BP tunes Maximo component of E&P Backbone

IBM Pulse presentation describes consolidation and performance tuning of MRO system.

Speaking at the 2009 IBM ‘Pulse’ IT automation and industrialization event in Las Vegas this month, Jim McHugh described BP’s global E&P Backbone, built around IBM’s Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) flagship, Maximo. McHugh described the status quo ante as comprising, ‘Too many customized instances of materials management, work management, procurement and financial tools. Such multiple systems create complexity.’ BP’s answer is the E&P Backbone, spanning multiple ‘themes’ of work management (Maximo), materials management, purchase to pay and finance (SAP). The backbone sets out to provide ‘consistent end-to-end system responsiveness and stability for the end user experience.’ A ‘virtual team’ from BP and IBM performed an analysis of work management system (WMS) performance to identify issues and constraints and to determine and test corrective actions. System components including Maximo (application plus database), servers, BEA WebLogic were studied along with networks, firewalls, encryption and operating systems. Performance was compared across Houston-based users of WMS (Maximo), other applications and other BP Maximo deployments.

The study resulted in a hardware ‘landscape’ comprising IBM Blade servers in a 2 node failover cluster. Maximo databases run on Oracle 10G on Unix. Actuate and Business Objects are used for reporting. Maximo data loaders and Microsoft Project interface servers also ran. Network latency was addressed by implementing compression (GZip) and browser file caching (MaxAge). BP now plans to automate performance monitoring and is re-appraising its tool set to include third-party providers.

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