TOFAŞ's database infrastructure capacity and performance tripled with Huawei FusionCube
Established in 1968, today Tofaş is Turkey's only automotive company to produce both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The company is a joint venture between Koç Holding — the only Turkish firm featured on the Fortune Global 500 list — and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), am iconic global automotive company. While FCA applies a "World Class Manufacturing" methodology in all its worldwide operations, among the Group's automobile factories, Tofaş is the highest scoring.
In 2019, Tofaş further strengthened its position in the industry with TL18.9 billion in sales revenue —representing a 16.4% domestic market share — and it rose to the position of market leader, measured by total sales. The 264,000 vehicles that the company produced in 2019 accounted for 18% of the country's total automotive industry output and 15% of its automotive industry exports. The Fiat brand once again finished the year as the overall market leader.
Tofaş has always considered innovation to be an integral part of its corporate culture. The company continually strives to expand its manufacturing competencies, to solidify its position as market leader in Turkey's manufacturing sector. Its Information Technology (IT) team are constantly on the lookout for the digital technologies of the future and, in this regard, the company has defined a strategy to bring digitalization to all of their processes. Indeed, the company began to explore how to perform the first ever data migration in Turkey, with the aim of stimulating its long-term business growth and providing speed and efficiency for its central business lines.
With its legacy database hardware proving unsuitable for future evolution and digital transformation, Tofaş started looking for a powerful database server that could support its business expansion and data growth. The company wanted to embrace new technology and trends, replace its aged hardware, and perform data migration using a modern consolidated solution. But to achieve these goals, Tofaş faced challenges.
The company needed to migrate many production databases at the same time. As the company produces over 1000 cars a day, it was crucial to ensure that the manufacturing process would remain uninterrupted and that migration could be delivered smoothly and at speed.
A second concern was that the legacy database infrastructure and systems were not ready to handle immense amounts of data. Server capacity was limited, with high operating and capital expenses. Tofaş was looking for a solution that could be expanded on-demand, given the exponential growth of data in the digital era, so that it could easily increase capacity as required.
Naturally, preventing data interruptions that could cost millions of dollars was also a priority for the project. In addition, the project aimed to increase business productivity, and improve ease-of-use.
Based on all these requirements, Tofaş quickly realized that a significant change to its database infrastructure was necessary.
Huawei and Tofaş first started working together in 2018, when Huawei completed a SAP HANA server project for the automotive manufacturer. Tofaş's IT team hold their vendors to high standards and the team talked with multiple vendors, seeking an innovative solution that could meet its business requirements and be flexibly expanded. After testing, Tofaş found that Huawei's solution was the only one that could offer the exceptional performance, flexibility, and reliability required. And with SAP HANA, Tofaş successfully optimized its enterprise business flow, giving a boost to operational efficiency.
In 2019, when Tofaş decided to perform the very first data migration project in the country, they also decided it was time to consider changing their existing vendor, in the search for a better hardware solution and to replace aging infrastructure. The IT team took the time to familiarize with all new products on the market. After a period of evaluation, Tofaş decided that Huawei best met its needs, with Huawei offering the best-performing technology combined with the most thorough understanding of the challenges involved. Huawei was selected because of the multiple benefits it could deliver, beyond just a reliable solution. (Indeed, Tofaş has enjoyed fast delivery of new inventory and responsive support from Huawei, ever since.)
After Huawei's proposal was accepted, aiming to ensure operational efficiency for all business processes, the Turkey Huawei Enterprise Business Unit signed up to the database infrastructure transformation project with Tofaş. The project was launched to directly contribute to the organization's commercial business, finance, and production processes.
The Huawei solution manager analyzed Tofaş's infrastructure and system, and all tasks and infrastructure were planned and performed one-by-one. To meet the customer's current demands, as well as being scalable for the growing needs of tomorrow, Huawei provided a FusionCube Hyper Convergence Infrastructure (HCI) solution based on x86 servers with Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) Solid State Drives (SSDs). FusionCube replaced the existing database infrastructure solution, improving Input/Output (I/O) bandwidth and providing high availability, elastic scalability, and exceptional data warehouse performance. Now, unified resource management simplifies database system deployment and management and allows for flexibility and ease of use.
At the Smart Manufacturing Summit 2019 held in Istanbul, Turkey, and hosted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) — a leading market research company —, Huawei's database infrastructure transformation project implemented by Tofaş received the "Best Data Infrastructure Project of the Year" award.
The Tofaş project was completed remarkably quickly and with zero loss of production capacity. This transformation, which provides important benefits in fast and secure data recovery processes, has brought Tofaş a range of advantages.
Eight different master databases are already in service on this system. Database transfers were performed smoothly and without loss, and the company now experiences performance speeds three times faster than previously available, which represents a considerable improvement. In just one weekend, the migration of 20 TB of data was successfully completed.
Now Tofaş can speed up all main jobs and processes with the FusionCube system. The company performs high-speed database clone jobs and recovery operations when needed, during critical times. For Tofaş and its team, the main innovation is the much more flexible structure, with extendable data capacity in its main system products. Eight different main databases are used, and the expandable data capacity of the system can be increased as needed — up to 60 TB — while simple scalability ensures the solution can grow to meet rising demand. The company also appreciated FusionCube server's user-friendly interface. Huawei's HCI system management is effortless with a new Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Fusioncube.
"We are delighted to establish this successful cooperation with Huawei Turkey. We have signed the database infrastructure transformation project for production, commercial, and financial processes. With this transfer, I can say that our related processes are accelerating. A modern infrastructure, performance-oriented, flexible, and smart server structure is our top priority. We hope to continue our fruitful and successful cooperation in the future, and we would like to extend our thanks to Huawei," said Özgür Çetinoğlu, Information and Communication Technology Director for Tofaş.
By switching to Huawei, the company has ensured that new database system migration enables the IT team to lower costs, achieve operational efficiencies, and reduce complexities with equipment management. Looking ahead, Tofaş is confident that Huawei will always be their first-choice partner. With Huawei's support, Tofaş will focus on reaching and realizing innovative and different business ideas that will carry the company forward.