For more than 20 years, GAVS Technologies has provided SAP application and infrastructure management services to Gerber Technology, a Connecticut-based provider of automated CAD/CAM solutions for industries including aerospace, apparel, furniture, and packaging.
When Gerber migrated its SAP applications from mainframes to virtualized servers three years ago, GAVS enlisted Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) to host and manage the primary and secondary IT infrastructure and provide data replication services. GAVS continues to oversee the full SAP environment for Gerber, including application development and operations management, relying on Sungard AS o ensure rapid recovery of Gerber’s business-critical applications and data in the event of a disaster.
GAVS always looks for ways to delight our endcustomers, so we asked Sungard AS for tools and proactive measures to help minimize incidents and better understand the status of every server at Gerber. They took us from a handful of critical incidents to zero in one month, the result of close collaboration and a deep understanding of the environment.
About GAV Technologies
GAVS Technologies (GAVS) is a global provider of IT consulting and systems integration services. The company has deep expertise in AI-based operations, predictive analytics, and robotics-led infrastructure management services, and applies its Zero Incident FrameworkTM approach to proactively detect incidents and resolve them with minimal human involvement.
Assuring business continuity with resilient SAP infrastructure
Gerber Technology delivers industry-leading software and automation solutions to help manufacturers dramatically improve their productivity and more effectively manage and connect the supply chain. In apparel, for instance, Gerber helps fashion brands move toward an automated, made-to-order supply chain with its tools for 3D clothing design that feed directly to Gerber’s fabric patternmaking and cutting systems. The integrated process— driven by Gerber’s product lifecycle management suite— transforms what was once an 8-month cycle into an 8-day sprint from concept to consumer.
With a customer base that’s so intensely focused on time-to-market, Gerber has little tolerance for disruption in its own business systems. Gerber relies on SAP applications to run nearly all its critical business operations, and for two decades has counted on GAVS Technologies to manage and evolve the SAP environment to keep pace with Gerber’s business growth and change.
Three years ago, GAVS directed a major system and data migration project for Gerber, leading the transition of the full suite of SAP applications from an IBM AIX environment to a virtualized infrastructure based on VMware and Red Hat Linux. GAVS provided the project management and system integration expertise
to drive the four-month project. For the underlying hardware, GAVS engaged Sungard AS as a subcontractor to host and manage a disaster-tolerant IT environment that
would meet Gerber’s stringent requirements for system availability and data integrity
We have many engagements in which we join forces with Sungard AS on the right solution, from bringing on new servers to upgrading infrastructure, to moving quickly into the AWS cloud — in any part of the world. Sungard AS continually provides us with ideas and solutions to make the customer experience better, which allows us to be a trusted advisor to Gerber.
Managed recovery services that protect people, systems and data
A team from Sungard AS configured the new multi-site environment, with primary infrastructure hosted at the Sungard AS Philadelphia data center and recovery infrastructure at its Aurora, Colorado data center. Sungard AS managed the data migration to the new environment and now provides a dedicated network to enable data replication between the sites, capturing all changes to Gerber’s Oracle database in two geographically dispersed storage arrays.
As part of the initial deployment, GAVS and Sungard AS worked closely to tune and test the environment and achieve the service level agreements (SLAs) committed to Gerber: a 60-minute recovery point objective (RPO) for data and virtual machines for server recovery.
For ongoing management, GAVS applies its expertise in AI-based operations and predictive analytics with a suite of proprietary tools that closely monitor system health across many metrics. The tools and expertise are central to the GAVS Zero Incident Framework, which aims to detect incidents before they occur and apply remedies with minimal manual intervention. For Gerber, this approach translates into a highly stable environment for its business-critical applications.
Solving an intermittent issue; preparing for the future
Shortly after Gerber’s move to the new virtualized environment, an intermittent issue occurred, affecting the replication of data in the Oracle database. The issue was troublesome because it caused a lag in data synchronization across the two data centers and had the potential to impact Gerber’s SLA for a 60-minute RPO. Sungard AS assembled its incident management team and worked with GAVS to analyze root causes and come up with a solution.
“We looked initially at network and other possible infrastructure causes, and then discovered the issue: usage patterns in Gerber’s business units that generated very high peaks in the data change rate,” says Rajendran D, Client Systems Principal, Sungard AS. “These sometimes exceeded the capacity of our VMware vSphere Site Recovery Manager (SRM) replication environment.”
The addition of a dedicated server for replication has resolved the intermittent issue for now, but Gerber’s continued business growth will soon push the solution to its operational limits, necessitating a move to a higher-capacity replication solution. To prepare for that day, GAVS and Sungard AS tested an alternate data replication approach based on AWS Cloud Endure. That solution, already packaged as a standard Sungard AS offering know as Cloud Recovery— AWS, has ample headroom to handle Gerber’s business growth and potential future acquisitions—and easily achieve Gerber’s specified RPO.
Two service providers, one set of SLAs
GAVS and Sungard AS continue to strengthen their collaboration as they support Gerber’s evolving needs. The GAVS team has numerous application development projects ongoing, helping Gerber to capitalize on the power of SAP to support the company’s laser focus on streamlined business operations. The Sungard AS team stays ahead of infrastructure health to assure the solid, uninterrupted service that powers Gerber’s daily business.
In the prior two years, GAVS and Sungard AS logged incidents and worked together to resolve them within the contracted SLAs — before the incidents could impact Gerber’s systems. The two service providers have now developed a proven, collaborative approach that leverages the skill sets of the combined team, as well as the IP and proactive approaches of each provider.