IVZ gives business a boost with fourfold performance increase

Cloud platform pays off within six months and reduces floorspace

Published on 25-Oct-2013

"Implementing IBM Flex System saves up to 75 percent in maintenance and investment costs, resulting in a return on investment within just six months. Virtualization and easy scalability allow us to increase capacity utilization; the integrated solution provides an outstanding cost-performance ratio." - Jörg Wrabetz, Head of IT, Informations-Verarbeitungs-Zentrum (IVZ)

Customer:
Informations-Verarbeitungs-Zentrum (IVZ)

Industry:
Media & Entertainment

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Flex System, Flex System Manager, Flex System p260, Flex System p460, Flex System running hypervisor - VMware, Flex System running Linux - Red Hat, Flex System running Linux - SUSE, Flex System running OS - Windows, Flex System x240, PureSystems

IBM Business Partner:
PROFI Engineering Systems, SAP, Oracle

Overview

Informations-Verarbeitungs-Zentrum (IVZ) is an IT service provider headquartered in Berlin, Germany. IVZ employs some 90 people, who serve eight German public-service broadcasting corporations, including the largest, ARD.

Business need:
IT service provider Informations-Verarbeitungs-Zentrum (IVZ) risked loss of business as it struggled to deliver the performance its broadcasting customers need for smooth TV and radio operations.

Solution:
IVZ worked with IBM Business Partner PROFI Engineering Systems to deploy the IBM® Flex System™, consolidating multiple environments to a single, easy-to-manage infrastructure.

Benefits:
Fourfold performance increase delivers the ability to retain existing and win new customers. Achieved return on investment in six months, with investment and operating cost savings of 75 percent.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, click here

For IT service providers how can you improve on customer service levels, deliver enhanced application performance and yet cut operating, ownership and energy costs?

IVZ delivered on this three-phase challenge with the IBM Flex System solution, combining multiple operating systems, advanced data storage and central management in one package.

The result is happy customers, who see better service at very competitive price points, while IVZ has boosted application performance fourfold, sliced its energy bills, cut data center space requirements and simplified its data management.

When low performance impacts efficiency, it’s time to change channel
Informations-Verarbeitungs-Zentrum (IVZ) is an IT service provider headquartered in Berlin, Germany. IVZ employs some 90 people, who serve eight German public-service broadcasting corporations, including the largest, ARD.

IVZ provides central administrative services, ranging from personnel and payroll to freelance contracts management. While the broadcasters are busy making programs, they rely on IVZ to provide efficient, cost-effective management solutions.

The increasing range of services provided to customers and ever-larger stores of data were adding, over time, to system complexity at IVZ. As new software and systems were deployed, IVZ found it increasingly difficult to meet its committed service levels. The sluggish customer experience became an issue when it impacted the efficiency of public broadcasting operations.

Jörg Wrabetz, Head of IT at IVZ, “As we struggled to deliver the performance our broadcasting customers need for smooth TV and radio operations, we risked loss of business. We wanted to better support data growth and changing business requirements, and respond quickly to new demands. With up to 500 percent growth in data volume per year and round-the-clock operations, it was important to maximize uptime and simultaneously reduce our operational costs to ensure we offer the most cost-effective service to customers.”

Integrated environment improves performance
The complex, fragmented existing IT architecture was a key source of concern for the IVZ team. The disparate systems were expensive to maintain, required constant attention, and were integrated with manually configured connections.

Working closely with IBM Business Partner PROFI Engineering Systems, IVZ realized that integrated IBM Flex System components would provide the performance and flexibility needed to serve its customers, and eliminate the complexity that formed a costly barrier to progress.

IVZ implemented an IBM Flex System solution comprising IBM Flex System p460 and p260 compute nodes based on IBM POWER® architecture technologies, IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes based on Intel Xeon E5-2600 product family processors, an IBM Flex System Manager™ node, and IBM Storwize® V7000 storage.

The Flex System solution replaces heterogeneous systems with a single integrated infrastructure supporting native and virtualized environments, able to run multiple operating systems, and managed through a single, unified interface. The compact form factor of the Flex System solution saves floorspace, yet delivers four times the compute performance of previous systems.

Jörg Wrabetz, Head of IT at IVZ, explains, “We first implemented the IBM Flex System solution as a research and test environment to evaluate new software solutions, improve application performance and increase customer satisfaction. Since this first implementation was completed successfully with excellent support from IBM Systems Lab Services, we are confident that this integrated solution will help us tackle performance issues and rationalize our IT operations.”

IVZ will consolidate twelve high-end and mid-range servers running UNIX and more than 100 servers running the Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems to the IBM Flex System nodes. The solution will host up to 300 virtual machines running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian and Microsoft Windows on VMware virtualization.

