Seeing the big picture

Customer profile
Seeing the big picture
Omneo uses the Dell | Cloudera Hadoop Big Data Solution, accelerated by Intel®, to
help manufacturers gain a 360-degree view of the supply chain by accessing billions
of product data records in seconds
Company Industry Country Employees Website Omneo, a division of Camstar Systems, Inc.
Manufacturing & Supply Chain
United States
250+ (Camstar)
Business need
To enable global-brand owners
to manage product performance
and customer experience, Omneo
needed to collect, manage, search
and analyze vast amounts of diverse
data types, and it sought the right
software and hardware infrastructure
to support this effort.
The organization worked with Dell
and Cloudera to build a software
solution on top of the Cloudera®
Distribution Hadoop® (CDH)
platform running on a cluster of Dell
PowerEdge C8220 servers, giving
customers total product data visibility
throughout their entire supply chains.
“We are able to help customers search billions
of records in seconds with Dell infrastructure
and support, Cloudera’s Hadoop solution,
and our knowledge of supply chain and
product performance issues. That’s a powerful
combination for our customers.”
Karim Lokas, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy, Omneo
• 360-degree view of supply chain
• Searches billions of data records in
less than three seconds
• Scales to support 300 million
records every month
• Helps manufacturers and suppliers
detect emerging issues
• Saves millions of dollars and boosts
• Improves product quality,
performance, customer experience
and compliance
Solutions at a glance
• Big Data
Every day, manufacturers deliver millions of electronic devices
and other products to customers throughout the world. But
as customers become increasingly global and supply chains
become more dependent on partner networks, manufacturers
face a big challenge: identifying risks to product quality.
“With the visibility
provided by
this solution,
can put out more
consistent, better
products and have
less suspect product
go out the door.
That means you can
be more responsive
to your customers’
Karim Lokas, Senior Vice President
of Marketing and Product
Strategy, Omneo
“So much can go wrong, because you
have hundreds of millions of components
being sourced globally, put together and
pushed through distribution channels
to customers,” says Karim Lokas, senior
vice president of marketing and product
strategy for Omneo, a division of the
global enterprise manufacturing software
firm Camstar Systems.
In such a complex environment,
determining sources of risk is particularly
difficult because many manufacturers
do not have a single place to view all
their supply chain data. “The information
needed to make decisions is all over
the place, with different partners and
in different formats, and much of it is
inconsistent as a result,” Lokas says. “Also,
the volume of data continues to grow. So
companies need one common place to
search and analyze that data, and they
need to handle very large streams of data.”
In an effort to address these challenges,
Omneo wanted to develop a new
software solution that would give
companies an end-to-end, holistic view
of all product and supply chain data.
However, the company soon realized
that creating the solution with its existing
relational database management system
was not going to work. “That technology
was designed for transactional data
processing, not for massive analysis of
that data,” Lokas says. “We experimented
with relational databases, but we hit a
wall. Data volumes from our customers
were exceeding the system’s limitations.
We knew we needed to find the right
big-data system to support the solution
we wanted to build.”
Choosing the Hadoop platform and Dell
Omneo evaluated five of the six largest
data processing and storage technologies,
but the company concluded that a
solution based on ApacheTM Hadoop®
was the best fit in terms of performance,
scalability and total cost of ownership.
“Hadoop gave us the best cost-toperformance relationship and could
handle large volumes of data and allow us
to unify that data,” Lokas says. “It also gave
Products & Services
Dell PowerEdge C8000 Series
4U chassis
Dell PowerEdge C8220
compute nodes
Dell PowerEdge C8220X Series
worker nodes
Dell Networking S4810
10/40GbE Switches
Hadoop Platform:
- Cloudera Enterprise
Hadoop Components:
- Data Operating System
- Cloudera Distribution of Hadoop
- Cloudera Search
- Cloudera Impala
- Linux CentOS
us the opportunity to use cost-effective,
highly scalable hardware architectures.”
