Come on! Digital Transformation @ bishengyuan, a pioneer in hyper-converged Road and pioneer in the road

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Come on! Digital Transformation @ bishengyuan, a pioneer in hyper-converged Road and pioneer in the road

Special Plan-"Come on! Digital transformation is already the second time we have met.

As a leader in the Chinese health tea market, bisheng has reconstructed its original information system with the help of a hyper-converged architecture. Does bisheng's experience in transforming words also inspire your company? Leave a message to discuss with us. You are also welcome to contribute to us or provide news clues so that we can share our suggestions for digital transformation.

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Digital Transformation

The concept of "hyper-converged" has been gaining traction in recent years. Not only have gamers concentrated on introducing related solutions, users are also paying more attention to this "new weapon" to simplify IT infrastructure and increase efficiency ".

However, any new technology that is widely accepted will be filled with twists and turns and uncertainty. When the market expects that new technologies can solve its urgent needs, it will also have hidden worries and concerns.

In fact, in the hyper-converged field, there are already a group of early adopters who are using hyper-converged technology to successfully crack the current IT architecture difficulties and stay ahead in the industry's digital transformation.

Bisheng is such a pioneer in the road.

As a leader in the Chinese health tea market, bisheng has a history of Informatization over the past 17 years. However, with the rapid development of bisheng's business in recent years, the information system that carries the overall business operation also needs to be upgraded. Starting in the second half of 2016, bisheng started the largest information reconstruction in history.

Zhang Jun, vice president of information system construction of bishengyuan group, found that the most serious challenge lies not only in the application layer, but also in the rapid growth of IDC resizing costs and maintenance complexity, this made Zhang Jun feel unprepared and aware of the insurmountable limitations of the traditional model. Therefore, he had to seek alternative solutions.

At this time, hyper-converged technology entered his vision. From the beginning to the final shot, how did bisheng go through the decision-making process? What is the path to exploring bishengchao's integrated architecture? (The following is an interview with Zhang Jun, vice president of bisheng Group)

1 Where are the challenges?

Q:What is the history of bisheng informatization?

Zhang Jun:Bisheng is actually 17 years old, And bisheng is still relatively early in the use of information technology. Around 2009, ERP, finance, and production lines began to use scanning and tracing systems, as well as many traditional mobile phone systems that are being sold.

However, after 2016, the system was actually relatively backward, and bisheng's business was severely constrained by this. Therefore, in the second half of 2016, the company began large-scale informatization reconstruction and implementation.

Therefore, a series of new applications introduced by bishengyuan have higher requirements for the support of the underlying architecture. At the beginning of 2016, we predicted that the traditional technology platform was far from able to adapt to the business development in 2017. So at the end of 2016, we began to design a new IDC and server cluster system.

Q:What problems did the original system encounter?

Zhang Jun:The problem is mainly reflected in two aspects. On the one hand, it is an application. Since the original application design was basically developed based on the needs of each department, the separation between departments is serious.

The second aspect is the increasing integration of systems and the increasing amount of data. Our traditional underlying platform, regardless of the network (LAN, Wan) or the storage and processing capabilities of our traditional rented IDC, they are already very, very weak. For example, our original data center is distributed in two places, one in an outsourced IDC and the other in our office building. The conditions are very simple. Therefore, the original business is often interrupted, and the business department is in disorder when the business is interrupted. In the case of a problem, IT personnel can only find the cause in one system and then solve the problem.

2 Why hyper-converged

Q:Why did bisheng choose a hyper-converged architecture?

Zhang Jun:Based on the business plan for 2017 and 2018, we have determined the requirements for underlying system resizing. The solution is divided into two parts. The original plan was to only expand the capacity, but after the expansion, the whole IDC space was not enough. Therefore, we must first resize the equipment in the data center to complete the system expansion, this is more than double the actual system expansion budget. It takes nearly a year to complete the expansion process.

In fact, this situation forces us to have no choice. At this moment, we repeatedly demonstrated the hyper-integration implementation scheme. Because we used to move forward in the traditional way, we have been trying to squeeze the implementation cycle of the traditional architecture, but no matter how we squeeze it, 6 months is obviously difficult to hide, and we are under a lot of pressure.

When we were forced to leave nowhere, there was a hyper-converged solution. In fact, we did not know such a technical solution before, so the emergence of such a solution attracted our attention at this stage.

Q:How does bisheng evaluate and select hyper-converged vendors?

Zhang Jun:We have also gone through a process. After all, hyper-convergence is a new concept for us. In the early stage, four or five service providers delivered the solution. About three of the four or five families involved hyper-convergence. Among the three, SmartX focuses on hyper-converged architecture, while the other two provide both traditional architecture and hyper-converged architecture. However, in the comparison of the solution, some vendors propose that hyper-converged solutions are not mature, and we do not recommend that we use hyper-converged solutions. We should consider more traditional architectures.

