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United Business Group WLL

Success Story+-


Whether petrochemical production or IT, EQUATE is a highly technology-driven company and depends on IT processes running around the clock. To put things simple: no IT, no output, no revenue. Therefore, it was key for EQUATE’s leaders to have NetApp solutions in place which help them to cope with a fast-paced business and live up to the company’s growth plans.

Established in 1995 as Kuwait’s first international joint-venture in this industry, EQUATE Petrochemical Company embodies its “Partners in Success” slogan through the partnership between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC), and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is currently the owner and single-operator of several fully integrated world-class units in Kuwait, North America, and Europe that annually produce over 6 million tons of the highest quality petrochemicals.

EQUATE is a highly technology-driven company. Its leaders have a deep sense and understanding of business growth and innovation enabled by cutting-edge IT technology. All production processes at EQUATE depend on an IT infrastructure with software from SAP, AspenTech, Microsoft, and others. A team of 80 experts is in charge of all IT services, operates EQUATE’s data centers, and supports about 1,500 users.

“Progress and developments in our industry happen at a very fast pace and being prepared is key to overall success,” says Faisal Malallah, IT leader at EQUATE. “Our plant is working day and night all year. If it stopped even for just 30 minutes, we would lose production output and a considerable amount of revenue.”

Because IT is the backbone of the company, EQUATE’s IT organization constantly strives to run the infrastructure at high levels of performance and reliability. When the company’s storage platform was up for renewal, the team looked for a future-proof replacement. The new solution needed to improve business continuity and provide high performance with simple management, while being able to cater easily for even more applications and data.

EQUATE chose NetApp® as new storage supplier. “NetApp met our technology needs and offered the necessary solutions,” says Moneer Bouyabis, project manager of SAN storage at EQUATE. “As a world-class organization, we want to partner with seasoned companies and state-of-theart technology. We heard many good things about NetApp. This and the fact that NetApp is recognized as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant added definitely to our decisions.”

The team selected two NetApp FAS hybrid flash arrays running the NetApp ONTAP® operating system in a twonode configuration. Top performance is provided automatically to where it’s needed most, such as to the Citrix VDI and SAP applications.

Most of EQUATE’s server environment is virtualized and relies on the shared storage set up as FC SAN. NetApp engineers supported the implementation and data migration from EQUATE’s previous HP EVA system. Altogether, it was a smooth and fast process. Instead of the estimated months, the platform was ready for production within weeks, which is about half the previous duration. NetApp’s partner United Business Group WLL helped facilitate the process.

EQUATE now needs less capacity than before. “We decreased terabytes by over 20% simply by a smart SAN volume layout,” says Abdulrazzak Abdulrasool, Windows & Messaging administrator at EQUATE. “By applying thin provisioning and deduplication, we reduced storage capacity considerably. We not only save storage capacity with NetApp, but we can utilize it much better.” The systems are sized to meet the current demand easily and can scale at any time in any direction.

Today, NetApp technology is at the heart of EQUATE’s data infrastructure. “Everything is working per plan. With the NetApp solution, we are reducing downtime and scalability to simple management and high performance. Our users are meeting their objectives. It’s very beneficial that we can deliver SAP reports and dashboards 30% faster than before,” says Bouyabis. “NetApp’s commitment to EQUATE was key in meeting our expectations.”

“We can see the storage needs of each file server and thus will be able to work with the departments for its usage,” says Bouyabis, adding, “And there is more. Insight in file or folder usage will help us assess data usage in general and decide which applications can be turned into a cloud service or must stay on the premises due to availability needs.” To date, EQUATE runs Microsoft collaboration solutions and a few other applications as cloud services.

By selecting NetApp ONTAP systems, EQUATE can scale the capacity on demand and has the opportunity to tap into the Data Fabric enabled by NetApp. With the Data Fabric, customers can span data management seamlessly across disk, flash, and the cloud. Data is always where it’s needed, and can be moved around with simple mouse clicks.

Bouyabis concludes, “With the NetApp data infrastructure we are more prepared to include additional data, users, and processes. IT technology plays a role in EQUATE’s business growth and I am happy that we contribute reliably to the company’s success.”

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Business Benefits+-

  • Relies on market-leading technology
  • Built a future-proof data infrastructure
  • Achieved simplicity of management
  • Gained scalability on demand
  • Improved business continuity for 24/7 production processes
  • Enjoys increased capacity savings from storage efficiency
  • Accelerated SAP reporting by 30%
  • Can evolve the IT strategy to the cloud through assessment of data usage

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