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Success Stories

Accelerate Industry 4.0 Adoption by Migrating to the Public Cloud

PVC manufacturer KEM ONE modernizes IT infrastructure, migrating 280 applications to VMware Cloud on AWS.

Across the Eurozone, energy prices are expected to rise 40 percent through 2022. For many manufacturers, these increases may be difficult to pass on to customers. Industry 4.0 promises to unlock new efficiencies. By attaching sensors to the machines, industrial manufacturers will generate data to drive automation and uncover fresh insight.

KEM ONE is one of Europe’s largest producers of PVC, with factories in France and Spain. It is embarking on a multi-million-euro program of investment to upgrade its production processes. One project, upgrading the technology at its Foss-sur-Mer factory, expects to cut electricity consumption by 16 percent per year and natural gas by 36 percent. Overall, the group wants to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent and gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, compared to the 2013 baseline.

Modernizing the IT platform to accelerate transformation

KEM ONE had two aging data centers in the Lyon region five kilometers apart from each other and made up of Unix and HP systems. The task of maintaining both sites had become unmanageable for an infrastructure team of three, and the cost of upgrading them was prohibitive.

Public cloud was judged to be the best strategic option, but the business wanted to avoid rewriting its entire application estate.

VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware HCX enabled KEM ONE to migrate the 280 existing virtual machines in real time from its existing VMware vSphere environment to the cloud. This approach provided KEM ONE with the fastest and most cost-effective path forward on its journey to improve energy efficiency and meet sustainability goals.

“Our applications weren’t originally designed for cloud native migration. However, our objective was to migrate to the cloud as quickly as possible with minimal downtime and avoid impacting the 900 users of our ERP,” says Jean-Yves Pottier, head of IT infrastructure at KEM ONE.

The team at KEM ONE alongside Teamwork, a VMware partner, migrated the applications to the cloud without any re-architecture or re-factoring with migration being complete in months and less than 15 minutes of downtime for the 900 SAP users.

“The impact on the company’s applications was minimal,” says Pottier. “We were able to rebuild our ESX clusters very easily on VMware Cloud on AWS without changing the IP addresses, which generally increases risk and extends migration times. We had to manage volumes of up to 2TB on some mail servers.”

The company reports 26 percent savings compared with its old on-premises infrastructure costs. Phase 2 will see the new SAP HANA in-memory cloud database migrated to AWS EC2.

“The FinOps mechanisms put in place enable us to precisely monitor changes in our cloud infrastructure costs. Since VMware Cloud on AWS offers a diverse range of solutions and it is very easy to add resources, we can be aware of the financial impact,” explains Pottier.

Most importantly, VMware Cloud on AWS provides KEM ONE with an energy efficient infrastructure that is helping the company reduce electricity consumption and realize its sustainability goals. Frédéric Chalmin, managing director of KEM ONE, says a responsive IT infrastructure means the business is now better prepared to accelerate its transformation:

“If we continue to address both environmental demands and industrial innovation head-on, our business will be profitable, our performance will be sustainable, and help us gain a genuine, competitive edge.”

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