However, at that time, the project's planned budget had been approved by the company and the business had been launched. We found that the expansion of the data center had become a prerequisite for system expansion. If the investment and implementation time of equipment room expansion are doubled, it is a great challenge for us.

When comparing these three solutions, we feel that, although hyper-converged solutions may have unknown problems, they should be suitable for our current stage and scale. On the premise of controllable scale, we evaluated the possible risks of all system migration and future operations. The conclusion is that hyper-converged systems can be controlled at a certain stage.

The second is in terms of operation and maintenance. For the traditional architecture, in order to maintain the entire network, server, security, and database, we planned to set up a 3-5 Operation Team to operate our upgraded platform. However, we found that if we use a hyper-converged platform, we do not need such a complex operation team.

Third, if we introduced a brand new hyper-integration, we didn't have too much confidence at the time, so we also put forward a point of view, that is, not only do technical demonstration, we hope to test. Therefore, one of the last four solutions quit directly after hearing the test results. The other two companies hesitated. the test plan lasted for more than a month and was not implemented. But in fact, when we heard this suggestion, the SmartX response was very positive, so although we were talking about the test plan with three companies, the first thing we implemented was SmartX.

So in the beginning, SmartX explicitly stated its willingness to participate in the test, and set up the test environment here in about a week. Therefore, there are more theoretical solutions than we can see in the final test experience. During the actual test, the first is our migration solution, that is, the testing system to be launched, and the second is our actual O & M drills. We have all conducted tests here. It took about one week to deploy the actual test environment. The actual test took nearly three weeks to one month.

From the actual test results, our actual experience is more practical and practical than what we felt when evaluating the current plan. Based on actual tests, we finally decided that hyper-convergence is a solution that we fully accept and can control. As soon as the test results were obtained, we started the project implementation in less than a week.

In fact, the final implementation result is indeed very close to our preset at that time. When the actual devices arrive for installation, the system we plan to migrate will be migrated in just one week.

3 Hyper-converged Application Experience

Q:What are the effects and benefits of hyper-converged architecture?

Zhang Jun:Our updated ERP system, HR system, OA system, data backup system, and data analysis system have all been migrated to the hyper-converged system.

We have made several progresses after using hyper-converged products. First, our business continuity is fully guaranteed; second, our storage space has several times the expansion capability in the original space; third, our O & M personnel, we originally planned three to five people to run the entire system maintenance, but now there are only two people. Fourth, we no longer use more and more expensive traditional storage cabinet devices to store our data.

Q:What experiences do I share when I use a hyper-converged architecture?

Zhang Jun:Hyper-convergence is a relatively new concept, and the process from our introduction to the real launch is still hesitant. Because the adjustment of a technical platform has a great impact on the company. However, from the perspective of our actual use, we feel good at this stage.

However, hyper-converged systems have not undergone long-term tests of 5 to 10 years of business pressure. So I think there are several factors to consider.

First, on the premise that the business scale is controllable, hyper-converged is a good choice for the business environment that needs to be quickly launched and want to simplify operations as much as possible.

Second, if the scale is large, it is not necessary to place all the services on one-time. You can first try it in some systems. It also requires a process to control and operate hyper-converged platforms, including the adaptability of hyper-converged systems to application systems.

In addition, I think it may have something to do with our partners. Why are we very worried about the new things when we begin to emphasize the actual measurement, whether the capabilities of service providers to digest technology and provide services to users can be kept up. Therefore, choosing a more reliable service provider to control the scale of the preliminary trial may be an important way to use hyper-converged services. Hyper-convergence is still a very promising system solution.

4 Hyper-converged future

Q:What is bishengchao's future expansion plan?

Zhang Jun:First, we need to integrate the system. Second, all new purchase systems will also be based on hyper-converged platforms, and the company will no longer build a second platform for use. At least in our current scale and in our current use, our strategy is to move all to hyper-converged platforms.

Q:How do we look at the future development of hyper-converged systems?

Zhang Jun: I never understand or accept it. Later, we resolutely switched to hyper-integration. Based on our current three-month usage, at least for our business models and business methods like this, we firmly believe that hyper-convergence is basically in the future. In the time period we see now, this is our only basic platform.

Selection of "digital transformation pioneer"

From the beginning of this issue, all those who will be "Come on! The article in the "digital transformation" column, which involves both digital transformation enterprises and leading figures in information technology, will automatically become candidates for the "digital transformation pioneer" selection. Starting from 2018, each quarter, this topic will select a "digital transformation pioneer", including a pioneer in digital transformation and a pioneer in digital transformation.

Candidate enterprises for "digital transformation pioneer Enterprises"

Bisheng Group

Candidates for "digital transformation pioneer"

Zhang Jun, vice president of bisheng Group

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