From the family-friendly Qashqai SUV to the all-electric Leaf compact, Nissan Australia has a mobility solution for every Australian. To meet its customers’ unique needs, the innovative brand requires a nimble operation and a stable, reliable, and agile IT environment.
Setting the Pace for IT Performance
Nissan’s Australia manufacturing plant is renowned across its global ecosystem for producing vehicle components of the highest quality. The plant manufactures a large range of electric vehicle components for models including the award-winning Leaf, as well as the revolutionary e-Power hybrid vehicles and tow bars for its workhorse trucks and SUVs.
“We win contracts to manufacture critical parts because we consistently deliver superior products at speed and scale with an incredibly low rejection rate,” says Nathan Kennett, national manager of infrastructure. “The performance and stability we get from Pure Storage is integral to that reputation.”
Uptime is crucial for Kennett’s team. The manufacturing processes they support—like the aluminum casting required to produce powertrain and engine components—are energy-intensive and prone to outages. To counteract this challenge, Nissan Australia runs its manufacturing workloads on VMware in an active-active configuration across two data centers that leverage Pure Storage® FlashArray//X™ with ActiveCluster™ for seamless failovers. Two mainframes power critical sales, after-sales, and supply chain processes, which are backed up on Pure FlashBlade® using virtual tape software and then written to Amazon S3.
“Storage failures would previously cause between 6 to 12 hours of downtime at our manufacturing facility,” says Kennett. “With Pure, we don’t have to panic. ActiveCluster just flicks over to our second FlashArray and our plant can keep running with no downtime.”
Small Team, Serious Horsepower
Despite the scale of its operations, Nissan Australia’s IT infrastructure team is incredibly lean. Kennett’s team of three is responsible for the setup, maintenance, configuration, and runtime of Nissan Australia’s entire IT infrastructure, including storage.
The move from traditional tape storage to S3 object storage on Pure FlashBlade has made the team more efficient by orders of magnitude, and Nissan Australia’s storage more scalable than ever. FlashBlade has also allowed Nissan Australia to consolidate its mainframe backups.
Two physical tape libraries comprised of hundreds of cartridges used to occupy two entire racks of data center floor space and required hours of storage administration. Now, Nissan Australia stores its backups in a virtual library on just one-fifth of a rack—significantly reducing its data center footprint.
“Our active-active infrastructure strategy makes our operations especially agile, but for everything to work, we need to be as efficient as possible in the way we store, manage, and back up our data,” says Kennett. “Pure FlashBlade ticks every one of those boxes.”
Racing Ahead with a Revolutionary Approach
Kennett and his team previously spent months installing, testing, and transferring data to new systems with every storage implementation or upgrade. What’s more, they had to pay for two systems concurrently during those crossover periods. With Pure Evergreen//Forever™, Nissan Australia can continuously scale its capacity and upgrade its arrays with zero disruption to its operations.
“I had never come across anything like Pure Evergreen in the storage market. It’s truly revolutionary,” says Kennett. “We effectively get a new storage system every few years without the need to lift and shift our operations every time.”
Despite all of its successes to date, Nissan Australia is hardly sitting idle. Working with Pure, Kennett and his team continue to improve the performance and stability of their storage environment, which in turn improves the way Nissan Australia develops and produces its latest and greatest vehicles.
“Working with Pure support is like having a team of storage geniuses integrated with our own team. They never stop monitoring our systems, flagging opportunities for improvement, and ensuring we always run at peak performance,” says Kennett. “To have a partner so invested in our success is a breath of fresh air.”
The feeling is mutual, Nathan. We can’t think of a more deserving team to win this year’s Pure Storage APJ G.O.A.T. Award. Congratulations to you and everyone at Nissan Australia!