EMC World Sneak Preview: Eclipse Aerospace Saves its Intellectual Property with One Vblock

Next week at EMC World, I will present how Eclipse Aerospace was able to defeat legacy data center challenges and transform our data center into an agile, highly efficient virtualized environment.

Our story started five years ago, when we purchased the assets of the bankrupt Eclipse Aviation, makers of the world’s first very light jet – the Eclipse 500. Eclipse Aerospace inherited an award-winning aircraft design, capable of flying six people 425 mph at 41,000 feet while consuming less fuel than two SUVs would for the same distance in a fraction of the time.

As part of the migration team, my IT department was under a lot of pressure to seamlessly transition their technology and assets to Eclipse Aerospace. However, an entirely digital design and manufacturing operation carries a lot of weight in a data center.

Eclipse Aviation’s designs and engineering diagrams cataloged tens of thousands of parts in numerous configurations stored in volumes of six to ten terabytes.  These assets, along with the company’s business and operational applications and information, were running in three computer rooms, using more than 200 servers.

But big data migration was just one part of the problem. IT infrastructure had been neglected for several years during the shutdown. Not only was the IT infrastructure built for a staff six times the size of our department, but their software and hardware were generations behind and cooling failures had damaged parts of the data center. Years of advanced intellectual property were at risk in the deteriorating IT infrastructure.

With the amount of data and limited time frame, I knew we had to virtualize our data center. Cloning or moving the large data sets to traditional “pizza box” hardware would have taken ages – we still would be doing it!

We chose the VCE Vblock System as a cost-efficient, highly available and scalable virtualized environment. The converged infrastructure combined storage, networking, compute and virtualization into one system, running SAP business applications, Siemens Teamcenter and NX CAD Server software. We also invested in EMC Avamar for backup system redundancy, as well as VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite, Cisco UCS Manager and VCE Vision Intelligent Operations to streamline the management and operations of our virtualized environment.

Eclipse Case Study
Read the Eclipse Aerospace Case Study

VCE and Presidio, a key partner in the rollout, helped us virtualize 100% of our company while the business was still running. VCE’s quick time to deployment helped us grab initial value from our data center, while investing in future assets. About 90% of our physical to virtual migration was completed in the first month and the entire operation was completed in just three months.

The process consolidated the three computer rooms into three racks with excess capacity on the Vblock System. We have not only significantly saved on power, air conditioning and space, but we also have room to grow. My team can easy scale up or down depending on resources and business requests without worrying about capacity or performance.

Even though we’re a small team, VCE gave us the ability to efficiently manage our resources like a large IT organization. We don’t have to only focus on maintaining legacy equipment, but prioritize our efforts on growing business needs. Most of our upgrades and patches can even run during business hours without interrupting operations. Most importantly, VCE’s support, availability and performance give us the confidence to enjoy our nights and weekends.

Make sure you attend my session, “Vblock Systems and Eclipse Aerospace: A Customer’s Experience,” with John Lockyer, VCE Americas CTO, at EMC World on Wednesday, May 7 from 8:30 – 9:30 am PT.

About the Author: Jeremy Lawrence