In this article, we will discuss how Pella transformed their IT infrastructure with a newly virtualized environment.
The Pella Corporation is a privately held window and door manufacturing company headquartered in Pella, Iowa. They have manufacturing and sales operations in a number of locations in the United States. Pella Corporation employs more than 8,000 people with 17 manufacturing sites and 200 showrooms throughout the United States and select regions of Canada.
Pella’s continuous business growth has proved to be a big challenge for the IT department. As the company’s needs increased, its older infrastructure, which was based on Unix physical servers, struggled to keep pace. Pella needed a more flexible platform that would allow them to easily build out capacity and improve functionality.
This provided a unique opportunity for the IT team. The team wanted a reliable infrastructure that could support both the current capacity, and easily expand to accommodate growth while keeping costs to a minimum. For these reasons, the IT team decided to move to a virtualized x86-server environment.
As a long time Oracle customer, Pella was already using Oracle applications and Oracle Database. Therefore, Pella was inclined to evaluate Oracle’s Virtualization and Linux solutions to facilitate their IT transformation. Oracle Linux was an obvious choice for Pella primarily because it is optimized for existing Oracle workloads. They also decided to virtualize their environment with Oracle VM mainly for the license structure advantages. With Oracle VM, Pella is able to pin CPUs to specific VMs, which in turn translated to saving on licensing costs for Oracle applications.
Today, Pella’s IT departments uses Oracle Linux in 95% of their Linux environment and Oracle VM to run all of their Linux VMs. This combination has proven to be very advantageous for multiple reasons. First, Pella has significantly reduced their IT costs, including a savings of 75% on licensing costs by switching to a virtualized environment. It also saved nearly 5x on what would have been spent on purchasing physical hardware. Second, Pella saved on CPU utilization. In its previous Unix physical environment, the utilization was 50%, now it’s down to 5%.
Thirdly, Pella has simplified its operations and streamlined their support ticket process. Because they run a large number of Oracle workloads, the team has been able to use one portal to share tickets between the DBA, Linux, and applications teams. Having a single vendor has improved their support experience and ensured their mission-critical applications are running at their best.
With its new IT platform based on Oracle Linux and Oracle VM, Pella now has the ability to scale up and out as needed. It also has a reliable platform to support its manufacturing.
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Principal Program Manager, Oracle Linux and VM Development