Business Challenge

Leggett & Platt Aerospace, Western Pneumatic Tube Company near Seattle is a subsidiary of Leggett and Platt, they are a manufacturing plant that produces mission critical metal tubing for the aerospace industry. Their tubing is in many of the most popular commercial airplanes that you have probably traveled in. Leggett & Platt Aerospace has an X-ray process which is used to test every nano-meter of each tube for any defects, weld points, or weakness in structure, this process is extremely technical and is meant to ensure the precision quality and safety of the products produced. Prior to i2m migration, they faced the following challenges:

  • X-ray process produces a high volume of X-ray images on a daily basis.
  • These X-ray Images must be preserved for each of their customers in case of aerospace faults, investigative purposes for a reference of history in case any unforeseen disaster may happen these X-ray images are recalled to make sure that there was no fault in the tubing used. This required that all the X-ray images be archived after a certain period of time to local storage. This was being handled by multiple storage NASs that backed up to each other to providing a Primary and Secondary in case one the physical devices failed.
  • The amount storage capacity on the NAS was not enough to suffice the amounts GB of data produced daily for the long term.
  • IT had to constantly bring up new NAS’s and replace dying ones frequently.
  • Users on each side of the manufacturing plant were suffering from degraded Application and File access while the X-ray imaging process of archiving was carried out.
  • This legacy method of archiving was outdated and exhausted the local bandwidth available on the network.

i2m Solution

We recognized the use of AWS and i2m would be the perfect fit for this business challenge. i2m implemented a plan to maximize the benefits of both, including the following changes to their IT infrastructure:

  • AWS Snowball to export all the existing archived data 10’s of TB of data, to Amazon S3 and Glacier.
  • Snowball arrived onsite in 2 days as promised.
  • We connected the Snowball to the network on it own dedicated physical switch so not to disturb the rest of the production network.
  • The NASs were then connect to the same physical switch as the Snowball to accelerate the data transfer between the three devices along with a beefy Linux machine to access and control the Snowball Import Jobs.
  • Data transfer completed a few days later. The Snowball was then shipped out to AWS and in a few days the data was decrypted and available on S3.
  • Once all the data that was archived on NAS’s was uploaded to S3, we then archived it into Glacier for long term infrequent access.
  • Now any X-ray images required by customers or Western Pneumatic can be retrieved in 3-5 hours. We then created a recurring backup job using i2mcloud Enterprise Backup to fetch any new images produced daily and back that up to S3-Infrequent Access, for seldom and fast retrieval for any X-ray images that are most recently produced.

i2m added additional DR and Business Continuity features to the new cloud environment

i2m implemented our managed i2mcloud Enterprise Backup solution which uses Amazon S3 as its cloud based storage and backup agents running on critical nodes in their infrastructure to establish DR and Business Continuity capabilities. We also took advantage of Amazon Glacier for long term-archiving and retention of outdated documents and data replacing legacy tape and NAS backups. This solution also took advantage of end-end encryption for data at rest and in transit.

The following AWS technology was used:

  • EC2 – Windows and Linux
  • VPC
  • VPN
  • S3
  • Snowball
  • Glacier
  • IAM
  • AWS Config and CloudTrail

The following i2m managed technology was implemented:

  • i2m X-RAY Backup Solution – powered by S3 and Glacier
  • i2mcloud Enterprise Backup – CloudBerry
  • i2m Monitoring/Alerting System – Nagios Check_MK
  • AWS Services Proxy
  • File Sharing Services
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Implementation
  • CloudHealth

i2m Solution Benefits

By using i2m solutions and AWS S3 and Glacier we were able to provide an infinitely scalable encrypted archiving solution that was extremely durable and redundant compared to using the on-premise storage devices. All the local Archiving Storage NAS’s were decommissioned. This reduced the IT dependency, time and money spent maintaining the hardware and storage infrastructure. Using the AWS Snowball made it easy, fast and secure to transfer the huge amounts of data out of their local infrastructure into AWS. Using S3-IA along with i2mcloud Enterprise Backup to back up the most recent X-ray Images, provided a fast and easy way to retrieve any images required on the fly. This was the least expensive solution compared to other solution that were analyzed. XRAY Images now are processed a lot faster more securely, and durable. This left both the IT Staff and Western Pneumatic able to sleep at night and not worry about failing or dying infrastructure that constantly need to be maintained.