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.

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