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WD Media

"We simply get what we need today without compromising future IBM platform development or Maxava HA’s ability to scale to the business need. It’s a great combination" - Chandran Supramaniam, Director of Corporate Information Systems

Industry: Manufacturing

Location: Malaysia

The Business Need

Thin-film disks are the primary high-capacity storage medium for digital data in computers and consumer appliances. WD Media Incorporated has been a leading independent supplier of these disks since the company’s inception in 1983. While the company is headquartered in San Jose, California, with an R & D facility in the San Francisco Bay area, WD Media manufactures all of its disks through various production sites in Malaysia. Being at the forefront of the industry in terms of production volume and technological expertise, WD Media’s success hinges on the ability of its products to rapidly improve storage density at a low cost per gigabyte.

Combined, WD Media’s manufacturing sites in Penang, Johor and Kuching are responsible for the company’s total global production output – which is rapidly increasing as it continues to gain market share. However, the growing need for a robust data replication and backup solution – and the requirement for this to occur across the different sites – was becoming an increasing issue for Chandran Supramaniam, WD Media’s Director of Corporate Information Systems.

“To do a full backup, a complete shutdown of the application is required. We operate in a high pressure environment where product ‘lots’ move quickly from one process to the next. The ability to monitor this movement to the level of accuracy required was just not possible when an application shutdown occurred. The replication solution I required was therefore one that could copy data to another machine and then perform a backup from that replicated copy. In this way we could keep our application going while doing the backup.” Chandran’s decision was therefore based on a balancing act between wanting minimal downtime and ensuring that the end-result was in line with the exacting requirements of his business.

The Decision

Maxava HA Enterprise was recommended to Chandran by a local IBM Business Partner and Authorised Maxava Reseller, Sunway Computer Services. WD Media installed the Maxava HA Enterprise software on their iSeries server for the primary purpose of enabling production to continue being monitored while key data backup takes place.

Senior Information Technologist YL Wee says that the Maxava solution requires minimal monitoring and that by taking advantage of the Remote Journaling capabilities of the IBM i there is little need to allocate human resource to run the solution. Because of growing production volumes, WD Media recently upgraded their IBM iSeries servers to a combination of a new i5 server model 550 and 520. “The migration of Maxava HA Enterprise as part of this upgrade was flawless,” says Chandran. The idea that the Maxava solution can grow in parallel with any iSeries upgrades and the business in general is one of its most appealing factors.

We simply get what we need today without compromising future IBM platform development or Maxava HA Enterprise’s ability to scale to the business need. It’s a great combination.

“The ability to easily migrate to a more comprehensive solution as-and-when required was an important factor as it provided a clear roadmap for the company,” says Chandran.

The Outcome

Faced with a requirement to drive and manage a rapidly growing business, having to replicate data across different sites and at the same time reduce backup downtime – WD Media sought a high availability solution that was both flexible and cost-effective.

We needed a straight forward yet powerful backup solution that could be quickly deployed, focus on our exact specifications, expand as we grow and deliver against a price point that was relative to the business, which is why we went with the Maxava solution.

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