Monument Chemical is a family-owned business out of Indianapolis, Indiana, operating production sites in Antwerp, Belgium, Brandenburg, Kentucky, and Houston and Baytown, Texas.
Monument Chemical’s IT department is centralized in the US. The company’s sites all use a wide range of applications hosted in the group’s central data center.
The Antwerp site is a remote office running several local applications on servers and storage in its own data center. In 2016, that local infrastructure needed to be renewed.
Monument Chemical’s challenge was clear: leading the server and storage environment into the virtual world.
“At the time, we were running about ten physical servers. Their replacement had become quite urgent.", explains Diana De Peuter, Financial & IT Manager at Monument Chemical Antwerp.
The new data center is based on a redundant set-up, with only one HP server hosting all virtualized applications, and one NetApp solution for storage. Among other things, the new environment hosts the company’s file server, SQL server and several process control systems.
Redundant infrastructure guarantees data and application availability. The end result is a reliable environment, including a functional solution for quick disaster recovery.
Brian Bailey, Monument Chemical Group Systems Administrator: "All backups are performed locally, but overnight the data is also replicated to our data center in the US. In other words: at the Antwerp site, all IT is redundant. Whatever component fails – be it a switch, VMware or NetApp – there’s always another one available to take over."
Guaranteed business continuity
Monument Chemical Antwerp was the group’s first site to migrate to VMware ESX v6. And a smooth migration it was, too. “There was some very efficient collaboration between Bryan and Realdolmen’s team”, De Peuter continued. “Realdolmen has a good understanding of our business and deployed the right experts.”
All in all, Monument Chemical looks back at a successful project. Bailey: “For me personally, it was the first time I was involved in the migration to a virtual environment on this large scale. It was a very valuable experience."
“It was about time we put that migration on the agenda”, De Peuter concluded. “Postponing the project would have increased the risk of an unstable and unreliable environment."