Once it decided on Hadoop software,
Omneo then needed to choose the
infrastructure behind its solution. “Early
on in the process, we realized we
needed a high-performing, scalable
infrastructure,” says Manash Chakraborty,
vice president of supply chain quality
solutions at Omneo. That led Omneo to
Dell. “We were already working with Dell
on a supplier quality initiative,” he says.
“Because of that relationship, we were
able to meet with their server
engineers and optimize the solution’s
configuration.” Dell representatives
suggested that Omneo implement Dell
PowerEdge C8220 2-socket servers,
powered by Intel® Xeon® E5-2600
processors, for the PowerEdge C8000
Series 4U chassis. “The C8220 platform
was uniquely designed to meet the
performance requirements Omneo was
looking for,” says Michael Shepherd, a
senior product strategist with Dell. “It
has an ideal number of HDD slots with
optimal CPU and memory configurations
to provide high-performance computing
at cost-effective rates.”
Omneo chose to run its solution on
a Hadoop distribution platform from
Cloudera, a Dell partner. The Cloudera®
Distribution of Hadoop (CDH) platform
includes Dell’s tested and validated
Reference Architecture. “Cloudera
offered strong support, and it has a
significant number of contributors to the
Hadoop project and sub-projects. With
that comes deep technical expertise,”
says Lokas. “So we really liked the
support and innovation we saw with
Cloudera.” Omneo conducted an internal
assessment to compare the cost of
CDH with IBM Netezza and the existing
Omneo relational database technology.
Cloudera showed a 75 percent lower
cost per terabyte than Netezza and 90
percent lower cost per terabyte than the
company’s existing system.
Product quality management solution
enables fast data search and analysis
After selecting the software and
infrastructure, Omneo created a new
cloud-based product data management
solution, based on a Cloudera enterprise
data hub (EDH) and running on Dell
PowerEdge C8220 compute nodes. The
application, designed to transform big
data into actionable intelligence, ingests
raw manufacturing data — including
factory, supplier, field services and
after-market repair data — and loads it
into the Hadoop Distributed File System
(HDFS). The data is then transformed,
contextualized and analyzed using
tools to support different workloads.
For example, the Hadoop MapReduce
software framework is used to transform
the data into any structure needed so
it can be manipulated, and the Apache
HBase columnar store offers an easy
way for users to access specific records
in real time. The application uses
Cloudera search technology to quickly
index all the raw data into a format that
makes sense for users. Customers can
access the EDH through an Omneo web
The solution ingests millions of data
points for customers each day from
dozens of disparate data sources. Using
the solution, Omneo customers can
quickly search, analyze and mine all
their data in a single place, so they can
identify and resolve supply chain issues
before they negatively affect customers
or sales. By entering a single serial
number, customers can access the
entire history of a part and its critical
Some of the largest manufacturers in
the world have chosen to implement
the Omneo solution. “The amount of
data the largest companies handle
for decision making and supply chain
quality is enormous,” says Chakraborty.
“It is all about accelerating your decision
velocity. They want an easier way to get
at that data faster, so they can make
better decisions.”
“This platform is
unique in that any
user can access
the website, point
and click, and find
what they’re looking
for. It no longer
takes a database
administrator and
IT requests to get to
the data you need.”
Karim Lokas, Senior Vice President
of Marketing and Product
Strategy, Omneo
Analyzes billions of records in seconds
Omneo customers can use the new
supply chain product data management
solution to get a 360-degree view of
supply chain data — from suppliers,
equipment, field service and repair
operations — easily searchable and
quickly accessible. One customer, in
fact, has been able to use the solution
to search 1.5 billion records in less than
three seconds. “We are able to help
customers search billions of records
in seconds with Dell infrastructure and
support, Cloudera’s Hadoop solution,
and our knowledge of supply chain
and quality issues,” says Lokas. That’s a
powerful combination for our customers.”
