Datacentrix has supplied and implemented hardware for the Africa Rainbow Minerals’ (ARM) Ferrous Group to support the company’s ERP rollout for its Chrome Division, which is comprised of the Dwarsrivier Chrome Mine and Machadadorp Ferrochrome Works, both in the Mpumalanga Province.
Johan Pistorius, ARM Ferrous CIO explains that the company decided to look at integrating operations within the Ferrous side, which involved standardisation on certain products and decentralising the environment.
"We went out to tender for the supply, configuration and installation of hardware and chose to partner with Datacentrix. Essentially, it was Datacentrix’ skills levels, solid service delivery track record and competitive pricing that sold us on the company."
ARM Ferrous has rolled out an HP BladeSystem blade enclosure and servers, VMware software and an HP StorageWorks 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) for virtual storage with the aid of Datacentrix. The company is currently undertaking integration testing of the JDE ERP software solution installed at the two mines.
"The blade system has certainly allowed us greater flexibility within the virtual environment and we’re finding that not only are the blade servers easier to configure, but we’re also duplicating fewer machines," Pistorius says. "Also, most critical due to the current focus on energy efficiency, our data centre is also drawing far less power than before. In addition, the new storage solution allows us to be more agile.
"ARM Ferrous’ strategy in terms of the supply of this hardware was to improve ease of use and flexibility, which we certainly have, as well cost savings over the long term," he adds.
Says Roger Locker, senior account manager at Datacentrix: "Our appointment on this project was largely based on Datacentrix’ superior skills levels – in essence, ARM was looking more for expertise on a number of levels than for specific solutions. As an HP Preferred Gold Partner, a fully accredited HP Storage Works Solutions Specialist and a fully certified Service Specialist Authorised Service Partner, Datacentrix is certainly favourably qualified to take on a project of this type. We have also maintained our standing as a VMware Partner since June 2004 and currently hold Gold VAC (VMware Authorised Consulting) Partner status."