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.

Tuesday Oct 06, 2009

Spanish Postal Service Reduces TCO for Email Storage Platform by 40% with Sun Solution


Sociedad Estatal Correos y Telégrafos, S.A., also known as Correos, has been providing postal services across Spain for more than 300 years. However, because of the recent steady decline in traditional postal services usage, Correos realized it needed to create a business proposition that would appeal to citizens and businesses alike. Correos ultimately found a way to add value to Internet-based communications and began working to create a highly secure e-mail service that includes data encryption and time stamps, so users could receive certification that a message had arrived at its destination.
Sun Customer Correos
(Image courtesy: Correos)
Correos needed to provide up to 140,000 mailboxes for citizens and businesses to send e-mail and attachments to government offices. The technology behind the new “Electronic Post Box” service Apartado Postal Electrónico (APE), had to be reliable and scalable enough to handle new offerings in addition to being expertly managed to maximize performance. Correos looked at several IT solution providers but ultimately selected Sun because it was able to guarantee the reliability of the e-mail service.

With the support of Sun Professional Services, Correos developed and implemented a fully redundant data storage and backup platform. A Sun Fire T2000 and a Sun Fire T1000 server, both featuring UltraSPARC T1 processor technology and running the Solaris 10 Operating System, work as load balancers on the front end. Sun Fire V490 and Sun Fire V890 servers, running backup software, sit at the back end of the platform. Two Sun StorageTek 6540 arrays store e-mail data, which is archived onto a Sun StorageTek SL500 modular library system. Finally, to maximize availability, Sun Professional Services deployed Solaris Cluster software to protect the integrity of the application data and services across the cluster's nodes.

Today, APE is delivering a secure and reliable e-mail service to citizens, companies, and government offices throughout Spain. With the Sun-based storage infrastructure, Correos is providing 5 MB worth of storage for its 140,000 mailboxes. Correos also has peace of mind knowing that the infrastructure is protected by a Sun Spectrum Platinum support plan and storage and backup systems are being well maintained by Sun Remote Operations Management. José Marcelino Pérez, e-business manager at Correos says: “APE and Sun technology are helping Correos meet the challenges of a transition from paper correspondence to Internet-based communication.”

Check out the complete details 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.

Sunday Jul 12, 2009

Sun Speeds Up Daytona 500!!!

customer

International Speedway Corporation (ISC), based in Daytona Beach, Florida, manages about 66 motorsports activities at its facilities each year, including the Daytona 500, Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Cup Series, and Camping World Truck Series. ISC sells approximately 100,000 tickets for each event along with hundreds of thousands of souvenirs and concessions. ISC relies on IT from multiple vendors to support its ticketing system, retail system, 54 interactive Web sites and an ERP system. Sun Customer ISC
A third-party vendor hosted ISC's systems until 2006, when after several years of steady 10-15% growth, ISC started to experience availability issues as end users experienced inconsistent levels of system performance. ISC decided to build its own datacenter and engage a company to remotely manage its mission-critical systems. ISC chose Sun Remote Operations Management because of its in-depth expertise in numerous technologies, detailed problem-resolution policies, and comprehensive services.

Throughout 2007, Sun worked with ISC to restructure its architecture and set up the new datacenter. All three mission-critical systems include a mix of old and new technologies that run on the Solaris 10 Operating System. The ticketing system, which includes an application tier of three Sun Fire T2000 servers running 18 virtual environments and a clustered database tier of two Sun Fire V490 servers and two Sun Fire T2000 servers, makes use of Solaris Cluster 3.2 software. To speed performance, the ticketing system interoperates with a multi-tiered storage area network built with Sun Storage Archive Manager software 4.6, two Sun StorakeTek 6540 arrays, and one Sun StorEdge 6130 array. The ERP system runs on two clustered Sun Fire V490 servers.

