Unipart Powertrain Applications Enhances Just-In-Time Manufacturing With Nutanix

Coventry-based Unipart Powertrain Applications (UPA) is part of the wider Unipart Manufacturing Group (UMG), a leading Tier 1 supplier of components to the global automotive industry. With just a few hours of finished stock held on-site and delivered on a just-in-time basis, even minor service interruptions can have huge knock-on effects across the entire Unipart supply chain.

Needing to eliminate database latency issues impacting the just-in-time delivery capabilities of its automotive parts division, Unipart Powertrain Applications chose the Nutanix Cloud Platform and AHV hypervisor. A combination able to provide, not only the necessary performance uplift but, at the same time, reducing complexity, simplifying management and making the business as a whole more agile and flexible.

The Unipart team turned to independent infrastructure specialist and Nutanix partner Softcat, which recommended migration to a Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI). It wasn’t long before a Nutanix Cloud was up and running in the UMG datacentre. Two clusters were installed, the first to support day-to-day production workloads followed later by a second for data replication, load balancing and disaster recovery, along with backup to NAS and long term archiving offsite. Beyond support for core manufacturing, ERP and database workloads, the ability to install graphics accelerator (GPU) cards in the Nutanix cluster and share them using the AHV hypervisor was seen as another major plus compared to other HCI platforms.

With AHV handling virtualisation, some 80+ VMs needed to be migrated, a process made straightforward using Nutanix Move with the IT team completing the project on schedule and with no major issues or downtime. Moreover, performance has been noticeably improved across the board while the database latency issues have disappeared entirely with measurable effects in terms of productivity.

In the short term, UPA is concentrating on automating day-to-day management tasks and supporting teams responsible for product development. Looking beyond that, the group’s Nutanix investment is expected to play a significant role in enabling rapid diversification away from automotive engineering into other areas such as battery manufacture and other low-carbon technologies requiring flexible production facilities, backed up by an agile and easy to manage IT infrastructure.



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