(Host) carrozzeria car navigation is very convenient. However, management of the enormous amount of information required large electric power. Today, I would like "behind-the-scenes" individuals who significantly reduced electric power to candidly reveal the challenges.
Car Electronics Strategic Business Planning Division: Kuwahara, Shirasaka, Kurata, Shiina
IT Division: Hayasaka, Arima
(Host) Quality Assurance Division: Fukushima
(Car) The Smart Loop of the carrozzeria allows us to drive eco-friendly while avoiding traffic congestion using information in real time between many vehicles and information accumulated by us, and to know the latest map information and parking lot vacancies. It is an awesome amount of "collective knowledge."
(Car) The Smart Loop which started operations in 2007 received an Eco-Products Award and has earned a widespread recognition. Also, information has been released that the number of accumulated shipments of just RAKU NAVI exceeded 3 million in 2012. An increase in the number of customers has also lead to an increase in the amount of data, and servers necessary for data management of car navigation have increased more and more. During each expansion, the optimum system at the time was built, the methods were not unified.
(Car) Enormous data required a significant amount of electric power and many data centers. "This was not efficient. Electric power and cost increased, which is not good for the environment! We need to do something." As a result, we started to consider plans and countermeasures seriously.
(Host) There was a shortage of electric power due to the planned outage after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Was this a response to that?
(Car) No, the plan was started in 2010, and energy savings were considered systematically before the earthquake. We engaged in frequent turning off of lighting and equipment at the workplace etc. However, this was not enough so we considered that fundamental reform was required.
(Host) What was the fundamental reform?
(Car) You said that we were "individuals in the background", however, we continuously had a strong sense of mission and responsibility. "Showing the Pioneer spirit, challenge for innovating new technologies, and setting our sights on a significant double eco-effect!" This is it.
(Host) What is the significant double eco-effect?
"We put the first priority on never degrading quality with respect to the provision of information and collection for customers." We planned the introduction of advanced IT technologies, contribute to environment by reducing power consumption
(Host) What are the advanced IT technologies?
(IT) The advanced IT technologies mean virtual technologies, specifically, cloud and storage convergence. We considered saving electric power and improving operation efficiency using IT resources with these technologies.
We did not have much experience with virtualization so we felt "very uneasy" at that time. The following are the reasons.
(Host) Were they successfully introduced?
(IT) This was an unprecedented large scale introduction, and there were some difficulties as we expected. However, something more than we expected occurred. We started to relocate data centers in 2010, and the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred in March of the following year when the relocation started successfully. Our members instinctively held the rack storing the server. Fortunately, there was no damage to the relocating servers, however, the power of other systems and the network were disconnected, and system fault occurred
(IT) Although it was already turning out to be a complicated relocation, we suffered the earthquake. However, information services for customers must not be stopped. Therefore, "Introduction" and "recovery" were simultaneously started with no waiting time despite our situation. Overnight works continued and our hearts were almost broken from impatience and uneasiness. No one knew who said "now let's give up…" "No, we will not. People in the disaster areas are having a harder time than we care." "We must embody the Pioneer spirits." So, "we will realize an eco-friendly society with customers!" All of us fought back tears and clenched our fists at that moment.
(IT) Convergence and relocation of the last of the six data centers were completed in March 2012. Our initiative significantly reduced conventional physical servers, consolidated the data centers into one location and reduced power consumption and CO2 emissions greatly.
600 physical servers
33 blade servers
Number of data centers
Annual power consumption
(IT) This information which our data centers manage is important car navigation data which forms the backbone of the Global Positioning System. The media also paid attention and TV stations interviewed us, so we provided and explanation on our data management.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
Building of data center
(Car and IT) Received "Kawasaki Environmental Show-Window Award"* and "Pioneer Environmental Contribution Award."
(Host) Thank you for joining us today.
Harumitsu Saito Executive Officers and Prize winners