Project Description

COMPANY

Founded in 1998 by Piero Ferrari, HPE purchased Coxa (a machining specialist) in 2009, generating significant growth in the following years thanks to enlightened management, allowing it to reach a workforce of 180 and 24 million Euros in turnover.

Today, HPE is an agile and innovative supplier which covers the entire supply chain, from design to manufacture, in the field of engineered solutions and technologies for the automotive, motorsports, aerospace and defence markets. From its R&D and production centre located in Modena, at the heart of Italy’s “Motor Valley”, HPE provides high-quality engineering services and precision manufacturing. HPE designs and produces components for engines, as well as entire units, for important customers around the world such as Harley Davidson.

HPE’s new life began in late 2009, after its merger with Coxa. Management focused on investments and growth led to a series of expansion projects which led the company to control the entire design and production process for engines and their components, driving turnover from 9 million Euros in 2010 to 24 million in 2014.

GOALS

To adapt the system’s storage capacity to the increased size of the company, also improving the level of security for sensitive data and processing speeds.

Following significant growth and ever-larger orders, HPE decided, with the assistance of IFIConsulting, to increase the storage space for its design data and to secure this information by creating an infrastructure which could stand the test of time, thanks to HP technology.

IMPLEMENTED SOLUTIONS

Wishing to abandon a system sized for smaller companies, HPE turned its attention to mid-range solutions which would be able to support the company in the years following their implementation.

“After an in-depth analysis performed alongside our partner,”  Marmorini tells us, “we chose an HP 3PAR StoreServ, which offered the capacity, performance and security we required at a reasonable cost. IFIConsulting’s support was crucial in this phase in order to lay out the current goals, but above all to help us predict our requirements for the following five years, the period of time we had decided on for the life cycle of the new architecture.”

The new storage system was accompanied by upgrades to the processing power, with a new blade system based on four HP BL460c blades, improved connectivity, with a 10 Gigabit architecture based on HP 5130 equipment, and an HP StoreOnce 4500 disc-based backup system.

Ultra-wide band connectivity is used to connect the internal machines to the central system, but also those used in the new test bed, specified by management, which incorporates three full engine testing bays.

“As regards the backup system,”Mauriello concludes, “we maintained two distinct infrastructures. The new SAN, which is a disc-based system, and the old tape-based system, which is used as a recovery system”.

CONCLUSIONS

Thanks to the new infrastructure, the response times and more generally the performance experienced by the users are significantly improved.
The goal of attaining a significant increase in storage space at a reasonable cost has been achieved, given that the target of 96 TB of available storage (120 total on-disc space, reduced by the RAID implementation) allows the company to look to the future with peace of mind.

Peace of mind is also the approach in terms of the security of the company’s sensitive information (its design data), which is now guaranteed to be available at all times thanks to the redundant systems and new backup infrastructure. Centralising the information, which was previously managed by individual users on their own machines, has also allowed the intrinsic level of security to be increased.

“One of the most important side benefits of the new project,” Marmorini concludes, “is the possibility to use a historical database of the test and design data. Our company thrives on know-how, and information from the analysis of the components (combustion chamber, valves and so on) are our assets. Being able to exploit this in a fast and efficient manner makes us much more competitive on the market.”

The next step for HPE will be the implementation of a true centralised ERP system, based on the same IT infrastructure, which it had not previously implemented because the processing and storage resources were already at their limits. But, concrete advantages aside, the new storage system, combined with the rest of the architecture designed by HPE and IFIConsulting, will bring significant psychological benefits – on the IT front, it will allow the company to sleep easy, and continue to grow for at least five years.