Mars Cinema Group provides five-star customer service supported by Lenovo infrastructure

Mars Cinema Group suffered from increasingly frequent server outages, disrupting operations and resulting in customer complaints. To keep key ticketing and sales systems online and to provide customers with the best possible cinema experience, Mars decided on an enterprise-wide infrastructure refresh. The company is currently working with Lenovo Business Partner Novatech to replace its entire data center infrastructure with Lenovo technology. Today, system performance and availability have dramatically improved, so that customers can be sure of catching the latest blockbusters.
“I knew from prior experience that System x technology had just what we were looking for. They are truly enterprise-class servers.”
 —Cenk Aktekin,
Head of IT,
Mars Cinema Group
Solution components
Lenovo System x3850 X6 with Intel® Xeon® E7 processors
Lenovo System x3650 with Intel Xeon E5 processors
IBM Storwize V3700, V7000
Microsoft Active Directory
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Windows Server
VMware ESXi
24/7 Warranty Support for three years
“Performance and availability have improved so much that, in the cinemas with the Lenovo solution, we no longer get any customer complaints!”
 —Cenk Aktekin,
Head of IT,
Mars Cinema Group
Mars Cinema Group is Turkey’s market-leading cinema chain and prides itself on offering customers a unique viewing experience, with everything from IMAX theaters, floor-to-ceiling screens and 4DX immersive experiences. Operating under the Cinemaximum brand, Mars manages 85 cinemas with over 700 screens in 32 cities across the country.

Reaching the limit
Cenk Aktekin, Head of IT at Mars Cinema Group, begins: “Mars offers a unique movie experience by combining cutting-edge technology and comfort with exceptional customer services. We rely on a host of business systems to give moviegoers a top-notch experience, and it is vital for us to keep these systems running smoothly around the clock – otherwise we risk damaging customer satisfaction and losing valuable business.”

In the past, Mars suffered regular outages to key customer-facing applications, such as ticketing and sales systems, as a result of its diverse, aging and inefficient infrastructure. The company had several models of small servers in place across cinemas and at its central data center, as well as different storage devices.

Cenk Aktekin comments: “It was becoming increasingly difficult to manage such a varied assortment of hardware. To make matters worse, they were consumer-grade platforms and not up to the job of supporting mission-critical applications and workloads – particularly as Mars continues to expand. Due to server issues, many applications, including ticketing and sales systems, often went down unexpectedly. This meant that cinemas couldn’t sell any tickets or refreshments during outages, or process tickets bought online. Interruption to services was impacting customer satisfaction and revenues – something had to give.”

Cenk Aktekin remarks: “To improve services, we knew that we needed to improve the underlying IT infrastructure. We wanted a reliable, high-availability solution across all sites, so decided to undergo a complete infrastructure refresh.”

New beginnings
After evaluating offerings from a range of vendors, Mars decided to replace its existing server and storage infrastructure with Lenovo System x servers and IBM Storwize devices.

Cenk Aktekin recalls: “I knew from prior experience that System x technology had just what we were looking for. The System x servers are truly enterprise-class machines, offering very high levels of availability, performance and scalability. What’s more, the excellent build-quality means that they are very robust and durable – the Lenovo servers ticked all the boxes.”

Mars worked closely with Lenovo Business Partner Novatech to implement four Lenovo System x3850 X6 servers featuring the Intel® Xeon® E7 family of processors, and one Storwize V7000 device, at its main data center. In addition, the joint team is currently in the process of implementing two Lenovo System x3650 servers and one Storwize V3700 device at each of the 75 cinemas Mars operates.

When implementing the two Lenovo System x3650 servers at each cinema, Novatech converts the active-active cluster into three virtual machines, based on VMware ESXi technology, for maximum uptime and efficiency. Powered by the Intel Xeon E5 family of processors, the Lenovo servers provide the high levels of performance required to support Mars’ virtual server environment.

Cenk Aktekin notes: “With a high-availability cluster in place at each cinema, it’s no longer a disaster if one server were to go down. Operations can keep running as normal, we can keep selling tickets and customers can catch the latest blockbusters.”

Keeping customers satisfied
Having completed implementation at around 25 cinemas so far, Mars is highly satisfied with the Lenovo solution, as Cenk Aktekin explains: “We can already see that having a standard, reliable, enterprise-class infrastructure in place is helping to ensure customer satisfaction, which is our ultimate goal. Performance and availability have improved so much that, in the cinemas with the Lenovo solution, we no longer get any customer complaints! As well as delivering high availability and performance levels, the Lenovo infrastructure is much easier to manage. Where previously there were several different images and drivers to manage at different sites, we now have a single, standard way of doing things. Feedback from staff has been equally positive.”

To boost the efficiency of infrastructure management even further, Mars also takes advantage of the in-built Integrated Management Module (IMM) monitoring system provided by the System x solution. The IMM system enables Mars to remotely monitor server usage, capacity, performance and availability at cinemas across the country. Cenk Aktekin says: “Being able to keep an eye on the infrastructure enterprise-wide is very useful and helps us to get the most out of our IT resources.”

Today, cinemas receive technical support from Novatech, who – in the rare event of a server failure – provides on-site maintenance services. “If a cinema ever experiences any issues, the Novatech team travels to provide on-site support to ensure that problems are resolved as quickly as possible and there is no disruption to services,” says Cenk Aktekin.

He concludes: “The high availability, performance, and outstanding build-quality of the Lenovo servers means that there aren’t many issues for Novatech to deal with, however! We are very happy with our new Lenovo infrastructure and how well it supports customer services. We are only anticipating further improvements as we roll out the solution across all of our cinemas.”

For more information
To learn more about Lenovo Data Center Systems solutions, contact your Lenovo Sales Representative or Lenovo Business Partner, or visit:

For more information about Mars Cinema Group, visit: or connect with @cinemaximum
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