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Plastic Logic creates Enterprise class infrastructure to launch electronic reading phenomenon


Plastic Logic’s advances in plastic electronics are resulting in the world’s thinnest, lightest, largest and most robust plastic displays and its new eReader product has been applauded as one of the most significant recent developments in the printed electronics industry. 

Measuring 8.5 inches by 11 inches, the Plastic Logic eReader is a big readable display that is thinner than a pad of paper and lighter than many business periodicals. Magazine and newspaper articles, books or business documents can be loaded onto it, either directly from your computer or wirelessly and a wide range of business formats are supported, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Adobe PDF.

The challenge

Plastic Logic carried out the research and development work at its original premises in Cambridge, UK but when eReader needed to go into manufacture it was decided to develop a commercial-scale plastic electronics facility on a brown field site in Dresden, Germany. The IT had to support a comprehensive Management Enterprise System (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System. Replication of critical data was also vital so it was decided to build identical infrastructures both at Dresden and in a new Cambridge datacentre.

To achieve this, Plastic Logic needed a partner with a pedigree in designing and creating Enterprise class infrastructures and networks. Following a tender process, the choice was telent.

The solution

We chose telent over the others because theirs was the most professional response. Also, they were the only company that really understood what we wanted to do in terms of the hardware solution and our need to ensure that redundancy was built in,” explains Ben Adderley, Global IT Infrastructure and Operations Manager for Plastic Logic.

“It was also useful that telent is a Professional Services Partner with Hewlett-Packard because that meant they could design and install a full solution rather than just selling us the boxes. Working with telent is a much more rounded and meaningful relationship and their ability to offer that totally comprehensive service is a major strength.”

Once the requirements were scoped and deadlines set, telent designed then oversaw implementation of the crucial platforms, first in Cambridge and then in Dresden. A significant challenge was to create the Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) based Verizon Wide Area Network (WAN) links that would support essential data replication for disaster recovery between the two distant sites.

Each platform is composed of an HP Storage Area Network (SAN) with HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Arrays (EVA) and HP ProLiant DL385 and DL585 servers. Backup is done on HP StorageWorks MSL tape libraries. Using HP Continuous Access software, data is replicated between the two sites with Oracle ERP data held in Cambridge being replicated to Dresden and MES data held in Dresden being replicated to Cambridge. VMware has also been used for extensive virtualisation of the server landscape, enabling Plastic Logic to reduce its physical platform down to a handful of servers while still deploying an enterprise environment at greatly reduced cost.

The results

Since the main implementations, telent has also given Plastic Logic remote help to install a virtualised platform at its US headquarters.

“Both the design and the infrastructure are working well and we have absolutely no complaints,” says Adderley. “The job that telent engineers do is extremely professional. You can tell the difference between a company that provides a fully rounded service and one that just puts infrastructure in.

“Since we are a comparatively new company that is poised for rapid growth, we needed an infrastructure to support that growth. That is what telent has created for us and their enterprise-level IT systems will give us essential support for the future.”

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