Microsoft's virtualization software helped consolidate 159 servers used in assembly and component manufacturing down to 28.
Over the course of a year, the engineers at Nissan's vehicle manufacturing plants in Smyrna and Decherd, Tenn., have implemented virtualization to consolidate 159 servers used in assembly and component manufacturing down to 28.
The consolidation is impressive, not only for its scale, but for the fact that it's been carried out by manufacturing and quality-assurance specialists outside the regular Nissan IT department. None of the servers involved was considered part of the business information services function, said Phil D'Antonio, department manager over conveyors and controls engineering in Nissan's Smyrna plant.
The consolidation was accomplished in some cases by combining what had been standalone but related manufacturing applications into one application, which was then run in one Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine. That is, the server reduction reflects manufacturing applications being combined as well as stacking up virtual machines per server.
In Smyrna, Nissan is running an average of eight virtual machines per Dell R900 rack server; in Decherd, it's averaging six. Many pieces of the software infrastructure, such as the database, Active Directory, and Web servers, did not lend themselves to being virtualized and remain standalone applications, said D'Antonio.
The consolidation has led to a 34% savings in computer electricity consumption at the Smyrna plant, where preliminary measures have been made. "At Nissan, we're a [U.S. Department of Energy] Energy Star partner. It's very important to us to us to conserve energy and protect the environment," D'Antonio said.
In addition, what had been three computer rooms at each location has now been reduced to two. Two will be maintained, no matter how much consolidation occurs, so that a mishap that knocked out one computer room wouldn't shut down the plant. Each room can serve as a recovery facility for the other, for the servers at another plant. Virtualization makes that process simpler and easier to maintain, said D'Antonio.
The Hyper-V virtual machines are running manufacturing, quality-control, and process engineering applications, such as paint mixing for different models. The Smyrna plant produces Altima sedans, coupes, and hybrids; Frontier pickups; Maxima sedans; and Xterra and Pathfinder SUVs. The Decherd plant produces engines, crankshafts, and cylinder blocks.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
CIOs Get Smart About BIIT’s tried for years to simplify business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.