Simple, protected, autonomous edge platform delivers security and high availability; significantly reduces the operational management workload of IT personnel
Toyko, Japan – December 13 2022 – Stratus Technologies Japan (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Yoshitake Matsumoto), a Japanese subsidiary of Stratus Technologies (Headquarters: Maynard, Massachusetts, USA; President and CEO: David C. Laurello, hereinafter referred to as “Stratus”), an SGH (Nasdaq: SGH) company and a global leader in simple, protected, and autonomous Edge Computing platforms, today announced that ZIP Corporation, a leader in logistics support services, has selected Stratus’ Edge Computing*3 platform, the Stratus ztC Edge platform as its IT system for managing shipping operations. The Stratus platform, which delivers redundancy*1 and high availability,*2 has been operating seamlessly for over a year with zero downtime.
*1 Redundancy: Redundancy refers to preparing or operating a spare device or system to duplicate it.
*2 High availability: Availability is the ability of a system or device to continue to operate without interruption. A state in which availability is enhanced is called high availability.
*3 Edge Computing: A distributed computing model that processes information physically close to the place where data is generated, such as the place where people work or the factory where things are produced, rather than in a data center or cloud.
Application Availability, Support, and TCO
ZIP Corporation selected Stratus ztC Edge based on three key points:
Availability: Always-On server that delivers 24/7/365 availability
Stratus’ ztC Edge is a zero-touch, secure and automated Edge Computing platform, purpose built for edge environments. It consists of two redundant nodes that operate as a single system, with autonomous monitoring and self-protection functions. Even in the unlikely event that one of the nodes fails, processing is automatically switched to the standby node, and the system continues to operate without interruption. It provides continuous availability, which is essential for logistics companies with non-stop distribution operations.
Support: Long-term maintenance and comprehensive support
Intended for harsh edge environments such as factories and industrial sites, ztC Edge is supported by a long-term maintenance contract. There is no need to update the system, meaning it can be used continuously, so investment costs can be reduced. Stratus’ comprehensive maintenance service, which remotely monitors the system, ensures the health of the platform and maximizes continuous availability.
Value: Lower total cost of ownership
The stable operation of the system reduces the operational burden on IT personnel, such as troubleshooting, and allows them to concentrate on other responsibilities. As a result, the cost of operation and maintenance as well as the cost of ownership is reduced.
ztC Edge Solves Business and Operations Issues
In considering the requirements for their edge platform, ZIP Corporation faced the following challenges:
- Operating dedicated servers in a secure environment that handles personal information
ZIP’s business system, which provides logistics support services, has a wide range of different requirements for each customer, and also requires tight security in order to handle confidential information, including personal information. As a result, the company is required to have a dedicated server for each customer and operate the system on-premises.
The IT system is the basis of all shipping operations, but ZIP was faced with the problem of inefficiency in terms of both operations and costs, due to the number of servers in each location.
- Unplanned downtime and added work during system failure
ZIP makes more than 20,000 shipments per customer per day. In the event of a system failure, the infrastructure administrator was required to rush to the site and manually restore the system, which not only stopped shipping operations during that time, but also placed a heavy burden on system operation management.
As a result, ztC Edge was selected for ROI, ease of use, and compact design. In addition to meeting technical criteria, ztC Edge met ZIP Corporation’s practical requirements:
- ROI justified the investment
As a solution to the issues, ZIP adopted Stratus’ ztC Edge, which keeps operations running even if hardware fails. ztC Edge is designed for harsh edge environments such as factories and comes with long-term maintenance. Considering the costs incurred in the event of a failure, the total cost assuming use for 10 years was judged to be sufficiently worth the investment.
- Easy set up and node replacement by user
Another benefit is that the ZIP team can handle the setup. ZIP confirmed that ztC Edge is easy to replace should a node fail — a benefit valued highly in its 24/7/365 operations.
- Quiet, fanless and compact design suitable for multiple environments
Given various server installation environments, ztC Edge’s fanless design has the advantage that it is quiet and does not cause disruption. Paying attention to such advantages, the company will adopt ztC Edge as standard equipment in the future.
