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RAJA SA Achieves High Availability with Cisco HyperFlex Stretched Cluster

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Updated:February 18, 2021

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  • PDF
    (852.4 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:February 18, 2021

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RAJA SA Constanta is the biggest water supply company in Romania. The company focuses on analyzing, processing, and delivering water to more than 2,500,000 consumers in eight Romanian counties. For more information, visit rajac.ro.

Executive Summary

Customer Name: RAJA SA

Industry: Utility

Location: Romania

Number of Employees: 2,500

Challenges

  Achieve high availability for ERP systems
  Improve speed, performance, and latency of IT infrastructure
  Eliminate replication and migration inefficiencies between two backup sites

Solutions

  Cisco HyperFlex™ system (stretched cluster)
  Cisco® Catalyst switches
  Cisco DNA Center
  Cisco Firepower® Threat Detection
  Cisco Identity Services Engine (Cisco ISE)
  Cisco Intersight™ Infrastructure Service

Results

  Improved IT infrastructure performance and reduced latency
  Innovated billing and payment processes as a result of improved CPU performance
  Eliminated inefficiencies with zero downtime and load balancing between two backup sites                             

 

 

Challenge: Achieving high availability for ERP systems

RAJA SA’s mission is to deliver quality water to more than 2 million consumers in eight Romanian counties. While water service delivery quality remained high, the company was having internal IT struggles that were affecting back office processes.

Infrastructure technology performance issues created unacceptable levels of downtime for the company’s ERP systems. Replication and migration between its two key backup sites were inefficient, and often required manual IT intervention. When those systems were down, the accounts department and point-of-sale systems could not process billing and payments.

“We lacked high availability for our ERP systems,” says Virgil Pascu, IT Manager, RAJA SA. “Speed, performance, and latency were all critical issues that we were having trouble solving with our existing technology providers and solutions.”

 

“We lacked high availability for our ERP systems. Speed, performance, and latency were all critical issues that we were having trouble solving with our existing technology providers and solutions.”

Virgil Pascu, IT Manager, RAJA SA

In search of a zero downtime solution

After enduring three difficult years searching for a solution with existing hardware and software providers, Pascu turned to Cisco for insight and advice.

“We have a strong relationship with Cisco and have always been impressed with the team’s knowledge and commitment to solving our problems,” says Pascu.

RAJA SA’s IT team contacted its key software partner to explore if upgrading the Hyper V cluster and capitalizing on new features would solve its availability issue. It was too experimental and unproven.

Cisco pre-sales engineers suggested exploring Cisco HyperFlex stretched cluster to achieve zero downtime replication in two different sites and support the software solutions running on it.

RAJA SA has a long, successful history with Cisco solutions. The company has implemented Cisco Catalyst switches for network stability and several security solutions including Cisco DNA Center, Cisco Firepower Threat Detection, and Cisco Identity Services Engine. So RAJA SA’s IT team was receptive to considering Cisco HyperFlex to resolve its persistent availability issues.

Pascu started with four active Cisco HyperFlex nodes, primarily to support the company’s ERP systems. The CPU performance and latency improvements were striking. After seeing the benefits for the ERP use case, Pascu opted to migrate other systems as well—some call center servers, a health and safety application for remote workers, and two file sharing servers.

Pursuing innovation

The improved CPU performance also allowed Pascu and his team to finally be able to pursue innovation. Digitizing the process for consumer water metrics reporting was their first initiative.

Previously, gathering monthly consumption metrics required either a home visit from a RAJA SA field employee, or the consumer had to contact the call center. It was a time and labor-intensive process. Now, consumers can go online to view and report consumption metrics, check billing, and update profile information.

“Prior to having the Cisco HyperFlex, we had to preserve CPU usage for internal capabilities. For example, our weekly SQL reports used to take six hours to run. Now, we can run them in three to four minutes. With the improved CPU performance, we can innovate for consumers and simplify their interactions with us,” says Pascu.

 

“With the improved CPU performance, we can innovate for consumers and simplify their interactions with us.”

Virgil Pascu, IT Manager, RAJA SA

 

And consumers are noticing. RAJA SA’s social media department, which interacts with consumers on Facebook, consistently received complaints about the payment system and requests for improvements. After implementing Cisco HyperFlex, those complaints went from many to none.

Pascu plans to expand the scope of Cisco HyperFlex in RAJA SA’s environment. He intends to increase the number of nodes in the cluster and migrate the 12 remaining physical servers and all applications to Cisco HyperFlex.

“Our clients weren’t aware that we made a technology change in the background,” says Pascu. “All they saw was innovation and process improvements. While we met our high availability objectives from an IT perspective, more importantly, implementing Cisco HyperFlex has had a direct positive affect on customer experience.”

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