How Servers are Used by Ducati, Dashen Bank, Vivo Energy, Skyhawk Chemicals, and Feinberg School of Medicine

Out-of-date legacy systems can act as the weak link in an organization’s push for innovation.

This is particularly true of legacy servers attempting to operate in an increasingly virtual and serverless world. Without a modern server architecture supporting operations, enterprises may find themselves limited in their data analysis potential, at risk of data breaches, and more.

Let’s explore some case studies of organizations upgrading their servers toward greater efficiency and technologically advancement:

See more: The Server Market

5 server case studies

1. Ducati

Industry: Sports and Recreation

Server solution: Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 edge servers 

Outcome: 

  • Handle complex analytics while reducing manual configuration and management requirements
  • Power fast analysis of racing data using a single rack 
  • Adapt to pandemic restrictions by reducing the need for IT staff

Italy’s Ducati motorbike course worked with data center service provider Aruba.it to build a new infrastructure solution based on Lenovo’s ThinkSystem SE350 edge servers and ThinkPad P1 workstation laptops. Particularly during the pandemic, they were unable to have dedicated IT teams at the track, and they needed a durable system that would allow them to track race analytics quickly and in any climate conditions without significant staff input.

Lenovo’s ThinkSystem SE350 can withstand harsh environments, and it is compact and light, allowing them to bring their system with them around the world. The Ducati-Aruba.it team configured two Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 edge servers for the new data analytics infrastructure, managed remotely at the edge using Lenovo’s XClarity Administrator. The first server is for data storage of bike information, which can be continuously synchronized with the server at headquarters. The second server hosts VMs (virtual machines) for data processing, so they can automatically analyze post-race data for competitive insights.

According to Giacomo Guffanti, a data analyst engineer at the Ducati course, the Lenovo server system allows them to get “insights into rider performance just 30 minutes after the end of a race. With as little as two hours between races, this rapid analysis can make all the difference, as it gives us more time to make the optimal technical and strategic decisions before our rider gets out on the track again.” 

They are now able to remotely manage their system and stay synced with on-premises servers from anywhere. 

2. Skyhawk Chemicals

Industry: Chemicals (Small Business)

Server solution: HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Server

Outcome:

  • Enable remote management without third-party services
  • Provide an IT platform for future virtualization 

Skyhawk Chemicals is a small business specializing in the complex and highly regulated process of chemical shipping logistics. They needed to upgrade their system to better protect financial data, documentation, etc. They used an HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Server running Microsoft Windows Server 2016 configured with flash drives to maximize performance for critical business applications.

The new server allows for local access to cloud-based document management systems. Another advantage is that the Gen10 servers have an integrated lights out (iLO) remote server management model which makes it easier to manage the server remotely without third-party software. 

Travis Ellis, Skyhawk’s vice president of technology, says, “We are looking at virtualization down the road, so that was a key consideration in choosing the DL325. In general, we wanted room to grow. 

“With the DL325, I’m confident if we need more power or more capacity in the future, we can expand as needed. It gives us a lot of flexibility.”

See more: 6 Trends in the Server Market

3. Dashen Bank

Industry: Banking

Server solution: Upgraded Oracle FLEXCUBE solutions running on IBM Power Systems E850C servers and IBM Storage

Outcome: 

  • 90% faster transaction speeds
  • 75% faster end-of-month account closing 
  • Over 99% system availability 

Only 35% of Ethiopian adults have access to a bank account, and Dashen Bank is at the forefront of providing international banking products and financial services to unbanked Ethiopians. Dashen Bank has more than 380 branches, 400 ATMs, and 1,000 POS units to support increasing enrollment of new customers every year, placing significant pressure on Dashen Bank’s IT systems.

The bank upgraded its Oracle FLEXCUBE core banking solutions, running on three IBM Power Systems E850C servers and IBM Storage, to enhance transaction speed, cost effectiveness, and system availability. Their new system also offers customers better control with transparent reporting and user-friendly dashboards. 

The new solution has also enabled Dashen Bank to cut their hardware and management costs and offered performance improvements for the bank’s ATM services. Finally, the new solutions allow them to improve mobile and online banking offering, helping them modernize the services they offer. 

4. Vivo Energy

Industry: Energy 

Server solution: SAP S/4HANA powered by IBM Power Systems and IBM Storwize V7000

Outcome: 

  • Cut time-to-value for launching new initiatives
  • Boost data analysis capabilities for more granular operational insights
  • Drive automation to free employee time for more value-add tasks

As the leading distributor of Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants across Africa, Vivo Energy has a network of 2,130 service stations in 23 countries and around 2,700 employees. The organization was rapidly expanding and needed to upgrade their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for greater efficiency and analytics power. 

According to industry expert Alex Williams of Hosting Data, migrating to the cloud is an important way to increase security and performance of business systems. 

“Because your virtual space can mimic having a quality dedicated server, the level of security and speed are greater,” says Williams. “Avoid resource constraints because you’ll be guaranteed a level of single tenancy-style security that you simply can’t get in shared space.”

Vivo Energy subscribed to the same philosophy, taking advantage of IBM’s SAP S/4HANA, powered by IBM Power Systems and IBM Storwize V7000 to run built-in cloud-based SAP applications. They chose to deploy SAP Master Data Governance for data management, SAP S/4HANA Oil & Gas for automated logistics and inventory management, and SAP S/4HANA Retail to streamline service station activities.

Mike McCormick, CIO of Vivo Energy, explained, “We decided to transform our approach to business management and look for ways to enable the comprehensive operational insight that we desired. Following a thorough review, we chose to launch a new ERP system to help integrate our core applications, improving productivity and analytics.” 

With an end-to-end integrated SAP S/4HANA solution, they were able to benefit from a single source of information across the organization, reducing complexity with a cloud-based solution.

5. Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University

Industry: Health care

Server solution: Inspur NF5488M5-D with NVIDIA Delta A100

Outcome: 

  • 10x improvement in model training speed
  • 100x improvement in data preparation
  • Unsupervised pre-training with on-premises data for greater speed

The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University conducts healthcare research and development using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. Their legacy systems made each deep learning project a cumbersome data extraction and data cleaning project, inhibiting their innovation capacity. Using Inspur’s NF5488M5-D AI server and NVIDIA Delta A100 platform, they are now pilot testing high-performance data pipelines to allow deep learning experiments to take place without redundancy and inefficiencies. 

The AI server solution uses custom middleware and high-speed network connections to allow legacy enterprise data to flow to AI pipelines. In-house data can now be loaded seamlessly, supporting different data types like radiography images, endoscopy videos, ICU/OR waveforms, free-text, and SQL data. The new servers allow for maximal performance without compromising on security or access.

See more: Top Rack Servers

Nahla Davies
Nahla Davies
Nahla Davies is a software developer and writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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