Digital Transformation Supports Future Growth
The Stratus ztC Edge platform has been utilized as Zip’s IT system for managing shipping operations since February 2021 and has had no issues over that 1 year and 9-month period. This unstoppable track record has been highly praised by ZIP as the company has introduced ztC Edge across its operations. Currently, four sets are in operation, and ZIP is in the process of introducing another two sets.
Susumu Naritomo, General Manager of Development Headquarters of ZIP, said, “The efficiency of ZIP’s shipping operation has increased due to the non-stop operation and the burden on the person in charge has been greatly reduced. My mission is to support the growth of the company. With ztC Edge, I can now focus on more creative tasks such as promoting DX and developing human resources.”
Eiji Minabe, President and Representative Director, at ZIP Corporation, regarding future IT strategies, said, “In order for our company to grow further in the future, it is essential to promote the DX strategy. As part of this, we are promoting activities to improve the IT literacy of our employees, such as holding workshops on the themes of RPA and AI. Strengthening our IT infrastructure is also an important management issue that we must continue to work on. I have heard many times that the work of the people in charge has improved significantly with the introduction of ztC Edge. I have high hopes for Stratus products in the future.”
Reference Image: ZIP System Structure
Zero-touch Edge Computing: Stratus’ ztC Edge Platform for critical industrial sites
Stratus Technologies Japan has provided high availability solutions to avoid downtime in mission-critical systems for customers of various industries and enterprise sizes. In recent years, due to IIoT initiatives at industrial sites and distribution sites, a huge amount of data is generated from IoT sensors and devices and utilization such as collection and analysis has progressed. System availability has become essential.
Stratus’ ztC Edge platform is a zero-touch Edge Computing ※4 solution that meets the needs of on-site high-availability servers. Some of the high-level benefits of the platform are:
- Robust product design specialized for operation at industrial sites
- Excellent environmental resistance
- High availability with redundant configuration, as well as a redundant configuration of two nodes (equipment connected by network), so that even in the event of a failure, on-site operations will not stop and the node will remain on.
- Autonomous computing device that is easy to operate
- High performance
Stratus’ ztC Edge platform provides high availability solutions to avoid downtime in mission-critical systems for customers of various industries and enterprise sizes. To continue processing, a failed node can be fixed by simply replacing the chassis and reconnecting cables and the data is automatically resynchronized, enabling maintenance without stopping work. A redundant configuration can be easily restored and operated without dedicated IT staff.
*4 Zero-Touch: Ease of operation and maintenance. By reducing the operational load, it is possible to resolve the shortage of human resources for operations, and the high availability can significantly reduce work and operation costs.
Zip Co., Ltd. started in 1991 as a logistics service company of Benesse Corporation, which is familiar with “Shinkenzemi” and is a company that develops business centered on logistics support services. They started their business as a delivery agent for Benesse Corporation’s learning materials and direct mail and have expanded to support mail-order companies and mass retailers by making use of the know-how they have accumulated there. Today, in addition to logistics support, they have established a unique position as a direct marketing solutions company, offering sales promotion support, BPO services such as call center operation and customer data management. The number of items to be shipped each year has reached about 300 million, and the reputation of “ZIP is good for logistics support such as product shipping and DM shipping” has spread widely throughout the industry. Inquiries from corporate clients are also increasing.
For leaders digitally transforming their operations to drive predictable, peak performance with minimal risk, Stratus ensures the continuous availability of business-critical applications by delivering zero-touch Edge Computing platforms that are simple to deploy and maintain, protected from interruptions and threats, and autonomous. For 40 years, we have provided reliable and redundant zero-touch computing, enabling global Fortune 500 companies and small-to-medium sized businesses to securely and remotely turn data into actionable intelligence at the Edge, cloud and data center – driving uptime and efficiency. For more information, please visit www.stratus.com or follow on Twitter @StratusAlwaysOn and LinkedIn @StratusTechnologies
* Stratus, Stratus logo, ztC Edge are trademarks or registered trademarks of Stratus Technologies Bermuda Ltd.
All other marks are the property of their respective holders.