Several of the largest manufacturers
are taking advantage of the Omneo
application to quickly analyze global
product data. “It used to take our
manufacturing test person a week and
a half to analyze factory test times for
some of our products, and he can do it in
one day now because the Omneo system
is so responsive,” says one customer, who
works for a global technology company.
“That really unlocks the potential for
exploring data we otherwise couldn’t.”
The Omneo solution also gives more
people access to supply chain data
search and analysis. “This platform is
unique in that any user can access the
website, point and click, and find what
they’re looking for,” Lokas says. “It no
longer takes a database administrator and
IT requests to get to the data you need.”
Scales to support 300 million new
records a month
Because the Omneo application is
based on the scalable Hadoop big-data
system and high-performance Dell
servers, customer supply chain data is
easily scalable. “We currently have 2.3
billion data records in the system, and
it can support 300 million additional
new events per month,” says Lokas. That
scalability is key for companies needing
in-depth insight into their supply chains.
“It’s one thing if you’re a company that
sells a few thousand units per year, but
if you’re one of the larger companies,
and you’re making and shipping tens
of millions of units a year — each
one possibly having several hundred
components — there is no way you could
possibly identify all the risks associated
with those units without a powerful
solution like this.”
more time resolving issues and less time
identifying them, which affects revenues
and reduces warranty reserves and
liability. For example, one manufacturer
has reported total annual savings of
between $15 million and $25 million
because of the new insights it has gained
from the Omneo application.
Adds an Omneo customer, “It really does
come down to the scale of the data. For
example, I was asked by management to
go into our traditional database system
and break down all the different support
services purchased by customers. But
that’s 38 million records, so I had to
break it down further into about 2 million
rows to begin to process it. And after
about four hours, I came up with only
about four charts. But using the Omneo
solution, we have the ability to search
across all our data sets and generate
those charts in a few seconds each.”
Companies using the application have
also boosted productivity. “When
thousands of engineers and support
staff are equipped with one common
set of information, they spend up to 70
percent less time searching for data,”
says Lokas. “That unleashes a huge
productivity gain. So when thousands of
practitioners at customer locations are
more productive, they can make better,
more informed decisions every day about
product performance. With the visibility
provided by this solution, manufacturers
can put out more consistent, better
products and have less suspect product
go out the door. That means you can
be more responsive to your customers’
Manufacturers can better identify supply
chain issues
With a holistic view of different data sets,
large enterprises can more readily solve
potential supply chain quality problems.
“We have many dispersed product quality
data sets in multiple databases,” the
Omneo customer states. “For instance,
if there is a problem with a product, the
employee has to go ask someone for a
summary of the repair or return data for
that product. Then, they’d have to go
find the factory assembly data. There
are so many different pieces, and you
might only find your problem after
weeks or months of searching. We can
quickly span across all our different data
environments with the Omneo solution,
and it’s all pre-aggregated and running
in real time. That has solved some major
data access issues for us, and it’s opening
up an entirely new view of data and
helping us start the process of finding
Saves customers millions of dollars and
increases productivity
Having better visibility into supply chain
data helps Omneo customers spend
A partnership based on technology,
support and innovation
Omneo plans to enhance its partnership
with Dell and Cloudera as it seeks
to further refine its product data
management solution. “This has been
a great experience for all of us, from
the infrastructure and technology to
the overall support we get from Dell,”
says Chakraborty. “We see this as a very
long-term relationship with Dell, as we
grow our business and as Dell brings
more performance and power to the
infrastructure.” And as Omneo, Dell and
Cloudera continue to collaborate, the
organizations expect to offer additional
innovation. “I think we’re at the start of
a multifaceted journey together,” says
Lokas. “Looking ahead, we expect to
move beyond search and analytics into
more data mining and even using the
solution to predict product performance
and quality issues before they happen.
That could have a tremendous impact for
manufacturers in many ways.”
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