Valero WS08 by 6en78I


									                                             Valero Uses Failover Clustering to Reduce
                                             System Recovery Time from Days to Minutes

Overview                                     “With failover clustering in Windows Server 2008,
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Manufacturing—Oil and gas
                                             we anticipate higher availability, less downtime, and
                                             fewer configuration errors…. Geo-clustering can
Customer Profile
Valero Energy Corporation is North           reduce disaster recovery time from days to
America’s largest refiner with 2006
revenues of U.S.$90 billion. Valero has 17
refineries, 21,000 employees, and a total    Scott Mock, Lead I/S Specialist, Valero Energy Corporation
throughput capacity of 3.1 million barrels
per day.

                                             Valero Energy Corporation is North America’s largest petroleum
Business Situation
Valero needed a high-availability solution   refiner. With several of its 17 refineries situated in coastal areas
to reduce downtime caused by
                                             prone to severe weather, Valero needed an IT infrastructure with
maintenance and system recovery. It also
wanted the ability to deploy, monitor,       the resiliency to support refinery and business operations in a
and maintain systems more efficiently.
                                             disaster situation. To protect mission-critical applications and
Solution                                     communications, Valero deployed Windows Server® 2008 with
Valero used Windows Server® 2008 to
                                             failover clustering to 90 users in its IT Infrastructure team. It built
build a two-node failover cluster in
Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 with         a two-node failover cluster in Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007
CCR and SAN storage for the database.
                                             with storage area network (SAN) for data storage, and set up
Benefits                                     each server with its own independent data and cluster disks.
 Reduces system recovery time from
                                             Using the high-availability components of Windows Server 2008,
  days to minutes
 Reduces downtime for maintenance           Valero plans to dramatically improve server stability, reducing
 Enhances scripting, task automation
                                             system recovery time from days to minutes, while increasing
 Simplifies system management
 Increases security                         efficiency, hardware utilization, and security across the
                                   Situation                                      tasked with building servers, configuring
                                   With a throughput capacity of 3.1 million      systems, and installing applications. “Our
                                   barrels per day, Valero Energy Corporation     administrators have a wide breadth of
                                   is the largest oil refiner in North America.   knowledge,” says Lead I/S Specialist Scott
                                   Valero manages 17 refineries in the United     Mock, “but they’re often asked to do things
                                   States, Canada, and the Caribbean, and         that they’re not as familiar with. They end
                                   approximately 5,800 retail and branded         up going through manuals of screenshots
                                   wholesale stations across North America,       to figure out how to configure something,
                                   Latin America, and the Caribbean.              which takes a lot of time and leaves a lot of
                                                                                  room for configuration errors. We needed
                                   Several of Valero’s refineries are located     something that would help us automate
                                   near coastal areas that can be affected by     some of these tasks.”
                                   severe weather events such as hurricanes.
                                   After the experiences of Hurricanes Katrina
                                   and Rita, Valero wanted to improve its         Solution
“Recovery took two to              disaster recovery response by mitigating       Valero currently has over 1,400 servers
four hours for each                the possibility of critical systems failures   deployed throughout the company running
                                   and operations downtime. “The process for      a combination of the Windows Server®
system and it could                recovering most of our applications would      2000 and the Windows Server 2003
take days, maybe                   be: build new, install the application,        operating systems. When it came time to
                                   restore from tape,” says I/S Project           look for a solution that provided high
weeks, to recover all              Manager Shawn Crow. “Recovery took two         availability for critical systems, Valero chose
systems depending on               to four hours for each system, and it could    to upgrade to Windows Server 2008.
                                   take days, maybe weeks, to recover all
which site and how                 systems depending on which site and how        Valero initially deployed Windows Server
many systems went                  many systems went down.”                       2008 to 90 users within its IT infrastructure
                                                                                  team. It started by building a two-node
down.”                             Service resiliency for messaging systems       failover cluster in Microsoft® Exchange
Shawn Crow, I/S Project Manager,   was also a key driver for Valero. With over    Server 2007 with cluster continuous
Valero Energy Corporation          21,000 employees, Valero needed a              replication (CCR). “The first thing we did
                                   solution that would allow communication        was the clustering with Windows Server
                                   among its people to continue without           2008 and that went very smoothly and
                                   interruption, particularly during disaster     easily,” says Crow. Valero chose a storage
                                   situations.                                    area network (SAN) for data storage, and
                                                                                  set up each server with its own
                                   Not only were site and systems resiliency      independent data and cluster disks.
                                   important to Valero, so was reducing the
                                   amount of downtime needed for                  Valero is also interested in using
                                   maintenance. Scheduling downtime at the        geographically dispersed failover clustering
                                   refineries for maintenance was difficult and   (geo-clustering). “We’re very excited about
                                   posed safety as well as production issues.     geo-clustering, especially on the Exchange
                                                                                  Server side,” says Crow. Valero will have
                                   Valero also needed a more efficient            independent servers with Exchange Server
                                   solution for deploying, monitoring, and        2007 CCR clustering at separate sites
                                   maintaining its applications and systems       throughout the company, and then “if one
                                   across its geographically dispersed            site goes down, we expect to be able to
                                   network. Refinery administrators were often    have the other site back up very quickly,”
                                   says Crow, “literally in the amount of time it   administer an RODC without needing to
                                   takes to flip over to the other server.”         grant user rights for the entire domain.
                                   Valero is planning a rapid adoption of
                                   Windows Server 2008, with upgrades to 25         Benefits
                                   percent of its servers within the next year.     Valero anticipates that its full deployment
                                                                                    of Windows Server 2008 will dramatically
                                   As part of its high-availability initiative,     decrease downtime for maintenance and
                                   Valero wanted the ability to more                systems recovery; increase efficiency and
                                   accurately monitor and manage its systems        accuracy by automating configurations and
                                   and applications. In the past, significant       basic server management tasks; increase
                                   time was spent attempting to integrate and       hardware utilization; and enhance security
                                   customize products for specific applications     across the enterprise.
                                   monitoring, particularly with infrastructure
                                   applications like SQL Server® database           “We’re planning a rapid adoption of
                                   software, the Active Directory® service, and     Windows Server 2008 since we’re
“We’re very excited                Exchange Server. When Valero used                anticipating a lot of benefits,” says Crow.
about geo-clustering….             up/down monitoring and certain                   “On the infrastructure side we’ll have Active
                                   application monitoring in the past, it           Directory and read-only domain controllers,
If one site goes down,             encountered multiple false positives and         in our headquarters we’ll have the

