Renesas relies on mission-critical Sun SPARC systems at their Palm Bay, Florida location to control furnaces and support semiconductor production. As the systems aged, downtime caused by hardware failure became increasingly frequent and problematic. Craig Stevens, Principal Systems Analyst at Renesas, was responsible for the development and support of these systems. He was also the one responsible for responding to instances of downtime when one of the Sun SPARC systems experienced hardware failure. “When these systems fail, they call me in the middle of the night,” he explained. With the age of these systems, Stevens was receiving more of these middle-of-the-night calls than ever. “We probably have about, let’s say, three outages a year across these eleven systems,” he said, “and the recovery of that was taking us about two days per failure.” Stevens knew, too, that the situation was only going to get worse as time went on: “We anticipated that failure rate to go up, not down, as the hardware aged.” In addition to the increasing risk of hardware failure, a specific function of the systems was, in Stevens’s words, “taking excessively long.” He and his team were frustrated by the 34 minutes that function took to process. Renesas needed to find a way to eliminate risk and improve the performance of their systems.