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In recognition in its industry leadership in innovation, ONGC has won the IDC Industry Innovation Award 2021 in Digital Innovation in Operations category. The award recognizes the Energy Maharatna’s efforts to overcome the limitations of its two-way DR solution by implementing a three-way Disaster Recovery (DR) storage and backup solution to reduce the business data loss to near zero in the event of disaster. The award was presented to ED - CIO HP Singh during a virtual event organized by IDC India.

The architecture is first of its kind in India across public and private sectors, where S4/ HANA systems have been deployed on premise in three-way architecture with ‘near zero’ RPO/data loss. This approach has enabled ONGC to build a model that allows systems or applications to quickly connect and communicate to manage, protect and capitalize on all data from edge to cloud from one platform and retain mission-critical infrastructure within its own data centers. ONGC has also been able to efficiently manage the working capital with zero capital outflow and meet capacity on demand with minimum lead time and adopt cloud-like agility.

The three-way DR Solution was envisaged to overcome the limitation of the existing two-way DR solution, reduce business data loss to near zero (zero RPO) in the event of a disaster at PDC and minimize the time to resume operations from DRDC. Three-way DR solution has PDC at ONGC Scope Minar Office in Delhi, DRDC at Vadodara with additional Near Site Data Centre (NSDC) at DUB Vasant Kunj Office in New Delhi.

The proposal was based on flexible capacity (Pay per Use) model instead of capex model. Under flexible capacity model, the IT infrastructure deployed shall be owned, operated, supported, and maintained by the Contractor as per SLAs. The advantages of Flexible Capacity Services based on ‘Pay per Use’ model are:

  • Zero capital outflow – entire cost is categorized as operating expenditure (OPEX)
  • No over provisioning cost - which would have been there in case of Capex
  • Capacity on demand with minimum commit of usage
  • Addresses technological obsolescence – Technology refresh at every 5-year interval
  • Service provider take care of disposal of e-waste after every Technology refresh

Under the two-way DR Solution, storage-to-storage online replication of data takes place from PDC, Delhi to DRDC, Vadodara in asynchronous mode using dual high speed communication links of 34 mbps configured in active-active mode. The IT infrastructure installed at DRDC, Vadodara under existing two-way DR solution, can meet DR functionality seamlessly to achieve business continuity.

This came as part of the implementation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) on SAP platform in 2002, under which Primary Data Centre (PDC) of Project ICE was established at Scope Minar, Delhi. The organization-wide roll out of ICE ERP services from PDC was completed in April 2004. To mitigate the risk of non-availability of ERP services from PDC, Delhi due to any disaster that may result into system downtime and data loss, Project ICE had established a Disaster Recovery Data Centre (DRDC) at Vadodara, a geographically separated location, which lies in different seismic zone from that of Delhi, during 2008.

The two-way DR solution was designed to meet RPO (Recovery Point Objective, which indicates maximum data loss in terms of time) of 15 minutes for all applications and RTO (Recovery Time Objective, which indicates maximum time to start the applications from DRDC) of 8 hours for ERP and 24 hours for other systems. It had a design limit of 15 minutes RPO, which may have had a major impact on the business of ONGC due to possible data loss in case of disaster at PDC.  This data loss may be 2.6 GB to 40 GB, depending on whether disaster takes place during off-peak hours or peak hours.

In three-way DR solution, all SAP transactions are simultaneously stored in the storages of PDC and NSDC. The key requirements of three-way DR are:

  • Replacement of storage system and associated accessories at PDC & DRDC.
  • The installation of new storage system with associated accessories at NSDC.
  • Synchronous replication between PDC and NSDC to ensure near zero data loss.
  • Asynchronous replication between PDC & DRDC and NSDC & DRDC for improving RTO.

With the induction of HANA IT Infrastructure through this project, the entire IT demand of a Data Center like Compute, Servers with Virtualization, Network, Security, Replications and Management tools for monitoring, 24 x 7 operation management with FMS and helpdesk shall be met/made available comprehensively in conjunction with three-way DR solution for storage and backup solution.

ONGC has adopted the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform to run its advanced enterprise storage and backup solution for mission-critical environment to improve performance, achieve near zero RPO in three-way architecture to accelerate digitization and effective RTO. ONGC has also chosen to host the SAP ERP workloads on the HPE GreenLake platform in ONGC data centers due to strategic compliance, performance, and security priorities.

Notably, similar strategy for long-term OPEX model was adopted for Servers and other IT equipment of project ICE (ERP for ONGC), which were due for refresh in 2019 at PDC and DRDC along with migration to new SAP S4 HANA ERP solution (which requires HANA compatible hardware).

Similar strategy for long term OPEX model was adopted for Servers and other IT equipment of project ICE (ERP for ONGC), which were due for refresh in 2019, at PDC and DRDC along with migration to new SAP S4 HANA ERP solution (Which requires HANA compatible hardware).

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