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CNPC Builds the World’s Largest SAP HANA Cluster

CNPC is a major oil and gas company. Ranked third in Fortune’s 2016 Global 500, CNPC is a comprehensive energy business focused on oil and gas exploration and production, oil project construction and services, oil machinery manufacturing, and new energy development. Aiming to become a world-class, integrated energy company, CNPC prioritizes innovation-driven growth and quality productivity. To expedite this transformation and qualify as world-class by 2020, CNPC needed a system overhaul that boosted competitiveness and profitability, as well as position it to be a leading environmental advocate.

Rapid Data Growth Bottlenecks ERP

As competition intensified and the company grew, CNPC Operations and Management (O&M) had to become more efficient. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is critical for strategy and business decisions. With deployed ERP information and other in-house CRM and SCM systems, business intelligence analysis software extracts data and filters it to build models. Such models are the basis for operations reports that help enterprises better manage themselves. However, these traditional data processing models were much too slow for Big Data processing. Enterprises lacked the speed and agility to seize opportunities in a rapidly changing landscape. They had to improve ERP efficiency for faster and better visualization and analysis of the massive volumes of data from various phases of production and operation.

CNPC’s BW system comprised sectors including exploration, oil fields, refinery, sales, pipelines, and equipment manufacturing of the entire group. The system also contained the financial report systems of nearly 100 subsidiaries. The ERP system had to accommodate rapid data volume growth while consolidating and coordinating tasks. However, this growth taxed the Oracle-based BW system beyond capacity because of limited read/write speeds. New BW technologies were needed for Big Data analytics in order for the ERP system to run more efficiently and keep up with CNPC’s expansion.

To meet this goal, CNPC picked ERP application integration, one of the three major digital transformation projects, as the core component of its general IT plan. By building a new ERP system, CNPC would foster a closed-loop, E2E management environment that covered strategy development, planning, execution, control, and evaluation. This system would facilitate coordination and data sharing between departments, better managerial productivity at all levels, and thus boost O&M efficiency across the entire corporation.

Huawei’s Converged Infrastructure Revolutionizes CNPC’s Experience

CNPC Beijing Richfit Information Technology Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CNPC and a key technical support for CNPC’s digital transformation. CNPC Richfit prioritizes user experience and long-term engagement in CNPC digitalization, providing services such as ERP consultancy and implementation. Richfit is a major service provider for information demands arising from CNPC’s rapid growth.

To remove ERP performance bottlenecks, Richfit took advantage of the latest industry technology and began system migration to the SAP HANA platform. Smooth and stable running at this scale requires high-performance, reliable infrastructure. After multiple rounds of technical discussion with world-class integration solution providers, Richfit finally chose Huawei as the standout in everything from solution reliability, low latency, high bandwidth, to manageability, scalability, integration, and service support. Through in-depth collaboration, Richfit and Huawei presented an ERP and decision making solution featuring Huawei’s SAP HANA Appliance.

The Huawei SAP HANA database runs on FusionCube, a converged infrastructure appliance. It leverages Huawei’s innovative software and hardware platforms combined with the cutting-edge SAP HANA in-memory database software. This synergy bolsters database loading performance and enables large-scale concurrent access and Big Data analytics. By removing the bottlenecks in Big Data processing, the solution revitalizes CNPC’s ERP system. CNPC is now able to tap into valuable data, make better-informed decisions in real time, speed up services, boost operational efficiency, and drive down OPEX.

Tailored to CNPC business demands, the 63-node SAP HANA Appliance solution, composed of 11 chassis, features Huawei FusionStorage. This unique distributed storage engine complements other features that are brought together to form the world’s largest SAP HANA cluster, among them:

  • Distributed storage improves SAP HANA database loading performance by 60 percent, meeting CNPC requirements for high-performance database writes.
  • The Huawei-developed high-performance PCIe SSD card, ES3000, accelerates HANA log volumes for fewer performance bottlenecks. Data persistence latency is slashed to 150 μs, 50 percent to 75 percent less than the industry average. Appliance I/O performance is improved fivefold, reducing 60 percent of CNPC investment in system hardware.
  • The 56 Gbit/s InfiniBand network provides seven times the storage network bandwidth to support over 1,000 concurrent tasks, meeting CNPC’s demands for large-scale concurrent access.

This cluster is a powerful infrastructure for migrating the CNPC BW system to the SAP HANA platform. The Huawei SAP HANA Appliance was recognized by CNPC for its high reliability and performance. By June 2017, CNPC expanded its SAP HANA cluster system to 135 TB.

Huawei’s Holistic Support Means Greater Value for CNPC

The ERP and decision making platform solution running on Huawei’s SAP HANA Appliance now serves CNPC’s diverse business sectors. This collective decision support platform supports integrating, analyzing, and visualizing data for all CNPC user decision making. The platform also summarizes enterprise data and generates analysis reports to facilitate operational efficiency.

Huawei has supported every step of CNPC deployment of the world’s largest SAP HANA cluster system. Even before project implementation, Richfit’s years of experience with BW and SAP ERP are leveraged to preinstall and integrate its ERP application templates into Huawei’s SAP HANA Appliance. This co-innovation dramatically shortened implementation and delivery period of ERP integration projects.

During implementation, Huawei arranged for customer meetings with SAP HANA experts about service scenarios and solutions, and established a collaboration model of solution and delivery assurance teams. The teams comprised product managers, R&D engineers, technical directors, and application service providers. The solution team was in charge of solution planning and training the delivery assurance team, who in turn saw to the successful delivery of the project.

After migration was completed, the new system went live with a complex query time of 3 seconds for 12 billion data entries, down from 17 seconds. Other indicators, such as I/O bandwidth and data warehousing, vastly outperformed the traditional architecture. The solution eliminated performance bottlenecks in CNPC's oil and gas exploration, development, refinery production, and refined oil supply chain management. Thanks to its newfound competitiveness, CNPC now leads the energy industry.

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