Truly Semi’s workforce and production have grown rapidly over the last ten years, increasing the cost of downtime and putting pressure on IT to ensure availability for key information systems. By deploying the PlateSpin Forge disaster recovery appliance from Micro Focus, Truly Semi has slashed the time to recover systems after an unplanned outage from six hours to just 30 minutes.
“PlateSpin Forge is a stable and mature disaster recovery solution that significantly reduces our operational IT risk.”
ERP Project Manager and Information Center Manager
Truly Semiconductors Limited
Established in 1991, Truly Semiconductors Limited (Truly Semi) develops, manufactures and sells displays, including LCD and Organic LED (OLED) flat panels and touch screens. Truly Semi employs approximately 15,000 people in its factory in China’s Guangdong province.
Increasing global demand for flat panel displays and touch screens has powered rapid growth for Truly Semi. In the past ten years, the value of the company’s manufactured products has risen from US$145 million to US$950 million.
As the company’s business has grown, so has the potential cost of unplanned downtime. Truly Semi was unable to rapidly recover important systems in the event of a hardware failure because of its traditional approach to system backup and recovery. Any failure could significantly disrupt business operations and prove costly. Truly Semi wanted a solution that would not only protect data through incremental offsite backups, but also run the server workloads for key applications during production server downtime.
The company could not justify the cost of running a complete duplicate mirrored hardware infrastructure and looked for a solution that would provide a cost-effective temporary infrastructure in the event of a disaster.
Truly Semi’s search led it to PlateSpin Forge. “[W]e took into account several word-of-mouth testimonials from other businesses when making our decision,” said Yanming Huang, Truly Semi’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) project manager and Information Center manager. “The other solutions we considered were generally more costly and offered less functionality than PlateSpin Forge, which also had the advantage of being easy to deploy and operate.”
PlateSpin Forge takes incremental backups of targeted physical servers and enables Truly Semi to run them as virtual machines in the event of a production hardware failure. The appliance also handles the conversion back from virtual to physical once the IT staff has repaired or replaced the original hardware—a stage that can otherwise be very difficult and time-consuming.
Truly Semi is using PlateSpin Forge to protect its ERP solution, six business-critical Microsoft SQL Server databases and six related application servers. The entire deployment and testing process took just two weeks.
“The incremental backup capabilities of PlateSpin Forge have enabled us to increase the frequency of system backups from one per 24 hours to one every four hours,” said Mr. Huang. “We now keep a full set of backups stretching back one week, and this requires very little administrative effort.”
With PlateSpin Forge, Truly Semi can recover its most important systems within 30 minutes. Previously, this would have taken at least six hours and required extensive manual effort. In addition to significantly improving its recovery time objectives (RTO), Truly Semi has also significantly reduced its recovery point objectives—the maximum time since the last backup.
“At any given time, we can restore our systems to a point in time no longer than four hours ago,” said Mr. Huang. “If a physical server fails, we can quickly and easily start up the corresponding virtual machine on the PlateSpin Forge appliance, ensuring that the business experiences minimal disruption.”
PlateSpin Forge also cut the administrative workload for IT staff by automating common backup and recovery procedures. An intuitive web interface enables Truly Semi’s IT staff to monitor and validate backup jobs and to test disaster recovery scenarios. Truly Semi estimates that PlateSpin Forge has reduced IT administration and costs by at least five percent and increased staff productivity by ten percent. “More importantly,” said Mr. Huang, “PlateSpin Forge is a stable and mature disaster recovery solution that significantly reduces our operational IT risk.”