Électricité de France

Scality RING ensures data availability for the world’s largest electric utility

EDF_Cover

EDF can now confidently grow its storage capacity without limits, interruptions or downtime

Électricité de France (EDF) produces, markets, and distributes electricity, as well as a wide range of natural gas, electricity and energy eco-efficiency services. A significant enterprise, EDF is ranked #112 on the 2020 Forbes 2000 and employs nearly 160,000 people worldwide.

Headquartered in Paris, with €71.3 billion in revenues in 2019, EDF operates a diverse portfolio of 120+ gigawatts of generation capacity in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The challenge

For EDF, data availability is mission-critical. Through disk failures, server outages, upgrades, you name it — data must remain accessible to meet compliance requirements, safety requirements and business requirements. When there’s a problem, it’s visible to customers and the consequences are serious.

For example, a few years ago the company had a major issue with its high-end storage: three disks failed, resulting in loss of access to data for three days. That outage had a major impact on customer service and the people who deliver it — the customer service call center team couldn’t pull up customer information,  essentially rendering them useless to customers for three whole days. One more day without data access surely would have resulted in a strike.  

  • “Our Scality RING deployment won an innovation award because it brought strong, resilient storage for multiple use cases at half the cost of competitive solutions.”

    Ruggero Gatti Data management engineer, EDF
The outcome

After considering a few different categories of new technology — including hyperconverged, virtualization and software-defined — EDF brought in Scality RING for proof-of-concept testing. A battery of tests validated its data integrity and availability capabilities, as well as its performance and compatibility with applications. Things went so well, in fact, they moved to the “go-live” stage of use for the first two use cases: backup and big data.

  • Backup: Configured as an AFTD (advanced file type device), Scality RING holds full monthly backups written to it by Dell EMC NetWorker. Stretched across two data centers, these backups enable EDF to achieve its zero RPO objective.
  • Big data: As a data lake for the company’s big data applications using ElasticSearch, Scality RING is offloading expensive primary storage, while keeping the data easily and readily available when it’s needed.

Since partnering with Scality, EDF’s IT team has been presented an innovation award honoring their deployment of Scality RING. The recognition has piqued interest from other departments as well. With two use cases already operational and several more being investigated, EDF says, “Expanding the Scality RING, that will mean success.”

  • Stability & availability
    Scality RING can tolerate the loss of an entire data center and part of another, plus upgrades and expansions are done with zero downtime.
  • Cost savings
    The Scality RING solution came in at 50% of the cost of the alternatives. More reliability at a lower price point is a huge win.
  • Award-winning innovation
    Scality RING represents modernization for EDF. Deployment of the solution won the team a coveted innovation award.