Virtualisation helps Wellman reduce carbon footprint

1 Mar 2011

The rollout of a major IT infrastructure and disaster recovery solution in a virtualised environment is playing a key role in enabling Wellman International in Meath to reduce its carbon footprint, the company said.

Wellman International Limited is Europe’s largest producer of high quality polyester staple fibres. Based near Kells in Co Meath, Wellman has pioneered the use of recycled raw materials since the plant was founded in the early 1970s.

The company employs more than 270 people at its manufacturing facility. The company’s recycling plants, located in France and The Netherlands, process more than 1.6bn post-consumer PET bottles annually.

Wellman has implemented a new information technology infrastructure and disaster recovery solution in a virtual environment with the aim of improving the company’s mission critical systems resilience and availability while at the same time reducing its carbon footprint. 

“We needed to address the problems posed by an ageing and increasingly troublesome hardware infrastructure,” explains Joe Hanley, IT manager at Wellman International.

“In addition, we wanted to strengthen our mission critical systems’ resilience and availability. It was also important that we could reduce our carbon footprint by minimising our power consumption, cooling requirements and dependence on large UPS (uninterruptable power supplies.”

A fully redundant virtual private cloud infrastructure

Following a detailed tendering process, Trilogy Technologies was selected as the preferred solution provider for Wellman International. Trilogy implemented a fully redundant virtual private cloud infrastructure based on IBM servers, storage and backup, and built the infrastructure in VMware VSphere 4 technology.

Additional IBM storage is configured on a virtual platform and located in a separate comms room on the Wellman campus. The SANs are connected via fibre backbone using the backup and replication features of Veeam software and provide Wellman with continuous uptime while also addressing business continuity and disaster recovery.

The complete solution is underpinned by a Trilogy Managed Service, which includes system and application monitoring, management and reporting via the Trilogy edge/point portal.

“We now have real-time online replication with regard to our systems and this allows us to respond quickly in the event of any failure or disaster.

“If our systems go down, I have the security of knowing that our virtual environment will allow users to experience minimum disruption”, Hanley explained.

“The solution eliminates the risk and cost associated with outdated hardware and improves our disaster recovery and high availability options.

“It allows us look into the possibility of cloud computing on a greater scale and how it can further enhance our service delivery to the business,” Hanley added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years