's additional business continuity requirements so that there would be no loss of functional capabilities and performance if any malfunctions or even accidents occurred. Such a high reliability was ensured due to the unique capabilities of the Power Systems virtualization tools,” said Andrey Filatov, Head of the Hardware Department of IBM Russia/CIS. “I would also like to mention the excellent teamwork and professionalism of the specialists from Gazprom Neft, IBM and Asteros, who were able to complete this difficult project, which was recognized by IBM as the most technologically advanced project of 2012, within a tight schedule.”
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