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SIBUR is the largest integrated petrochemical company in Russia, which is engaged in the processing of associated petroleum gas, thus annually preventing the emission of more than 70 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As part of a large-scale digitalization of the enterprises comprising the holding, in 2017, SIBUR decided to change the development trajectory of its IT infrastructure by moving to the Software Defined Data Center architecture. Thanks to VMware, the company managed to simplify the maintenance of IT systems, increase availability and reduce capital costs significantly.

 

Improving Branch Management

Among SIBUR customers there are companies from the automotive and construction industries, fuel, energy and chemical industries and the FMCG sector in 80 countries worldwide. The holding operates production sites in 20 regions of Russia and employs more than 27,000 specialists. SIBUR is a trusted petrochemical leader in Russia, and the company strives to maintain high standards in the production of chemical products and to support them with a highly efficient IT infrastructure.

Due to specifics of the petrochemical industry, the production facilities of SIBUR are geographically distributed throughout the country at a distance from the headquarters. After a thorough analysis of the enterprises within the holding, the experts came to the conclusion that the management of branches IT infrastructure can be significantly improved both in terms of budget savings and increase in the volume of IT services. Following the results of the research, the company made a strategic decision to move the majority of enterprises to the Software Defined Data Center architecture.

 

Implementing the Software Defined Data Center

The first stage of the strategy implementation was the transition to Software Defined Storage. The company was looking for the simplest solution that would support local tactical tasks and at the same time would help to gauge the relevance of the storage systems virtualization for other SIBUR production sites.

SIBUR conducted a comprehensive testing of the leading products in the market of hyperconvered platforms, including VMware vSAN, HPE Simplivity, Nutanix and Cisco HyperFlex. The results of the tests proved that VMware vSAN was the most cost-efficient and convenient to use solution among those presented. The final choice in favor of vSAN was also influenced by the previous positive experience of using VMware solutions for the IT infrastructure upgrade: SIBUR has been operating VMware vSphere 6.5U2 successfully for several years.

The pilot project has been deployed at one of the production sites of “SIBUR-Kstovo”, where vSAN is the only hyperconverged  infrastructure used. SIBUR specialists claim that by the end of the pilot project they had simplified the maintenance of IT systems significantly and increased their availability by half. In addition, as early as in the first months of using the infrastructure based on VMware vSAN, the company has managed to save about 25 % of the capital costs of replacing servers and data storage systems.

 

Scaling with vSAN

Following the successful year-long uninterrupted operation, it was decided to introduce the product at the remaining enterprises of the holding. In December 2018, VMware vSAN was implemented at another subsidiary of SIBUR – Biaxplen. By the end of 2019, it will be scaled up to three more subsidiary companies:

“Reliability, cost efficiency, as well as simplifying the operation of equipment were the most critical parameters in this implementation for us. vSAN has really proved its worth at the site with a small workload, and we have already begun to test its capabilities at two locations with a large number of virtual machines, said Leonid Medvensky, chief expert on IT operation, development of IT infrastructure and communications at SIBUR.

Read more about how SIBUR utilizes vSAN here.