Case Study

Nakano Sunplaza

Busy cultural complex in uptown Tokyo relies on the Stratus® ftServer® platform for continuous availability of its virtualized business applications

Nakano Sunplaza, a beloved Tokyo landmark, is a cultural complex complete with a 2,222-seat concert hall, hotel, restaurants, banquet halls, training rooms, and sports and recreational facilities. Its distinctive structure resembles conjoined triangular building blocks—one large and one small—and houses extensive hospitality and event venues. Conveniently located in front of Nakano Station, Nakano Sunplaza offers fast, easy access to and from central Tokyo. The complex continues to be a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

The challenge

Nakano Sunplaza relies on business-critical applications to keep back-office and customer-facing operations running smoothly and profitably. For many years, each of these applications ran

on a separate physical server within the Nakano Sunplaza server room—a configuration that was both complex and costly to maintain and manage.

When the time came to replace several servers, Mr. Masashi Miyauchi of the General Affairs Division in Nakano Sunplaza’s Administrative Head Office decided to rethink the company’s server infrastructure in an effort to streamline and simplify operations. He concluded that a common Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure would deliver significant efficiency gains while still meeting the computing requirements of their business.

 “We realized we would have to replace the servers in stages, but we didn’t want to have to invest significant time and money every year to replace the server hardware, set it up, and migrate the software,” said Mr. Miyauchi. “As a result, we decided to look into server integration using virtual technology.”

Consolidating the physical servers into a virtual infrastructure would simplify the replacement effort by enabling the company to run many business-critical applications in virtual machines on a single server for lower hardware count and overhead. Server virtualization would also enable Nakano Sunplaza to reduce IT maintenance costs and effort.

The solution

When searching for the optimal virtual infrastructure, Mr. Miyauchi consulted several vendors who proposed a cluster configuration in which multiple physical servers are connected to create shared data storage. “Since there is only one person in charge of operations management at Nakano Sunplaza, I decided the cluster configuration would be too costly and complex to maintain,” added Mr. Miyauchi. “I wanted a simple and highly reliable server infrastructure that would minimize application downtime.”

Because virtualization can create a single source of failure for the applications running on a physical server, Mr. Miyauchi needed a virtual server infrastructure that would deliver continuous availability—even in the event of a hardware malfunction. After a thorough evaluation, he chose the Stratus ftServer platform, which integrates fully replicated hardware components to eliminate a single point of failure and safeguard data integrity. The ftServer system also virtualizes with ease for optimal efficiencies and eliminates the issue of single-point shared storage.

ftServer’s replicated components process the same instructions at the same time—in lockstep—so there is no interruption in processing, no data loss and no performance degradation should a component failure occur. Unlike a high availability cluster, the ftServer system continues to function while any issue is being resolved to prevent unscheduled downtime. In addition, ftServer presents and manages replicated components in a single system view for easy installation, configuration, and management.

“The cluster configuration proposals had been complex because of all the components and the estimates were several pages long,” explained Mr. Miyauchi. “The estimate for ftServer fit onto a single page and met all our requirements. There wasn’t even a major cost difference compared to the other systems.”

“Every aspect of the ftServer platform— hardware, software, and service—is designed to prevent unplanned downtime,so we can rest assured that critical Nakano Sunplaza applications are always available. We gained all the advantages of fault-tolerant availability without the need for failover scripting, repeated test procedures or any extra effort to make applications cluster aware.”
Mr. Masashi Miyauchi
General Affairs Division
Nakano Sunplaza’s Administrative Head Office

The results

The ftServer system provides a stable, high-performance virtualized server infrastructure for continuous availability of Nakano Sunplaza’s business-critical applications. The physical to virtual migration was performed quickly and seamlessly without having to modify any of the existing applications. Automated system monitoring identifies, manages, and takes corrective action on failed components—before they impact operations—for worry-free computing and peace of mind.

“By eliminating complicated configuration and simplifying migration, we were able to create a fault-tolerant ICT system without affecting the operations of any of our business,” said Mr. Miyauchi “Thanks to ftServer, Nakano Sunplaza has established a highly reliable virtual infrastructure while reducing the time and effort needed for operations management and support.”

With the ftServer system providing always-on operations, Nakano Sunplaza can now offer its many visitors the best possible services 24/7/365.

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