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A Window to Success

Established in 1997 in Poland, the Alsecco Window Factory is today a leading window manufacturer, with over 800 employees and 960 partners serving 18 countries across Europe. Boasting an enormous production space that was recently expanded to 32,400 square meters, the company offers an extensive product range, from windows and sliding doors to external blinds and glazing. The company's success can be attributed to its uncompromising commitment to provide its customers with the highest-quality products and its employees with the necessary tools to succeed. Indeed, the company's proactive strategy of investing in cutting-edge technology has yielded positive results, with thousands of satisfied customers enjoying better quality products at ever more attractive prices thanks to lower production costs. To take the company to the next level of development, however, the legacy Information Technology (IT) system was no longer fit for purpose.

Ambitious Aims

Having recently increased it production space, and with further future plans to expand into markets beyond Europe, the company realized that it was time to upgrade its IT facilities, in particular storage and processing, as well as its partner network, scattered as it is across Poland and Europe. In addition, Alsecco was looking to make a fresh round of investment in both its production facilities and staff. Indeed, efficiency — in terms of communications, logistics, management, and data security — is key to the operations of any large company, and a lack of modern IT facilities inevitably holds development back.

Given its already increased capacity, allied to ambitious aims, the company's new IT system needed to be able to handle the most demanding scenarios. It was also critical that the system offered the highest levels of security and stability, to ensure the availability of data and services around the clock, all the while providing sufficient processing power to handle rapidly growing and evolving needs.

Guaranteeing Service Continuity

Understanding Alsecco's unique challenges, Huawei offered a metro cluster solution, consisting of Huawei OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage arrays with HyperMetro, Huawei's active-active storage solution. The metro cluster combines storage cluster technology with synchronous mirroring, ensuring stable operational continuity and data loss resistance. Such a solution is highly secure: it not only protects against data loss due to system errors, but also serious failures — such as physical destruction from flooding or fires — thanks to the synchronization of data between two storage arrays that are geographically separated. As a result, failure of any storage array will not cause any system downtime or data loss. In short, HyperMetro guarantees the availability of data with a zero Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and a near zero Recovery Time Objective (RTO) after a failure.

As a key part of the solution, OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage covers the performance and storage requirements for databases connected to the purchasing platform and warehouse facilities. The all-flash arrays feature a next generation hardware platform, reliable SmartMatrix architecture, five intelligent chips, Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe), and the intelligent FlashLink® algorithm, providing record-breaking performance of up to 21 million Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and up to 800 GB of bandwidth. With 99.99999% proven availability — and annual downtime of just three seconds — OceanStor Dorado effectively prevents interruptions to services.

The solution is also powered by a wide range of energy-saving technologies, including Dynamic Energy Management Technology (DEMT), component hibernation, automatic power on and off, fan speed tuning, and an active/standby mode. Together, these energy-efficient technologies offer significant savings while slashing the company's carbon footprint.

Additional Areas of Cooperation

Impressed with the metro cluster solution's reliability, automation, and performance when it was first tested in 2019, Alsecco decided to go further in its partnership with Huawei and upgrade its network equipment as well. Aware of the company's precise needs, Huawei recommended S6700 Series core switches, S5700 Series access switches, and servers from the FusionServer family. With these new additions, Huawei provided a complete end-to-end infrastructure revamp, consisting of all-flash arrays with native NVMe architecture — guaranteeing super quick response times — high performance rack servers for virtualization, and switches with leading Internet Protocol (IP) technology. The system's increased reliability and speed translate into concrete savings for the company. Employee productivity, to take just one example, has been boosted thanks to OceanStor Dorado's ultra-fast response times.

While we were working with Huawei, we found that other systems also needed to be modernized. Huawei's storage arrays performed well in all tests, so we became interested in the company's other products — we'd heard a lot of good things about Huawei switches and servers, so we asked for a wider offer. Thanks to that, practically complete Huawei infrastructure, including servers and switches, has been deployed. Everything is working well now and we are satisfied with all of the Huawei solutions.

Marcin Skibiński IT Director for Alsecco
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