Comune di Messina renews its IT environment and reduces costs

Thanks to IBM virtualization

Published on 05-Dec-2011

Validated on 06 Mar 2014

Customer:
Comune di Messina

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
Italy

Solution:
BA - Business Intelligence, Server Consolidation, Smarter Computing, Virtualization - Server

IBM Business Partner:
Ricca S.r.l.

Overview

Comune di Messina (Messina Town Council) in Italy has a total of 13 offices, 2,000 employees and around 1,000 workstations. Comune di Messina manages a wide range of public services throughout the city, such as tax, economic development, city planning, education, healthcare, tourism and environment.

Business need:
Comune di Messina was faced with rising operational and software license costs combined with poor IT system performance. The Council wanted to eliminate unnecessary expenses and enable more cost-effective working.

Solution:
With the essential support of IBM Business Partner Ricca S.r.l., the Council consolidated 129 PC desktops into one IBM BladeCenter E chassis with three HS22 blade servers, creating a private cloud where users connect to the applications and information they need.

Benefits:
Eliminating local high-spec PCs and switching to thin clients has enabled Comune di Messina to cut its electricity costs by €5,400, or approximately five percent, in the first year, and reduce space required in the data center by 50 percent. By switching to Open Office software on the Linux operating system, the Council has cut software license fees by up to €500,000.

Case Study

To read an Italian version of this case study, click here

Comune di Messina (Messina Town Council) in Italy has a total of 13 offices, 2,000 employees and around 1,000 workstations. Comune di Messina manages a wide range of public services throughout the city, such as tax, economic development, city planning, education, healthcare, tourism and environment.

Comune di Messina was faced with rising operational and software license costs combined with poor IT system performance. At a time of restricted public-sector finances and increasing demand for its services, the Council wanted to eliminate unnecessary expenses and enable more cost-effective working.

With pressure on public finances and increasing demands on its front-line services, Comune di Messina decided to move away from a traditional IT environment and take advantage of low-cost thin client terminal solutions based on cloud computing architectures. The Council chose to implement a private cloud landscape based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and VERDE 4.5 virtualization software on blade servers, capable of providing 120 desktops. The Council selected an IBM BladeCenter E chassis containing three IBM HS22 blades. For data storage, Comune de Messina selected an IBM System Storage DS3400.

To reduce costs, Comune di Messina decided to use Linux Ubuntu Desktop Edition for the 129 PCs, with Open Office for personal productivity applications.

The applications, desktop environment and files are hosted on the IBM BladeCenter. The PCs, some of which are several years old, simply provide the screen, mouse and keyboard that allow users to log on to the cloud, which then delivers high-end performance.

The IBM blade servers are bound together in a cluster using third-party Linux tools. If a blade server needs to be taken offline for maintenance or an upgrade, the remaining servers shoulder the load and operations can continue. Similarly, if a blade suffers an operating system outage, production continues while the blade is restarted, and it then rejoins the cluster. This is typical of a cloud-enabled environment: users simply never know about the underlying technology, which continues to run without interruption.

The Council’s IBM team now monitors and manages just one application server instance, eliminating time-consuming control of different physical servers. The choice of the Linux operating system has reduced license costs, and the systems administrator is able to manage and secure one single physical system instead of dozens of remote devices.

Eliminating local high-spec PCs and switching to thin clients has enabled Comune di Messina to cut its electricity costs by €5,400 (approximately five percent) in the first year, and reduce space required in the data center by 50 percent.

By switching to Open Office software on the Linux operating system, the Council has cut software license fees by up to €500,000. Comune di Messina has also repurposed around 100 old PCs as fully functioning cloud log-in terminals. The Council has been able to avoid the expense of WEEE-compliant disposal of these old PCs, saving around €5,000, and has avoided the purchase of replacement machines each year – resulting in a potential annual savings of more than €200,000. In total, the Council can count on savings of more than €700,000 a year.

Thanks to the IBM BladeCenter cloud solution, customer service has improved remarkably. The expectation is that Council services will be even more effective and efficient in the near future, according to Town Councilor Carmelo Santalco, with Comune di Messina intending to roll out the IBM solution throughout all of the Council’s operational areas.

For more information

To learn more about smarter computing from IBM and how we can help you integrate, automate, protect and transform your IT, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM business partner, or visit: ibm.com/smartercomputing

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
BladeCenter E Chassis, BladeCenter HS22, Storage: DS3400

Software:
Linux

Operating system:
Linux

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Italia Circonvallazione Idroscalo 20090 Segrate (MI) Italy Produced in Italy November 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, BladeCenter and System Storage are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. IBM and Ricca S.r.l. are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Ricca S.r.l. makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.