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Uptime and Monitoring - Critical for one of Australia’s largest lottery and gaming companies

Tatts Group is one of Australia's largest lottery and gaming companies, operating the majority of lotteries within Australia, as well as wagering, telephone betting and online transactions. Their online transactions make them one of the highest trafficked sites in the country.

Company

Tatts Group

Sector

Lottery and Gaming

Location

Australia-wide

 

Icon Eye

project type

StruxureWare for Data Centres Solution

Customer Benefits

Streamlined operational efficiencies

Optimum capacity planning

Significant energy savings

Increased monitoring and control

Valuable insights into power consumption

The nature of the business means that their transactions are all time critical and that processing must happen in real time. Any downtime of equipment results in the immediate and real loss of income for the group, and because the events are perishable, that is, betting on them can only happen before the event has begun, there is no way for the group to recoup any losses after the fact.

With ageing infrastructure across two data centres, and beginning their journey to move into a new - building, Tatts Group was looking to update their software to provide better monitoring and control. With this in mind, they reached out to the market for submissions, and conducted their own extensive research in order to find the best possible solution.

Tatts Group was particularly looking for a company which they could develop a strategic alignment with; that they could be confident would survive beyond an individual relationship or single sale. They also needed someone who could meet their technical and commercial requirements. Having worked with Schneider Electric previously, the group was confident in their ability, and after all submissions were put forward it was Schneider Electric's StruxureWare for Data Centres solution that was considered to best meet Tatts Group requirements.

Challenge

Tatts Group had a need to classify their infrastructure between "business critical" and "business important", and they needed to be able to transfer this classification all the way down to the physical data centre infrastructure. Previously, the only way this could be done was to have someone physically walk through the facility and check which racks were being used for which purposes.

They require a tool that would provide complete insight and control over their data centre's daily operations to avoid inefficiencies resulting from manual monitoring. Making informed decisions related to capacity planning, equipment changes, and availability is also critical to streamline their operational efficiencies. They need to gain insight into their IT power consumption and utilisation to increase efficiency and decrease cost.

Solution

Schneider Electric put forward their StuxureWare for Data Centres software as a solution for Tatts Group. The software allows data centre owners to plan, monitor and effectively operate their sites.

For Tatts Group, the software was particularly appropriate as it provided them with the ability to demonstrate their moves and changes to the data centre infrastructure and allowed them to look at capacity planning.

"StruxureWare for Data Centres provides us with the ability to monitor all power from the main switchboard through to individual rack units," Matt Maw, Tatts Group CTO said.

"The heat mapping and air flow analysis tools have also allowed us to work on our cooling systems, and as a result we have been able to implement a two-degree rise in our cooling temperatures, which will provide us with significant savings on energy requirements."

The increased monitoring means that if there is a problem, we can see immediately where that problem is and fix it. No more manual diagnosis, which tends to be slow and inefficient. We can also see immediately whether there is a problem with the infrastructure or the power, so we know what needs to be done...

By giving them a better idea of how the data centre is performing, Tatts Group has also found that they can significantly increase the density of their data centre.

"Without the tool we would be looking at 15-20% more racks," Matt said. "This means we have been able to delay a new data centre building by about 2-3 years, giving us significant savings."

"Through the software solution, we have the ability to produce hard data and reports around load, pull and electricity needs," Jo Baxter, Tatts Group Data Centre Manager said. "This has meant that we know exactly what our requirements for the new Data Centre will be, and means that we have not needed to bring in consultants to provide that data for us."

Monitoring and uptime

Jo and Matt are required to provide a report to management each month on the uptime and reliability of their data centres. These are critical factors in the success of the business.

"StruxureWare for Data Centres allows us to make these reports ‘sexy'," Matt said. "We can easily produce graphs and images that have some colour and interest, and we have been able to change people's perceptions as to what a data centre is all about. The new reports also make it easier for people to understand exactly where we are at regarding power utilisation. In short, the software allows us to have a different level of conversation than what we were having before."

One of the big factors in the success of the software for Tatts Group has been the ability to receive live alerts in the event of an incident.

"The increased monitoring means that if there is a problem, we can see immediately where that problem is and fix it," Matt said. "No more manual diagnosis, which tends to be slow and inefficient. We can also see immediately whether there is a problem with the infrastructure or the power, so we know what needs to be done."

Both Matt and Jo acknowledge that StruxureWare for Data Centres covers a huge scope of tools and products, and they are still not using the tool to its full capacity.

"It's a work in progress," Jo said. "We have been using the software for around 12 months, and I would say we are using it at less than 50% of its capability. When we first implemented it, we would have been operating at around 10% capability. This is an area we are continuing to improve on and get more out of."

Throughout the process, Schneider Electric representatives and data centre engineers have provided their full support to Tatts Group to ensure the product is running efficiently to a level they were happy with.

"The availability of Schneider Electric data centre engineers has been terrific," Jo said. "They came in and helped us at different stages of the project and have always been available on the phone when we needed them. The support continues even now, and I still speak with them on a regular basis. They provide us with updates on what is new with the software and what other capabilities the tool has that we should be utilising. This regular engagement means that we are confident that we have chosen the right software for now and into the future."

Bottom line

Through ongoing support and communication, Schneider Electric has worked with Tatts Group to provide them with a solution for the monitoring and control of their data centres which will see them save money both now and in the future. The solution also provides them with peace of mind that in the event of a downtime occurrence, the software will notify them immediately of this, and provide details on what the problem might be.

"We took a leap of faith 18 months ago when we went down this path with Schneider Electric as our strategic partner, and I am happy to say that that faith has been repaid and we have had a lot of success out of the platform that we have engaged in," Matt said. "More importantly we have a lot more scope within the software that we can continue to turn on and leverage in order to achieve more outcomes and to continue to improve our position in the industry."

Jo agrees.

"The back-up services that we have seen from Schneider Electric have been excellent," Jo said. "There hasn't been a question I have asked that hasn't had a timely reply. And if there has been a question that can't be answered by our local contacts, it goes back through Schneider Electric globally and we have received the information that way. We have been very pleased with our ongoing relationship with Schneider Electric."

 

 
 
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