The redesigned architecture supports ISC's varying levels of system traffic better, and Sun Managed Services provides daily reports that have helped ISC reduce their administrative costs. Craig Neeb, Chief Information Officer at ISC said: “Last year was our best year for service levels. We hit 99.9%. Sun Managed Services exceeded our expectations. They are always two steps ahead of us. There have been many times where Sun personnel found a problem before it affected the end user's experience. Sun then resolved it and let us know what happened. That's my dream world right there. That's what I was looking for.”

Check out the complete details here.

Friday May 08, 2009

Sun solution helps myToys.de meet demand


Since its launch in 1999, Internet mail-order business myToys.de has grown by 30% to 40% each year. myToys.de sells its merchandise at stationary branch offices, through a mail-order catalog, and on its Web site, which is where the company receives the majority of its orders.

Until recently, myToys.de ran with the help of a classic PC infrastructure, which required many individual devices to be administered, serviced, and updated constantly. Last year as the business growth put additional strain on the customer service team - particularly during the peak periods of Christmas and Easter - Olaf Brehmer, head of System Administration at myToys.de decided it was time to find a replacement solution.
Sun Customer myToys.de

(Logo courtesy: myToys.de)
The solution focused on Sun VDI Software, and was based on the Sun StorageTek 6450 array, seven Sun Fire X4100 servers, a Sun Fire T2000 server, 65 Sun Ray 2 thin clients, and the Solaris 10 Operating System. Deployment was fast and successful, as the implementation started at the end of August, leaving no time for a proof of concept before the busy run up to Christmas began.

With the new system in place, employees at myToys.de now have the flexibility to work at their own desk, another office, or at home while still having access to all of their applications and documents. Olaf Brehmer reports that "thanks to our new Sun Ray technology and Sun VDI deployment, we can scale our business successfully to meet seasonal demand while reducing the overall cost of administration."

Check out the complete details here.

Friday May 01, 2009

Sun Delivers Performance Boost to University of Central Florida


The University of Central Florida offers more than 220 degree programs to 50,000 students and is served by more than 5,000 faculty and staff who have relied on Sun servers, storage, software, and services for more than 10 years.

In 2007, UCF sought to increase the capability and scalability of its Oracle/PeopleSoft platform to meet growing computational and storage demands. This upgrade required a high-performance storage area network in addition to related system upgrades, all of which needed to be in place for the Fall 2008 semester to facilitate class scheduling and registration.
Sun Customer UCF
Logo Courtesy: UCF
UCF ultimately selected the Sun StorageTek 9990V system and said they chose it because it was "best of breed" in its product class for both performance and reliability. For its PeopleSoft application servers UCF chose eight Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 servers, and five Sun Fire T2000 servers.

UCF is pleased with the fast operation of the new solution, which offers a 10-fold improvement in overall performance. Robert Yanckello, Chief Technology Officer at UCF says "Even during peak loads of the semester's first week, when many students are adding and dropping classes, everything moved smoothly. The systems are simple to manage and use, and Sun has been easy to do business with."

Check out the complete details here.

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Customer of the week: Liverpool Direct Limited


Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) is helping transform the way citizens in Liverpool access public services. A public/private enterprise of its kind, LDL's vision is to offer "joined-up government" whereby everybody has access to new technology for communicating with Liverpool City Council and its Business Units. Among LDL's responsibilities are contact centers, benefits services, human resources and payroll, and revenue services.
Liverpool Direct Limited
The organization was aiming to increase computing power and capacity, reduce operational and management costs, cut power and cooling costs and increase space available for scaling hardware platform.

Sun Professional Services provided LDL with a turnkey solution that included a high-performance, cost-effective platform based on Sun SPARC Enterprise T2000 servers running the Solaris 10 OS, Solaris Cluster, and Sun Interim Operations Management to ensure a successful adoption of the new technology.

"Liverpool Direct Limited couldn't deliver Solaris-based shared services without the Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series servers running the Solaris 10 OS," noted Frank Oakley, Solutions Architect, LDL. "The platform has reduced our costs and doubled processing performance."

Check out the complete details here.

