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Hybrid environment safeguards Woikoski’s operational continuity

6 min

Oy Woikoski Ab, established in 1882, is a gas manufacturer and a pioneer in the chemical industry. The company provides gases, related services and equipment for the needs of various industrial fields and the health sector. Woikoski, which employs nearly 200 people, has renewed its data centre and telecommunications together with our experts. Comprehensive service and hyperconverged HPE SimpliVity data centre proved to be the smartest way to implement modernisation.

Woikoski is a Finnish family company which serves its customers in Finland but also in Russia, the Baltic states and the EU via its subsidiary, SIA Woikoski. In addition to business, government regulations and legislation also set their own requirements for the usability of the company's information systems.

“We had three different architectural options for the renewal of our data centre, and we made two major changes at the same time with the guidance of Telia Inmics-Nebula's professionals. We gave up fairly quickly the alternative of purchasing and maintaining our own capacity”, says Ari Hietala, IT Systems Specialist at Woikoski, who is responsible for the extensive development of the industrial company's IT infrastructure and ensuring the services and continuity.

“Our factory's control systems, networks, equipment and software are critical to us. They must operate in the immediate vicinity of the factory to ensure the continuity of our business. The production cannot be interrupted due to insufficient latency of the network," Hietala continues. 

Woikoski's operations are supervised by the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea, among others. “We supply hospitals with gases for medical use. Through our tank monitoring system, we get information about different locations and receive alarms when more gas needs to be delivered. We want to monitor the gas usage in different locations more carefully and increase the automation of the order and supply chain on the basis of the customer’s tank information”, says Hietala. “This is particularly important in hospital environments.”

Modernisation with hyperconverged solution

The partnership with Woikoski has been continuing for a long time. “The role of Telia Inmics-Nebula’s and Telia’s experts has been very important in planning and implementing our data centre, telecommunications and the overall architecture of our networks. Our cooperation is based on trust. They know the special needs of our business and sell us what we really need”, Hietala emphasises. “We know each other and listen to the views of their experts.”

“The role of Telia Inmics-Nebula’s and Telia’s experts has been very important in planning and implementing our data centre, telecommunications and the overall architecture of our networks."

-Ari Hietala, Woikoski

A significant part of Woikoski's data centre resources are produced in our data centre in Jyväskylä. The IT infrastructure, which is protected against disasters, also includes a hyperconverged two-node HPE SimpliVity solution located in the Woikoski factory area. Backups of the factory's control systems are done locally and in our data centre in Jyväskylä. The entire factory’s control system can be restored to its status on the preceding day in a matter of minutes.

“Even the demanding updates are backed up quickly. Our customer wanted to ensure a high usability of the production control systems, as starting it up would take days. The control system functions on a high-performance wired internal network”, says Antti Oksanen from Telia-Inmics Nebula.

The data communications connections designed and implemented by Telia are redundant and encrypted between different units and data centres. “Due to our factory's control systems, we ended up with the HPE SimpliVity solution. It provides sufficient usability and a reliable platform for virtual machines. Expanding and updating the environment is flexible and takes into account the maintenance windows of our factory systems.”

At the same time, Woikoski transferred its data centre hardware to a leasing service, so the company did not need to tie up capital for hardware acquisition. “The maintenance, updating and monitoring are now handled as a service”, says Hietala. “This has greatly facilitated my work. Acquiring the whole package as a comprehensive service ensures a higher level of service reliability.”

According to Hietala, the transition to the renewed IT infrastructure went really well. “Careful planning paid for itself. There was not a single challenge in the migration, and the schedule was kept. Project management was controlled from start to finish. Also, we appreciate the fact that they constantly give us new development ideas.”

Intelligence brings new development opportunities

Woikoski is also provided with scanning for vulnerabilities and security incidents in the company's network environments. “We also deliver ready-to-use workstations to our customer. We take care of the hardware throughout their life cycle, and we offer the company local support several days a week”, says Timo Ojanen, Key Account Manager at Telia Inmics-Nebula. “We manage the entity, and we cherish the state of health of our customer’s environment with our cloud environment monitoring service, among other things.”

“Telia Inmics-Nebula's experts have guided us to use our entire hybrid architecture smartly. They have built connections from our infrastructure to the public cloud and consulted with us on matters such as information security hardening”, Hietala underlines. Woikoski utilises Azure with the help of our experts. “We have just switched to a cloud-based ERP. We can now also make safer use of public cloud services.”

“Our modernised infrastructure has been working invisibly and very reliably. The usability of our services and the continuity of our business are now better secured. Another good thing is that we can use the HPE InfoSight’s artificial intelligence in our data centre”, says Hietala. “I believe that the artificial intelligence will bring us significant benefits in the future. HPE's maintenance services have worked really well even though our factory is located in a remote area.”

Updates and possible faults can also be handled remotely with HPE’s tools. “HPE SimpliVity offers new, intelligent and rapidly evolving technology”, Oksanen emphasises. “HPE provided us with all the necessary support throughout the process. This project was a continuation for our successful and long-term cooperation. Now Woikoski has an extremely versatile and reliable hybrid infrastructure, which enables extreme scalability in a long life cycle. Artificial intelligence will improve reliability, updates and management reporting. The potential of artificial intelligence is enormous.”
 

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