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CESPA Builds a SAP HANA Database

CEPSA is the second largest petroleum and chemical company in Spain, and one of the top-3 lubricant manufacturers in Europe. As a leader of Spanish industry and trade, CEPSA has long been devoted to finding and drilling for oil and gas in Spain, Algeria, and Argentina.

Urgent Need for Effective Data Analysis Methods

Concerns about climate change, clean energy, and new energy have become the center of industry focus. The United Nations (UN) proposed a global incentive plan to drive sustainable energy development, aiming to popularize clean energy by 2030. This clean energy plan includes three objectives: First, popularize clean energy worldwide; second, double the speed of improving energy efficiency; third, double the percentage of renewable energy around the globe.

As a pioneer in the Spanish and European traditional energy industry, CEPSA is dedicated to addressing climate change and developing new energy. Tasked with the mission of making structural adjustments to better fit into the future of the energy industry, CEPSA identified IT as a key factor to boost productivity. Crude oil intelligent exploration, production, a management control system, and  an intelligent financial analysis system are the focus of its information system construction.

Because of Big Data, information has become a main source of enterprise competitiveness. How to analyze Big Data in order to maximize insights and value has become a major concern for the information managers and CIOs of modern enterprises. CEPSA operates at every stage of the petrochemical value chain. During crude oil exploration and production, CEPSA processes massive amounts of data; therefore, it has an urgent need for an effective data analysis solution to improve its exploration and production efficiency.

  • Traditional databases’ poor performance: As CEPSA’s business grew rapidly, traditional databases failed to meet ERP system requirements and were holding back business development.
  • High procurement and maintenance costs: CEPSA’s petroleum database system had a traditional IOE structure using another vendor’s computers that were expensive and costly to maintain. Take one of its low-end UNIX servers as an example. The price of a single server is higher than that of six x86 2-socket servers, while having only 1/3 of the CPUs. The maintenance costs were also high. CEPSA needed to pay for warranty services or licenses for UNIX servers, high-end storage, and Oracle databases every year. Maintenance fees for four years were equal to the cost of a new UNIX server. Additionally, traditional UNIX servers and high-end storage architecture require high maintenance skills, which increase the maintenance burden for the IT O&M department.

High-Performance and Reliable Solution

CEPSA’s IT team talked with multiple vendors to seek a cost-effective solution that met its business requirements and could be expanded flexibly. CEPSA found that Huawei’s solution not only has exceptional performance, but is also flexible and reliable. Telefónica, the project integrator, is notoriously strict in choosing hardware providers. Huawei delivered a comprehensive solution in just two weeks. Its quality products and services are highly recognized by both CEPSA and Telefónica.

As early as 2012, Huawei began strategic collaboration with SAP, the leader of the enterprise applications industry. Together, they have developed and released SAP HANA solutions based on Huawei servers. Huawei has also provided SAP HANA solutions for petrochemical industry giants, such as China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Turkish National Oil Corporation (TPAO), and Spain’s Gas Natural Fenosa.

Based on extensive industry experience, Huawei has provided SAP HANA solutions for CEPSA, including mission-critical 8100 V3 and 5885H V3 servers, S5500T converged storage, enterprise-grade switches, and SAP HANA to build a reliable and stable ERP system.

High-Performance Devices

The 8100 V3 mission-critical server supports up to eight Intel® Xeon® E7-8800 V2 series processors. It delivers superior computing and scalability capabilities, and it is ideal for large mission-critical applications and server consolation and virtualization. CEPSA uses two 8100 V3 servers in its production environment. Each server uses eight Intel® Xeon® E7-8880 V2 series processors and a 6 TB-memory Huawei SAP HANA Appliance. These servers support its core business production system and optimize the write performance of SAP HANA log volume with 800 GB ES3000 V2 PCIe SSDs.

The 4-socket 5885H V3 server supports four Intel® Xeon® E7-4800 V2 series processors. Each processor now supports up to 15 cores rather than 10. The maximum cache is increased from 30 MB to 37.5 MB. The processor performance is double that of the Westmere-EX (E7-4800). CEPSA uses one 5885H V3 server in its development and testing environment. The server uses four Intel® Xeon® E7-4880 V2 series processors and a 1 TB-memory Huawei SAP HANA Appliance, greatly improving their development and testing efficiency.

High-Reliability Design

The 8100 V3 provides chip-level fault-tolerant features, such as automatic recovery for processors and links, and supports 60 RAS features, ensuring stable system operating. Reliability-improving technologies, such as DIMM hot swap, memory mirroring, memory sparing, and PCIe hot swap are also supported. Key components, such as PSUs, fan modules, and hard disks, are hot-swappable without the need to open the chassis, ensuring continual system operation.

Huawei servers are held to higher manufacture quality standards than the industry average, including standards for production materials acceptance, assembly, and factory testing. In addition, Huawei servers are manufactured based on telecom equipment production platforms to deliver high quality. For example, Huawei performs not only common burn-in tests, but also full disk read/write tests, which are stricter than read or write tests on random sections. Huawei’s high standards throughout the entire production process deliver a 15 percent lower failure rate than industry average, ensuring stable service operations for CEPSA.

Lower TCO

Based on x86 architecture, Huawei 8100 V3 and 5885H V3 servers use industry standard server components, which do not have procurement and maintenance costs that are as high as enclosed UNIX servers.

The modular design of the 8100 V3 supports DIMM hot swap and tool-free maintenance, which streamlines operation and management and ensures faster deployment and lower TCO.

As for expansion capability, the 8100 V3 supports up to 192 DIMMs, 24 x 2.5-inch SAS/SATA/SSDs, 16 PCIe cards, and next-generation 40G/100G Ethernet networks, whose flexible expansion capability can meet changing service requirements. In addition, Huawei 8100 V3 and 5885H V3 SAP HANA Appliances can be scaled out to SAP HANA clusters, improving system performance and capacity by adding servers.

Extensive Delivery Experience

As a vendor capable of delivering ultra-large-scale SAP HANA clusters, Huawei has deployed 136 TB clusters for China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) as well as 15 server nodes and 30 TB clusters for the SAP Research Institute in China. Thanks to its close partnership with SAP and its own strong technical capabilities, Huawei’s global service support team can solve technical problems specific to HANA systems, some of which may arise because of SAP HANA clusters’ ultra-large scale.

Stable and Reliable New-Generation Database System

In 2015, CEPSA decided to replace its original architecture and build a stable and reliable new-generation database system with Huawei ’s 8-socket 8100 V3 mission-critical servers and 4-socket 5885H V3 rack servers to run two 6 TB in-memory database systems.

Database Performance Improvement

Huawei servers greatly enhance CEPSA’s ERP system performance, which has led to an improvement in production efficiency. When processing OLAP transactions, CEPSA’s financial analysis system has doubled the number of transactions it can process, meeting strict service requirements.

Highly Reliable System

Leveraging a comprehensive RAS design and rigorous production quality control, Huawei servers achieve a failure rate 15 percent lower than industry average, guaranteeing that the system runs reliably.

Lower TCO

Based on the x86 architecture, Huawei uses industry standard components, greatly reducing costs for procurement and future capacity expansion.

All-Around Assurance

Leveraging Huawei’s extensive SAP HANA delivery experience and service assurance teams worldwide, Huawei provides comprehensive services for key events, ensuring secure and reliable system operation.

After one year of stable operation, Huawei’s SAP HANA Appliance has been recognized by CEPSA. CEPSA named Huawei as the solution provider to help it expand the SAP HANA system from 13 TB to 30 TB in 2016.

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