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TAL Apparel

Nutanix Enables TAL Apparel to Embrace IT Transformation with Ease

Business Need

TAL Apparel needed new storage and server infrastructure to handle the IT needs of its remote and branch offices, and to meet the digitalization requirements of its growing business.

Solution

Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform

Benefits

  • Obtained a smooth migration from legacy IT infrastructure to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform
  • Reduced the occurrence of system errors with proactive intelligent alerts
  • Cut the time required for day-to-day infrastructure management by 65%
  • Achieved an overall reduction of power consumption and rack space costs by 62%

Company

A truly global company, TAL Group offers quality garment manufacturing, innovative products and services across stages of the apparel supply chain. Our manufacturing operations under TAL Apparel Limited with 11 factories across Asia made us the leader in our industry. In wholesaling, The Apparel Group Limited based in the United States works with some of the world’s top brands and retailers offering services such as design, merchandizing and logistics management. Under TAL Group we have a number of ventures which focus on providing leading-edge technological solutions and consultancy services within the apparel space which includes Weave Services Limited, TPC (HK) Limited, and Size Stream LLC. Driven by innovation, we constantly refine our operations to better match the needs and business goals of our customers.

Challenge

Founded 70 years ago, Hong Kong-based TAL Apparel’s operations now span across eight countries in Asia. Handling the information technology needs across their corporate offices and manufacturing facilities, TAL Apparel’s IT team spent their days dealing with the maintenance of servers and applications, supporting both the corporate data center and all factories’ local IT infrastructure.

Due to the highly competitive nature of a manufacturing business, setting up solid IT infrastructure at local facilities is essential. However, these remote operations were mostly located in newly developed industrial sites with unreliable power and cooling, making the reliability of local IT infrastructure a major challenge. On the other hand, the lack of local IT talent for setup and management of the complex IT infrastructure is yet another challenge. With the digitisation of work processes and the need for a reliable, simple, yet scalable infrastructure, TAL Apparel found it difficult for the legacy blade servers and SAN storage architecture to keep up with future expansion, which sparked TAL Apparel’s search for ways to transform their IT infrastructure.

“We have always paid close attention to new innovations of the industry. After years of experience dealing with legacy infrastructures in multiple locations, we believe that web-scale and hyperconverged infrastructures should be our way forward. We wanted to have an IT system that is easy to centrally manage. Although our operations have been expanding quite rapidly, we wanted the ability to invest in our expanding infrastructure capacity as we grow, instead of investing ahead for future capacity that we do not need today,” said Kai Yuen Kiang, Vice President of Information Technology, TAL Apparel Limited.

Solution

TAL Apparel began their quest for IT transformation by looking at both legacy IT infrastructure companies and technology innovators. “When we began our search two years ago, we conducted research on offerings by legacy vendors, but we also looked out for newcomers like Nutanix. We invited a number of vendors to provide onsite assessments, and I personally participated in a number of industry conferences to collect market intelligence and join in-depth discussions with other industry practitioners. Given legacy vendors often lack the flexibility and agility to respond quickly to changes in business needs, after a year-long, in-depth analysis, we selected Nutanix, which has an outstanding track record in web-scale technologies and hyperconvergence,” Kiang added.

TAL Apparel deployed the hyperconverged Nutanix solution in 2015 to consolidate and run all virtualized workloads under a single system, replacing their previous blade and SAN system. This enabled the transformation from legacy IT infrastructure to an enterprise cloud.

Based on the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, the Nutanix solution is a pay-as-you grow solution for server virtualization that leverages webscale architecture to integrate compute and storage resources into a 100% software-defined appliance. A single Nutanix cluster is capable of running different workloads simultaneously, including transactional and analytical databases, critical business application servers, and messaging and collaboration workloads. It brings along enterprise-grade features, including selfhealing storage and virtual machine (VM) granular policies, combined with a simple, single management pane.

With the transformation of IT infrastructure, all of TAL Apparel’s existing applications—including the JBoss application server on Linux, Apache webserver, IBM WebSphere application server, IBM DB2 and file server, as well as network services including Windows Active Directory, DHCP, and DNS servers—were successfully migrated to the new platform. “With Nutanix, we are able to design a combined compute and storage infrastructure mitigating single point of system failures or corruptions, and simplifying the setup and management for both local and corporate IT staff. In addition, Nutanix was very compatible with other legacy technology and applications, allowing a smooth and trouble-free transition. Their pay-as-you-grow structure allows us to plan resources more effectively and scale out with ease,” noted Kiang.

“With years of experience deploying legacy IT infrastructure in multiple countries, we believe that web-scale and hyperconverged infrastructure should be our way forward. Having studied the product offerings of various vendors, we selected Nutanix as they have an outstanding track record in the web-scale and hyper-converged infrastructure sector.”

– Kai Yuen Kiang, Vice President of Information Technology, TAL Apparel Limited

Results

Significant Savings on Resources

TAL Apparel observed a number of benefits after the successful implementation of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform. The compact nature of the Nutanix solution enabled a reduction of overall rack space required at TAL Apparel by 82 percent. In addition, TAL Apparel was able to lower power consumption by 72 percent. As a result of these reductions, costs of power and space have been reduced by 65 percent.

In addition, since adopting the Nutanix hyperconverged solution, the average time needed for day-to-day infrastructure management has been reduced by 65 percent. Instead of spending an average of 60 minutes to deal with performance issues, it now takes an average of two minutes to handle the same task. The centralized management also helped reduce manpower for constant manual supervision across different locations. Furthermore, the time required for creating a persistent Linux Container with Nutanix Acropolis Container Services went from an average of 20 minutes to an average of two minutes, saving 90 percent of time. This gave the TAL Apparel IT team more time to handle higher value businessfocused production applications.

“We are seeing very positive results in our first year of collaboration so far. With reduced time and resources spent on daily IT maintenance, we are able to focus more resources on leading innovation in garment manufacturing. We look forward to exploring more collaboration opportunities with Nutanix in the near future,” Kiang added