Monday Oct 19, 2009

City of San Antonio consolidates servers with Sun virtualization technology

The City of San Antonio, Texas (CoSA) is home to more than 1.5 million people, and provides multiple online services to its residents including bill payment, career assistance, licensing, permits, and public safety information. CoSA employees also rely on access to applications and data for use in daily work activities including financial systems, HR software, and public safety applications used by the police and fire departments.

Over time, the city's server infrastructure had struggled to keep pace with its service delivery, and CoSA was running out of room in its data center. The CoSA IT department needed to also upgrade its IT infrastructure to reduce maintenance costs and enhance services. CoSA already had a long-established relationship with Sun and felt that leveraging Sun's SPARC servers as a platform for the Solaris 10 Operating System and Solaris zones provided the best opportunity for ROI with its virtualization technologies and energy-efficient mainframe-class servers.
Sun Customer City of San Antonio
(Image courtesy: City of San Antonio)
The city, managing several separate environments, decided to consolidate its SAP NetWeaver systems on Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 and M4000 servers. CoSA also migrated from the Solaris 9 OS to the Solaris 10 OS to take advantage of Solaris Zones and allow multiple applications to run in isolation from one another on the same physical hardware. The solution also includes Sun Blade 6000 Modular systems and multiple Sun Fire T2000 servers with energy-efficient CoolThreads technology. Finally, CoSA replaced 80 physical Windows servers with 12 Sun Fire X4600 M2 servers as a VMWare virtual infrastructure platform in its Windows environment.

Sun's server and virtualization solution allowed CoSA to consolidate from 16 to 4 racks of servers, and reduce the datacenter footprint for these workloads by over 85%. The solution has also helped CoSA reduce the maintenance overhead, giving administrators more time to deploy new systems that benefit the city and its residents. The consolidation has helped the city achieve considerable cost savings and CoSA expects to realize a full ROI within two and a half years based on the reduced support costs alone. Kevin Goodwin, the assistant director for CoSA IT department said: “Sun's enterprise-class virtualization technologies have served the City of San Antonio well. They're a critical component of our overall IT transformation and optimization strategy, allowing us to rapidly deploy highly available server capacity to meet the city's changing business needs while saving money in the process.”

Check out the complete details here.

Monday Sep 28, 2009

StubHub boosts transaction capacity 52-fold with Sun solution

StubHub is the world's largest ticket marketplace, where fans can buy and sell secondary-market tickets to tens of thousands of sports, concert, theater, and other live entertainment events. StubHub's easy-to-use, convenient Web environment for buying tickets has helped the company gain millions of satisfied customers, and requires StubHub to have high-capacity IT systems that are able to connect ticket buyers and sellers 24x7.

As StubHub's business rapidly grew, its back-end, online transaction processing system had a hard time keeping up with demand. And, because traffic volume can vary greatly, it is hard for StubHub to predict peak volume, making scalability a critical concern. Therefore, in 2008, StubHub chose to upgrade the OLTP database to an Oracle RAC 10g, and looked for a hardware and operating system that would maximize the new database's performance.
Sun Customer StubHub
(Image courtesy: StubHub)
StubHub ultimately decided that a 64-bit platform based on Sun hardware and the Solaris 10 Operating System wold provide maximum flexibility to support the company's fast growth strategy. StubHub worked with the Sun Solution Center to design and perform benchmark tests in order to select the most appropriate Sun hardware for the company's OLTP solution.

Based on the outcome of the tests, StubHub selected the Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 Server for its combination of performance, scalability, and cost effectiveness. StubHub is employing nine M5000 servers, which all have the same CPU and memory configuration, with eight dual-core SPARC64 VI processors and 128 gigabytes of RAM. Additionally, two Sun SPARC Enterprise M4000 Servers, each with four dual-core SPARC 64 VI processors, support the company's development and testing environments.

StubHub is pleased with the performance of its upgraded OLTP solution. The new system is now able to handle 47,000 database transactions per second per node, versus the previous system's 900 transactions per second per node, which represents a 52-fold increase in volume. The increased system capacity has allowed StubHub to sell more tickets, resulting in a return on investment in just three months. Bill Dougherty, director of site operations at StubHub summed it up by saying: “This upgrade project was all about scalability and growth...our site traffic has more than doubled in the past 18 months. Without the new Sun platform, we would not be able to handle our high volume of site traffic.”

Check out the complete details here.

Wednesday Sep 09, 2009

TweetMeme Manages 85% Monthly Growth with MySQL Enterprise and Sun Startup Essentials Program


TweetMeme is a social media company that is quickly becoming one of the most popular Web 2.0 sites in the world. TweetMeme uses custom-made software to count the number of links posted on Twitter, which it then organizes into categories on its Web site so visitors to the site can easily find stories that interest them. Visitors can also cast their own votes by “retweeting” a story through their own Twitter account, which in turn increases a story's popularity.

