AI ENABLES HANDLING EXTREME DATA AMOUNTS
Danske Commodities (Danish Commodities) is one of Denmark’s fastest-growing companies. The company specializes in electricity and gas trade. Trading is based on monitoring the European markets around the clock while receiving and analyzing huge amounts of data every day about the conditions affecting the markets. It puts high demands on the company’s data processing and storage, but thanks to new artificial intelligence (AI) driven solutions, it is possible to receive and analyse data faster than ever before.
Few people may have heard of the Aarhus-based company, which moves electricity and gas resources around the European markets. However, Danske Commodities is one of the Danish companies with the largest turnover. Last year's finance report showed a profit of just over 77 million Euro. Thanks to the implementation of a new data management solution, the company is also setting a new standard for how artificial intelligence can be deployed for in an increasingly database-driven business environment.
“We are hugely data-driven. Everything moves very fast, and we make many trades during a day. Therefore, our IT infrastructure must ensure that we have up-to-date data available because it is a crucial foundation for making the right decisions. It can cost us a lot of money if data is outdated and we make decisions on the wrong basis,” Lars Vedeloe, Head of Operations and Services at Danske Commodities, explains.
The typical workstation at Danske Commodities consists of 15 screens. From here, an employee can monitor a plethora of relevant data. For example, you need to know the weather forecast for the countries trading green energy, and meteorologists are employed solely to analyze the incoming weather data.
Danske Commodities has about 300 employees, working in three-team shifts, covering 24 hours a day when the markets need to be monitored. The company is dependent on a finely tuned storage solution, which has the capacity to handle the trades of a given day while simultaneously rapidly processing incoming data. That was exactly what Lars Vedeloe and his team were looking for when they started a collaboration with Danoffice IT.
“We knew that our existing storage solution had limitations, and it is critical for us that our data resource is constantly running. We lacked both the capacity to receive the daily data and to process it quickly enough,” Lars Vedeloe explains.
His IT department consists of just 20 people who work with infrastructure, support, security and facilities. There is no time for maintenance, and due to the heavy dependency on up-to-date data, downtime is not an option.
Danoffice IT has in-depth knowledge and understanding of HPE products. This expertise contributed to Danske Commodities choosing the company as a partner for devising a new storage solution. In just a week, the two parties found a storage solution for hardware and software, as well as Proactive Service, and the implementation process could begin.
HPE 3PAR is a premier product range in the storage market. It lies at the heart of the new solution, which helps ensure that Danske Commodities can handle the necessary, huge data amounts today and far into the future.
“The special feature of the solution is the 3PAR, which is very fast and gives us completely new IT operations opportunities. We can add more servers and hard drives without compromising our uptime," Lars Vedeloe explains, adding:
"We run two data centers, so we always have a backup to make sure we never experience downtime."
HPE 3PAR stands on the shoulders of many years of experience and previous generations of solutions. It is characterised by high reliability, stability, performance, and is specifically built to be the foundation of state-of-the-art data centers. The in-built technology is backed by AI, which ensures the smooth processing of massive amounts of data.
According to Lars Vedeloe, this is not the only advantage of the new solution:
"The solution is actually simpler than the old one, which makes it easier to operate and monitor," he explains.
Danoffice IT has provided service and support to the solution throughout the process, as well as worked proactively with updating the surrounding IT environment and associated support and services to ensure optimal uptime and availability. Lars Vedeloe regards the collaboration with Danoffice IT as great:
“Danoffice IT has brought a high level of skill and professionalism throughout the course of the project. They were really good at providing the information we needed, and we had a clear experience that they were there for us when we needed them. Their approach helped provide a great deal of confidence in the process, and we reach the target of integrating a new, high-performing solution!”
On the storage side, the solution includes 3PAR StoreServ Allflash 9450 4N with 102.5TB usable capacity, distributed on eight shelves (max. 48). It is configured as ~ 155,023 IOPS at 64K blocks with a 70/30 read/write distribution and an average latency of 0.5ms locally per 3PAR. The solution provides approx. 9,600 MB/s and each has a total of 24x16Gbit Fibre Channel ports. In addition, it has four fully redundant SN6000B SAN switches with 48 active ports.
Danske Commodities is an international energy trading company founded in 2004. The company's headquarters are located in Aarhus, Denmark, but Danske Commodities is present in 39 countries and offers expert knowledge in trading combined with the use of advanced data analytics. Their services include portfolio management, risk management and production optimisation.
In 2019, Danske Commodities was acquired by Norwegian Equinor (formerly Statoil).
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