“We knew that we had to consider other options. But we didn’t want to relocate our data center somewhere else because we wanted to go to the cloud,” says Aki Kemppi, Head of Global IT Infrastructure for Huhtamaki. “We wanted to modernize, be more agile and be ready for the future with a Cloud First strategy.”
After deciding to launch its Cloudification project, Huhtamaki developed several focus areas to guide the selection of a cloud provider. The first area was cost management—to avoid operational cost increases and carry over the favorable terms of existing licenses. Huhtamaki prioritized the architectural design of a hybrid multicloud network that would be scalable and secure. The solution needed to include a disaster recovery plan as well as an exit plan to avoid vendor lock.
Another key consideration was ease of operation. “With a lot of the cloud providers we talked with, it was difficult to understand the logic behind how they do things. The visibility wasn’t there,” says Kemppi. “For our people working with the cloud, if we can make their life easier, there will be fewer mistakes. Simplicity and visibility have meaning.”
For over 10 years, Huhtamaki operated VMware platforms to manage workloads in its on-premises data centers. This raised the importance of finding a cloud provider experienced with VMware integration. “Everybody we talked to said that they had VMware services in their portfolio, but it was usually one-size-fits-all. We wanted more custom solutions, optimized licensing and full service,” says Kemppi. “When comparing the VMware options on the market, we saw that the most comprehensive options for our needs came from IBM Cloud.”
Migrated data center workloads to IBM Cloud to be Agile and take advantage of digital innovation for future growth and scalability
Saw significant savings in licensing costs with BYOL flexibility supported by IBM Cloud, with no license re-purchases necessary
Working with IBM and IBM Business Partner Managerit (link resides outside of ibm.com) Huhtamaki deployed workloads from its Hong Kong data center to the IBM Cloud® data center in Singapore—one of over 46 IBM Cloud data centers across nine global regions. IBM® Hybrid Cloud Solutions are built for local access, low latency and certified security to make applications and databases highly available, fault tolerant and scalable.
IBM’s Global Cloud Acceleration Team designed an architecture for Huhtamaki that included IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers and IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions for workload flexibility and scalability. The solution also included IBM Cloud Object Storage for flexible and scalable storage of unstructured data and IBM Gateway Appliances to provide enhanced control over network traffic and accelerated performance. “A big benefit of working with IBM is that their cloud operation is simple to adapt,” says Kemppi. “I am happy with how they made the architecture fit for our purpose.”
Huhtamaki was also able to move its existing VMware licenses to IBM Cloud so it didn’t incur additional licensing costs after the migration. “We also wanted to continue using our existing Microsoft licenses,” says Kemppi. “With IBM Cloud, you can use the Microsoft licenses in the same way you used them on premises. BYOL [bring your own license] is a big part of our enablement.”
Although Huhtamaki started its Cloudification project by moving to IBM Cloud in Singapore, plans were already in place to conduct a similar migration in Europe by moving its data center in Finland to the IBM Cloud data center in Frankfurt. “One of the big benefits of connecting IBM Cloud in Singapore with IBM Cloud in Frankfurt is that connectivity is free of charge with IBM,” says Kemppi. “With other cloud providers, connectivity costs can be really high.”
Huhtamaki plans to use IBM Cloud data centers in Singapore and Frankfurt as disaster recovery sites for each other and will combine management of the sites to optimize workloads. “I don’t want to understate the fact that we were able to build our own network gateway on IBM Cloud,” says Kemppi. “With Singapore and Frankfurt together, we gain full control for routing traffic between the two IBM locations to the Huhtamaki network. How we manage the network gives us big control advantages when compared to other cloud providers.”
“There was good trust and communication between all the parties involved. IBM listened to us and we learned from them,” says Kemppi. “We took the best ideas to configure the architecture, and I feel that we truly worked together for this cloud solution.”
With migration to the IBM Cloud data center in Singapore completed and Frankfurt scheduled for completion in 2022, Huhtamaki is seeing the business benefits it expected. “Our cloud costs may be slightly less than with on prem but at least we are cost-neutral, which was our intention,” says Kemppi. “You move to the cloud for more functionality and agility, so if you keep costs level, you’re in a good place.”
Huhtamaki appreciates the time savings and flexibility provided by IBM Cloud when adding new services. “If we need more disk space or more computing capacity, we just launch it,” Kemppi says. “If we don’t need computing for the load that used to be there, we can reduce it and optimize the cost, which is something we couldn’t do with on-prem operations.”
Moving computing workloads to IBM Cloud data centers supports Huhtamaki’s sustainable-to-the-core strategic business objectives. “We work with vendors that take sustainability as seriously as we do. With a cloud provider like IBM, the equipment and electricity are used as efficiently as they can be,” says Kemppi. “How the electricity is produced and how equipment is recycled is taken care of by IBM. That is very important for us.”
As the world’s leading producer of paper cups, and a leader in sustainable and recyclable food packaging, Huhtamaki has ambitious growth objectives. “Now that our computing capacity is so agile, we are ready,” says Kemppi. “There is so much more we can do with IBM Cloud when we go into the future.”
Founded over 100 years ago, Huhtamaki (link resides outside of ibm.com) is a key provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world. The company operates in 37 countries and 113 locations and has over 19,000 employees worldwide. In 2021, net sales totaled EUR 3.6 billion. Huhtamaki Group is based in Espoo, Finland and its parent company, Huhtamaki Oyj, is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.
Managerit (link resides outside of ibm.com) is based in Tuusula, Finland and provides a full range of IT sales services, ranging from secure data centers with cloud solutions to updating employees with new computers. Managerit’s service package offers customers reliable and flexible solutions in global logistics, even in more challenging situations, with the help of professional staff.
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Produced in the United States of America, January 2023.
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