Rompetrol Group chooses Vblock to drive down costs of global operations
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Rompetrol Group chooses Vblock to drive down costs of global operations

Rompetrol Group chooses Vblock to drive down costs of global operations

“As far as I am concerned, the advantage offered by the Vblock platform can be expressed in just four words: best value for money.”, Askar Zhakenov | CIO | Rompetrol

General presentation of the project

At the end of 2010, in full compliance with operational excellence and with the launch of the SAP implementation project, the Rompetrol Group opted for the development of a cloud-based IT & C infrastructure based on Vblock, a VCE (Cisco) , EMC and Vmware). The project aimed at provisioning resources for the SAP environment, along with the consolidation of 575 physical servers and 11 storage systems in the “private cloud”: it is a major success for Rompetrol and the Romanian market. Following implementation, the company estimates an ROI (Return on Investment) of 22%, an IRR (Internal Rate of Return) of 64%. The design and implementation of the whole solution was carried out by Crescendo and Iqon, within the first such project and this range in the region.

Initial situation

In 2009, after the acquisition of Rompetrol by KazMunaiGas, the company has decided a major strategy shift, from rapid growth to operational excellence. The project was supposed to support the decision to implement the SAP solution for the consolidation of the company’s management and planning system and to guarantee the optimization of the IT system represented by a heterogeneous environment of approx. 700 servers, over 20 storage systems and several hundred applications, managed by two IT Business Units.

“The existence of a heterogeneous IT environment generates difficulties and great administration costs. Practically, in the absence of centralized management, maintenance involves many movements in data centers and manual interventions on an infrastructure whose inventory was fairly difficult to achieve. Moreover, each IT Business Unit manages separate sections of the infrastructure, which further complicates the situation,”says Askar Zhakenov, Group IT Director of Rompetrol.

Internal analyzes, conducted in the context of SAP implementation, showed CPU usage of only 2-3%, because any new project came with dedicated hardware and there is no virtualized environment to optimize server load. Also, for storage systems, the usage level was about 20%. There is no Disaster Recovery solution for the entire system, but only for Microsoft Exchange and ERP (Oracle Enterprise Business Suite) platforms. In this context, the Rompetrol team took the decision to strengthen the IT infrastructure with a private cloud project.


In order to identify the right hardware platform to support SAP implementation as well as to strengthen the entire infrastructure, the Rompetrol team conducted a detailed market analysis. Finally, based on the requirements defined in the business plan, Rompetrol chose the Vblock platform, developed by VCE (an alliance between Cisco, EMC and VMware).

Vblock packages combine the best unified, scalable and extensible solution for processing, storage, unified communications, administration and security, offered by alliance members: Cisco, EMC, and Vmware, and allow broad adoption of virtualization, starting from servers, operating systems, to business applications such as ERP, CRM, BI etc.

“The internal assessment made by Rompetrol generated a consolidation project, for which we analyzed the market and evaluated all the available solutions. We chose the Vblock platform after a thorough evaluation of the performance indicators and guaranteed support, but also for the unitary concept around which it was developed, aspects that for us were very important,“says Askar Zhakenov, Group IT Director of Rompetrol.

Project implementation

After the information, evaluation and selection phase, the project itself began in December 2010, when Rompetrol acquired the Vblock platform. The Crescendo – Iqon team has deployed two Vblock1 platforms for the enterprise computing area in two different locations connected through a 10Gbps communications line.

The Vblock platform architecture was designed and implemented by Crescendo specialists and integrates solutions from the Cisco UCS family of products, Cisco Nexus, EMC Unified Storage, and VMware vSphere 4 Unified Infrastructure. For backup and replication, the client opted for EMC Avamar and Recover Point solutions.

The consolidation and virtualisation of the physical servers was carried out by the Iqon team, according to an agreed plan, which provided for the achievement of clear performance indicators, while minimizing the impact on the organization.

“The consolidation project was a challenge due to its very large scale and timeline. At the end of each stage, our team has achieved its established performance goals, so if in April 2011 there were 675 physical machines and no virtual machines, in April 2012 we reached more than 500 virtual machines and only 100 physical machines.” , Says Cristian Balulescu, Operational Director Iqon.

In fact, starting from February 2012, SAP is in production on Vblock: the solution has a main site and a disaster recovery site, located in a different location and capable of starting in a few minutes.

“The SAP project is one of the largest IT projects in the Romanian private sector of recent years. The solution serves the work of all divisions within the Rompetrol Group, which led to the implementation phase for the first phase being very strict. Consolidation has made it easier to reach the agreed targets for the first phase, “said Giani Kacic, SAP Project Manager, Rompetrol.


The impact on the company has been beneficial on several plans. From the financial point of view, for the Vblock project, Rompetrol estimated: a return on investment (ROI) return of 22% and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 64%.

From the point of view of operational efficiency, the following benefits were recorded:

  • Increasing the speed of IT response to the organization’s business needs. Due to the virtualized environment and centralized management, the time spent on provisioning servers dedicated to new projects has been reduced to just a few hours, compared to months, the period required to complete the procurement, delivery, installation and configuration procedures.
    Optimizing operational costs as a result of strengthening the IT environment on a unitary infrastructure. Monetization of this action sums up the cost of space occupied, energy consumption for power & cooling as well as maintenance and technical support services contracted to suppliers (for example, the physical space allocated to IT equipments decreased by about 30% by reducing the number of rack- from 45 to 29).
  • Reducing the load of the team that manages the IT environment by 50%.
    Hardware availability increased to 99.80%, from 93.7% at the start of the project, with a drop in incidence rates from a monthly average of 3 to one of 0.05.
    CPU usage has increased from 2.7% to 17% and at RAM from 53% to 90%.
    The back-up window has decreased by 76%, from almost 9 hours to just 2 hours.
    due to the use of deduplication technologies, the storage space required for back-up was reduced by 69.37%.

About the client

The Rompetrol Group N.V. is a multinational petroleum company based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The company is present in 12 countries and has the majority of assets and operations in Romania, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia. The Rompetrol Group is involved in refining, marketing and trading, as well as in additional operations – exploration and production, petroleum services, etc.

Implementing partners

To run the project, the first in South East Europe, Rompetrol has selected Crescendo, an experienced IT & C integrator, including in the oil and gas industry, with advanced competencies on Cisco, EMC and VMware technologies. Crescendo provided consultancy and implementation services, as well as support for each stage of the project.

“Through the investments made, Rompetrol has once again demonstrated the openness to technology and innovation as a support for the achievement of business objectives. We are honored to have had the opportunity to be involved in this project with our partners Iqon and VCE – Cisco, EMC and Vmware. “, Marius Tulea, General Manager Crescendo

Crescendo consultants have teamed with Iqon specialists, a specialist in oil and gas systems, with expertise in other industries such as retail, energy and utilities, telecommunications, public, health. Iqon operates four data centers and manages all IT systems of Rompetrol. Besides Romania, Iqon also operates in other countries in Europe and Asia (eg the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Russia).

“Adopting the Vblock platform has provided Rompetrol with a unitary IT infrastructure with a high level of flexibility. For us, these benefits translate into ease of administration and the speed of response to our client’s business requests. In short, excellent in meeting the needs of our clients. “– Cristian Balulescu, Iqon Operations Manager.

About Vblock

Vblock packages combine the best unified, scalable and extensible solution for processing, storage, unified communications, administration and security, offered by alliance members: Cisco, EMC, and Vmware, and allow broad adoption of virtualization, starting from servers, operating systems, to business applications such as ERP, CRM, BI etc.


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