Delivering stability and reliability in a changing world.

July 25, 2022 | 3 minute read
Peter Laudenslager
Director of Product Marketing
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Starting in 1995, HS News Systems made machines for packing magazines and books for wholesalers. As the publishing industry changed over the last few decades, the company has had to change, too, adapting to new customers and use-cases.  Today, the Norway-based company makes box-handling machines for warehouses across Europe and North America. This is a very specialized industry, with only a few providers, and each solution is customized to individual customer and use-case requirements. A lot of HS New Systems’ competitive differentiation comes from their deep understanding of their customers, and their ability to deliver a reliable, stable, customized solution.

HS News Systems logo

 

 

 

Stephan Axelsson is the head of Software Development and Support Services for HS News Systems and splits his time between customer sites gathering requirements and deploying systems, and the Norway home office, where he helps develop each custom solution. Traveling around Europe to visit customers keeps Mr. Axelsson enthusiastic about his work, after more than 24 years with the company.

Each custom solution runs on the customer premises, and includes a dedicated, isolated cluster of physical machines running Oracle Linux, Oracle Database, Oracle Application Express, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and the HS News custom software. Because their customers’ warehouse operations literally run on the HS News systems, reliability is incredibly important - to the customer, to HS News Systems, and to Axelsson personally. He strikes a balance between proactively improving his best practices while resisting changes to things that work well. He says: “We like to fix things before they are broken, but once things are stable, we leave them alone, so we can spend our time on more value-added capabilities.”

“Oracle Linux works so well, we don’t have to think about it much.” Stephan Axelsson, Head of Software Development and Support Services, HS News Systems

In the early days, the system ran on Linux distributions from Red Hat and CentOS. Today they have standardized on Oracle Linux, because combined with the Oracle Database, it gives them a more streamlined approach to support and troubleshooting.

As an experienced software developer and system engineer, Axelsson says, “Oracle Linux works so well, we don’t have to think about it much.” Because it is so stable, and because their systems are completely isolated from the Internet or other corporate systems, they currently don’t worry so much about regular patching or updates.

However, just as the publishing industry changed to digital and moved HS News Systems to include more generic warehouse customers, Axelsson expects that their new systems will require more connectivity to enable remote control and reporting. This means they will require much more frequent patching and security updates to remain secure and reliable. In support of this future, HS News is testing a move to Oracle Linux 8, using Ksplice to patch with no downtime, and replacing VMware with KVM. Oracle Ksplice, KVM, and Virtualization Manager are all included at no extra cost with Oracle Linux Premier Support.

With this new configuration, Axelsson expects to meet the new requirements for connectivity, while maintaining his company’s track-record for availability, security, and cost-efficiency.

Peter Laudenslager

Director of Product Marketing

Product marketing director for Oracle Linux and Virtualization, with over 15 years in technical, strategic, and communication roles for some of the best-known enterprise IT products.


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