Tuesday Sep 16, 2008

Project Kenai -- a new site for hosting open source projects


We have launched Project Kenai last Friday. The primary goal of the site is to host open source projects and encourage collaboration on them.
Project Kenai
Why Project Kenai? Nick Sieger, lead engineer of the project, comments, "We need to demonstrate credibility in building on top of more traditional LAMP/SAMP web stacks (not just Java EE); and we need to show viability of Sun technologies and hardware for next-generation web applications."

So how is it running?

From Tim's blog: Project Kenai is using Sun Fire T2000 servers along with a Sun Fire X4500 (Thumper) for storage. OpenSolaris Nevada 70b is the OS. Apache runs in front, using mod_proxy_balancer to connect to multiple redundant GlassFish V2 instances talking to a single MySQL database. The main site is a Rails application running on JRuby, deployed in GlassFish as a war file built with Warbler. Perl, Python, and other various bits of Apache-based bailing wire help integrate Mercurial, Subversion, Sympa (mailing list software) and Bugzilla into the mix as well.

Tim's blog has all the details.

Project Kenai is in invitation-only beta mode -- if you want to try, contact Tim.

Wednesday May 28, 2008

Trading Linux for Solaris


Real Time Matrix, a provider of cross-platform modular communication and marketing services, has traded Linux for Sun's Solaris 10 operating system for many of its production systems.

Real Time Matrix said that Solaris 10's throughput when compared with Linux impressed them. "On a 64-bit AMD processor and Fedora, we could process approximately 200 matches per second of RSS," Jeff Whitehead, founder and CEO, said. "With Solaris 10 on the T1000, this match rate jumped to 10,000 per second."

The company was recently featured in SearchEnterpriseLinux.com. Check out CEO Jeff Whitehead discussing how the company went from being a die-hard Linux shop to abandoning Linux for Solaris 10 with 50 times better throughput they realized with Solaris 10.
Sun customer -- Real Time Matrix
(Image courtesy: Real Time Matrix)

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Sun win's InfoWorld's “Green 15” award


Sun is named one of InfoWorld's top "Green 15" companies in the publication's first annual competition. The article praises Sun for its dedication to innovation with respect to power capacity and energy efficiency. 

According to the article, "Thanks to a massive datacenter consolidation, hardware refresh, and creative, energy-efficient facility design, Sun has reduced power capacity demand by 75 percent at its Santa Clara, Calif., datacenter alone, saving $1.1 million per year in energy costs, while increasing its datacenter processing power more than four times.  Overall, Sun estimates that its consolidation efforts will save 4,100 tons of CO2 per year and cut 1 percent from its total carbon footprint."
InfoWorld 2008 Green 15 Award

Sunday Mar 09, 2008

Customer of the Week: Scripps Networks


Media giant Scripps Networks easily responds to massive, unpredictable peaks in demand serving up to 300 million revenue-generating ads per day, by deploying Sun Fire T2000 and X4600 M2 servers running the Solaris Operating System. Because Scripps Networks uses a consistent Sun platform, it is able to run this large IT operation with a small staff consisting of just 1 administrator for each 50 systems.

According to their Executive Director of Enterprise IT Operations, Bryan Allen, "The Sun platform has been a stable, consistent and reliable platform for us, with good performance and scalability. We are always responding to new requirements as we continue to push the envelope on the Internet. Sun's support has been very valuable in helping us meet day-to-day requirements, as well as new and unique ones."

Check out the details here.
Sun customer -- Scripps Networks
(Image courtesy: Scripps Networks)

Saturday Feb 16, 2008

Blogs of the week: Solaris, Servers, OpenOffice.org and more...


1. The DaVinci Zone: Automating Zone Installation -- Solaris Jedi, 2/12
Christopher describes his first-hand experience in "piecing together" how to automate Solaris Zone installation and tells his readers that, "with the proper grasp of docs.sun.com, man pages, and Google query syntax anyone can automate their zone installation." He goes on to list out his step-by-step notes and ends by giving kudos to the OpenSolaris Zones and Containers FAQ, which aided him along the way.
Solaris

2. Sun xVM Server Appears in Solaris Express Developer Edition 1/08 -- Virtualization.info, 2/7
This blogger expresses his excitement for the upcoming Sun xVM Server by noting that, while we are all waiting for the official launch, Sun has already exposed some initial documentation on the product including details on how to boot the SXDE build to run in xVM mode, how to configure ZFS to expose storage for the virtual machines, and how to remotely control guest OSes through the embedded VNC server (Xvnc).