Sun Customer TweetMeme
(Image courtesy: TweetMeme)
TweetMeme has experienced tremendous growth in recent months, experiencing 85% month-on-month growth in unique visitors and serving more than 1.6 billion retweet buttons each month.. TweetMeme uses open-source software, running the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, Apache HTTP server software, and MySQL database. TweetMeme has worked closely with Sun since its launch earlier this year, taking advantage of the Sun Startup Essentials program for support, discounts on hardware, and specialist advice.

TweetMeme has focused on maximizing uptime because, as founder Nick Halstead noted, “Downtime has the potential to break a social media business.” Sun Startup Essentials has helped TweetMeme keep pace with the fast-moving social media industry by migrating TweetMeme to MySQL Enterprise, deployed on a mixture of 10 Sun Fire X4440 and Sun Fire X4150 servers. The MySQL Enterprise subscription includes expert technical support for the database and advanced database monitoring tools, which enable TweetMeme to optimize performance and maximize uptime.

The new hardware is delivering impressive results and helping to reduce IT costs through simpler maintenance and reduced power consumption, while offering outstanding availability and utilization. TweetMeme continues to expand rapidly, with the site analyzing, categorizing, and indexing more than 50,000 links per hour, while handling 600 million retweets per month. With its new solution, TweetMeme can grow without worry, thanks to the MySQL Enterprise database, that will scale to meet any level of exponential growth in the future. Halstead recognizes this significant advantage and noted: “Things move so quickly in this industry that you can't afford any distractions. But thanks to Sun, we can now focus on strategy rather than on technology.”

Check out the complete details, including a podcast, here.

Monday Jul 27, 2009

French broadcaster builds fast, energy-efficient Web portal on Sun GlassFish Platform


RTL France is a radio broadcaster that owns some of the country's most popular stations. Thanks to the widespread adoption of broadband Internet, RTL France is seeing online listening figures grow across several of its stations. Because of this growth, RTL France decided it needed to completely rebuild its Windows-based portal and ASP.NET-based applications to support a larger audience with new services.

RTL France aimed for a solution that would increase reliability and scalability while also building an infrastructure that would be easier to manage, more cost-effective, and more energy-efficient. RTL France needed to replace all network hardware, acquire space at a hosting center, configure transit and peering connections, set up storage area network connections and consolidate separate databases into a centrally managed one. RTL France also needed an application server, and was only interested in open-source solutions that would be highly reliable in a production environment.


Sun Customer RTL France

(Image courtesy: RTL France )
RTL France evaluated several different technologies, and ultimately chose Sun's GlassFish Enterprise Server. To deploy the solution RTL France needed to virtualize its servers and chose VMware ESX software running on Sun Fire X4600 Servers. RTL France also added a Sun Fire T1000 Server to test applications prior to deployment and two Sun Fire T2000 Servers to run the applications in the production environment.

The servers are powered by UltraSPARC T1 processors with CoolThreads technology and run the Solaris 10 Operating System. Sun Fire X4100 and X4100 M2 Servers with AMD Opteron processors are used for batch and other back-end processing. Sun StorageTek QFS Software is used for sharing static file across hosts, and the entire solution is backed by SunSpectrum Platinum Support.

RTL France is pleased with the new solution's performance. Sebastien Thomas, Network and System Manager of RTL France praised the GlassFish solution saying, “Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server delivers a Web infrastructure that can scale easily with demand.” He summarized the value of the Sun solution by saying: “With Sun, we get stability, confidence, and savings in power, costs and time.

Check out the complete details here.

Thursday Aug 14, 2008

Gorilla Nation


Gorilla Nation Media, world's largest online advertising representation firm, has selected a MySQL Enterprise database subscription to help power its business intelligence platform.

The company exclusively handles media sales for more than 500 high traffic websites. They have opted to build a business intelligence platform on MySQL that manages more than one terabyte of data and provides vital real-time traffic and advertising campaign performance information.
Sun Customer -- Gorilla Nation

(Logo courtesy: Gorilla Nation Media)
"Gorilla Nation has experienced huge growth in recent years and subsequently we needed strong database technology that we could operate quickly and efficiently without paying the huge upfront licensing costs required by proprietary software," said Alex Godelman, VP, Technology, Gorilla Nation. "MySQL Enterprise has delivered outstanding performance -- allowing us to scale efficiently as more and more publishers and advertisers have begun to use our service."

More details here.
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