we expect to be able to            often was unable to integrate
                                   customizations that were made within that
                                                                                    Exchange Server CCR clusters, and in our
                                                                                    plants we’ll have the Server Core
have the other site                environment.                                     installation option for more common
                                                                                    workloads like file serving and print
back up quickly,                   Valero opted for Microsoft Operations            serving.” Valero is also excited about using
literally in the amount            Manager 2005 for monitoring and                  the Windows PowerShell™ command line
                                   management, and Microsoft Systems                interface and scripting language to help
of time it takes to flip           Management Server 2003 for configuration         reduce the amount of time spent

over to the other                  management. “Before we started using
                                   Operations Manager, we really didn’t have
                                                                                    performing repetitive system
                                                                                    administration tasks.
server."                           a superior monitoring tool for Active
                                   Directory,” says Crow. “Once we got it           Decreased Downtime for System
Shawn Crow, I/S Project Manager,
                                   installed and configured, it’s a lot easier to   Recovery and Maintenance
Valero Energy Corporation
                                   maintain.” Valero expects to upgrade to          “With failover clustering in Windows Server
                                   Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 next           2008, we anticipate higher availability, less
                                   year.                                            down-time, and fewer configuration errors,”
                                                                                    says Mock. “The validation tool within the
                                   Valero also plans to launch read-only            new failover cluster will be valuable
                                   domain controllers (RODC) “so we don’t           because it is designed to confirm that
                                   have as much information at risk in our          we’ve got a good cluster and everything’s
                                   more remote locations,” explains Mock. An        configured properly,” Mock adds.
                                   RODC holds all of the Active Directory
                                   Domain Services objects and attributes that      Valero realized that it can use geo-
                                   a writable domain controller holds, but          clustering, specifically with the remote
                                   clients are not able to write changes            replication capabilities of Exchange Server
                                   directly to the domain itself. Valero will use   2007, to quickly failover to another site in
                                   the administrator role separation feature to     the event of a system failure. “Geo-
                                   give local branch users the ability to           clustering can reduce disaster recovery
                                   time from days to minutes,” says Crow.
                                   Should a large-scale disaster like Hurricane
                                   Katrina occur again, this could dramatically
                                   reduce the extent, duration, and business
                                   impact of recovery time.

