Astro-Med Antes Up with PureFlex Upgrade
April 22, 2014 Alex Woodie
We haven’t seen a big rush to adopt the PureFlex server among the IBM i user base. But some companies are making the transition to IBM‘s all-in-one integrated system, including Astro-Med, a Rhode Island manufacturer that relies on a JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP system.
Astro-Med was drawn to PureFlex for several reasons. For starters, it was looking to simplify its IT infrastructure, shrink its data center footprint, and adopt a more modular and pay-as-you-grow IT environment. But according to an IBM case study on Astro-Med’s PureFlex implementation, that was just the beginning.
“The solution needed to deliver high performance and high reliability to meet our demanding ERP requirements,” Marc Vadeboncoeur, PureFlex implementation project manager at Astro-Med, said in the case study. “We also wanted to simplify our IT infrastructure while allowing flexibility to upgrade and expand as our needs change.”
Astro-Med’s PureFlex system contained IBM Power and Intel X86 processors to run the IBM i and Windows environments, respectively. A Storwize V7000 served as the SAN, while a group of middleware products, including VMware, PowerVM, VIOS, Flex System Manager, and Easy Tier, helped manage everything.
“With PureFlex, we can take advantage of the exceptional performance and reliability of IBM i to run our ERP applications, and at the same time combine the latest IBM Power processor and Intel processor-based compute nodes into the same chassis, sharing integrated storage and networking resources,” Vadeboncoeur says in the case study.
The migration to the new PureFlex environment, which was managed by Lighthouse Computer Services, took just 10 days. In addition to the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP system, other IBM i products, such as Varsity Logistics shipping automation software, made the move.
The next upgrade should be even easier. “With PureFlex, there’s no need to buy a brand-new rack system or additional power for storage–it’s already integrated into the infrastructure,” Vadeboncoeur says. “We just plug in new nodes and turn it on–that’s a huge advantage.”