3. How to split a file, process the pieces in multiple threads and combine results using a shell script -- Onkar Joshi's Blog, 2/11
Onkar describes how to speed up processing of parallel files by "splitting" the file and processing it on multiple threads. He highlights using a T2000 running Solaris 10 to make 20 files with 15K lines. Onkar states that the Sun server "worked like a charm."

4. X4150: lit up -- The Trouble with Tribbles..., 2/9
This entry ends a series of five consecutive posts by Peter detailing his experiences installing the x4150 server. He starts by mentioning how the x4200 and x4500 boxes were installed flawlessly, but the x4150 installation is not going as smoothly. After receiving help from Sun Support as well as from one of his blog readers, along with some troubleshooting of his own, Peter gets the x4150 booted and running successfully. He ends the entry by commenting on how quickly the server has managed the workload he has tested so far, and writes: "It was a bit of a drag getting there, but I think it was worth the effort."

5. Proprietary Programs and Open Source Alternatives That Can Drive You Crazy Even More -- Springsteam, 2/9
Rainer writes an overview of OpenSource alternatives that are currently available. He notes that he has been using StarOffice/OpenOffice.org since 2000 and has been impressed with the application since the release of 1.0.

6. Need a copy of Office applications for free? - myGTDstuff.com, 2/9
David suggests his readers who have just purchased a laptop for their children consider downloading OpenOffice.org for free over Microsoft Office. He provides a history of how the application was purchased by Sun and then offered for free to compete against Microsoft Office. He includes several links to reviews where StarOffice/OpenOffice.org is compared favorably against Microsoft Office.

Sunday Jul 22, 2007

My favorite ones from last week...


Selected Sun product conversations in blogosphere during last week:

1. Solaris Express - Kaiwai's Blog, 7/13
Kaiwai recently installed Solaris Express Community Edition and hopes VMWare will be ported to Solaris x86 in the near future.

2. Solaris on Intel is Telecoms' Grade - BladeWatch, 7/17
Martin highlights the recent availability of Solaris on Intel-based rack and blade servers and says it is "great news, and brings more choice for the telecommunications market to choose which platforms they use for their Solaris based systems."

3. Energy Efficient Computer Labs and How IT Can Work to Remove Roadblocks - Mikael Gueck's Little Island of Excitement, 7/13
Mikael discussed the idea of creating a more energy efficient computer lab and identified Sun Ray Client technology as a key solution. He mentioned Sun Ray as an alternative to off-the-shelf computers that "are becoming much more powerful than necessary." Mikael went on to say, "The Sun Ray client connects to your monitor, mouse, USB and Ethernet, and lets you run 10 lab desktop sessions on one computer.13 It's stateless, all the processing happens on the other end. If the Sun Ray desktop client breaks, you just replace it, and you're back up and running where you were before the break."

4. Sun LDOMs on CoolThreads Servers - Outside the Asylum, 7/12
Daniel recently setup LDOMs on a T2000 and advises following the release notes.

Saturday Feb 17, 2007

My favorite ones from last week


These conversations caught my attention last week...

1. The Sun Fire T2000 Server - Jean Ghalo Blog, 2/11
Jean praises the T2000 and mentions that it is "the best platform for transaction and web services as measured by the new SWaP benchmark," and has "record-breaking performance."

2. Using a SCA6000 - Techblog, 2/9
J. A. Dickinson recently installed the Sun Cryptographic Accelerator 6000 on a Sun T2000 server and discusses his testing.

3. Using a SCA6000 part 2 - Techblog, 2/13
J. A. Dickinson updates the code from the earlier post.

4. 15 Minutes to an Extra Layer of Solaris Security - Unix Admin Corner, 2/9
Jamesd documents how to effectively add a security zone to Solaris to help limit an attack on a system.

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