                                   By using the custom installation features of
                                   Windows Server 2008, Valero is anticipating
                                   reduced downtime for maintenance at the
                                   refineries. “Server Core goes a long way in
                                   reducing the amount of security updates
                                   we have to apply, by reducing the number
                                   of components that need updating on a
                                   regular basis,” says Crow. Valero may also
                                   be able to minimize downtime by taking
                                   advantage of the ability in Windows Server
“On the refinery side,             2008 to apply updates while the system is
one of the expected
big benefits of                    Increased Efficiency and Accuracy
                                   “On the refinery side, one of the expected
Windows Server 2008                big benefits of Windows Server 2008 is
                                   scriptability and ease of configuration,” says
is scriptability and ease          Mock. Valero plans to use Windows
of configuration.”                 PowerShell to create configuration scripts
                                   that automate basic server management
Scott Mock, Lead I/S Specialist,   tasks. Using the configuration scripts,
Valero Energy Corporation          refinery administrators can simply run a
                                   script rather than trying to follow written
                                   instructions, reducing the time spent on
                                   installation, deployment, and maintenance.
                                   Scripting also reduces the potential for
                                   configuration errors.

                                   Enhanced Hardware Utilization
                                   and Security
                                   Using the Server Core installation option,
                                   Valero administrators can customize the
                                   installation of components on each server,
                                   effectively increasing the efficiency and
                                   security of each server by creating a smaller
                                   footprint. “Mainly what I like about Server
                                   Core is the reduced surface area for attack,”
                                   says Mock. “This is definitely a big plus.”
For More Information                                  Windows Server 2008
For more information about Microsoft                  Windows Server 2008, with built-in web
products and services, call the Microsoft             and virtualization technologies, enables you
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                to increase the reliability and flexibility of
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                   your server infrastructure. New
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-               virtualization tools, web resources, and
2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-                 security enhancements help you save time,
of-hearing can reach Microsoft text                   reduce costs, and provide a platform for a
telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800)                 dynamic and optimized datacenter.
892-5234 in the United States or (905)                Powerful new tools like IIS 7.0, Server
568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50                    Manager, and Windows PowerShell, allow
United States and Canada, please contact              you to have more control over your servers
your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access            and streamline web, configuration, and
information using the World Wide Web,                 management tasks. Advanced security and
go to:                                                reliability enhancements like Network                                    Access Protection and the Read-Only
                                                      Domain Controller option for Active
For more information about Valero                     Directory Domain Services harden the
Energy Corporation products and                       operating system and protect your server
services, call (210) 345-2000 or visit the            environment to ensure you have a solid
Web site at:                                          foundation on which to build your                                        business.

                                                      For more information, go to:

                                                       Software and Services                              Technologies
                                                          Microsoft Server Product Portfolio              − Windows® XP
                                                           − Windows Server 2008                           − Microsoft Operations Manager 2005
                                                           − Windows Server 2003                           − Active Directory
                                                           − Windows Server 2000                           − Windows PowerShell
                                                           − Windows NT® Server 4.0
                                                           − Microsoft Exchange Server 2007               Hardware
                                                           − Microsoft Systems Management                  − HP ProLiant BL 685c server computers
                                                             Server 2003                                     with dual core 24.GHZ processors and
                                                                                                             8GB RAM

This case study is for informational purposes only.

Document published February 2008

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