On the p460 and p260 nodes, IVZ will implement IBM PowerVM® to enable the creation of multiple virtual servers running the IBM AIX® operating system. These servers will host IVZ’s mission-critical database servers including Oracle Database and Oracle Real Application Clusters. To ensure continuous operations, IVZ will use the IBM PowerVM Live Partition Mobility feature, which allows production systems to be moved from one virtual server to another without service interruption, to enable system maintenance and upgrades without disruption.

Jörg Wrabetz says, “We run all our mission-critical databases on IBM AIX, as it offers better high availability support and is easier to scale. In our view, IBM AIX is simply more reliable, and the IBM POWER architecture provides excellent I/O performance.”

Alongside custom applications, IVZ will also move its comprehensive SAP ERP hosting for financials, controlling, asset accounting, human capital management, materials management and freelance contract management processes to the new IBM Flex System solution. SAP Customer Relationship Management, SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse applications will also be migrated to the new platform. Altogether, the hosted applications serve approximately 40,000 users with up to 5,000 concurrent users at peak times.

Enhancing information storage performance
To bring its data storage systems up to meet the same high standards as the refreshed server environment, IVZ introduced a three-tier storage landscape based on IBM XIV® Storage Systems, IBM Storwize V7000 systems with solid state disks (SSDs), and IBM System Storage® DS3700 and IBM System Storage DS3500 devices, with archive to IBM System Storage TS3500 tape libraries.

The XIV solution combined with the Storwize V7000 systems and its IBM Easy Tier® feature are used for the most I/O intensive workloads. Audio and video data are stored on IBM System Storage® DS3700 and IBM System Storage DS3500 devices. For long-term storage, IVZ implemented the IBM Archiving of Digital Media for Interactive Retrieval and Access (ADMIRA) solution based on IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager software and IBM System Storage TS3500 tape libraries.

Cloud platform pays off within six months
The IBM solution offers low costs of ownership and operation, is very easy to manage, and is particularly well-suited for the application workloads at IVZ, putting the company in an ideal position to handle its forecast workload growth and simultaneously avoid expenditures on additional data center space.

Jörg Wrabetz explains: “Implementing IBM Flex System saves up to 75 percent in maintenance and investment costs, resulting in a return on investment within just six months. Virtualization and easy scalability allow us to increase capacity utilization; the integrated solution provides an outstanding cost-performance ratio.”

The combination of high-performance POWER processor-based nodes, cost-efficient Intel processor-based nodes and extremely low internal network latency with easy integration of storage systems has delivered greatly improved application performance. IVZ’s customers are benefiting from faster response times, and IVZ has seen improved staff efficiency for thousands of users.

Jörg Wrabetz concludes, “The IBM Flex System solution offers a robust private cloud platform and our strategic goal is to consolidate many different workloads on a single environment across all our data centers. Using the IBM Flex System Manager node, IVZ can manage physical and virtual compute, storage and networking resources from a single point of control and handle a large number of systems more efficiently. The IBM Flex System offering will enable us to provide dynamic cloud hosting services to ARD and other clients, extending our business and improving customer service.”

Optimized systems save time and money
IVZ deploys an IBM Flex System solution with IBM p460, IBM p260 compute nodes based on IBM POWER architecture and IBM x240 compute nodes, combined with an IBM Flex System Manager management and IBM Storwize V7000 storage nodes. The solution consolidates a heterogeneous server environment onto an integrated platform, connected to IBM XIV storage systems. Thanks to a superior cost-performance ratio and savings of investment and maintenance costs of 75 percent, the high-density solution provides a return on investment within six months. Reduced floorspace allows for future growth, postponing costly data center expansions.

For more information
To learn more about IBM PureSystems, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/puresystems

To learn more about products, services and solutions from PROFI Engineering Systems, please visit www.profi-ag.de

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Flex System, Flex System Manager, Flex System p260, Flex System p460, Flex System running hypervisor - VMware, Flex System running Linux - Red Hat, Flex System running Linux - SUSE, Flex System running OS - Windows, Flex System x240, Storage, Storage: DS3500 Express, Storage: Storwize V7000, Storage: TS3500 Tape Library, Storage: XIV

Software:
AIX, PowerVM, Tivoli Storage Manager

Operating system:
AIX, Linux

Service:
IBM-SAP Alliance

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Deutschland GmbH. IBM-Allee 1. 71139 Ehningen. Deutschland. ibm.com/de. IBM Österreich. Obere Donaustrasse 95. 1020 Wien. ibm.com/at. IBM Schweiz. Vulkanstrasse 106. 8010 Zürich. ibm.com/ch. Produced in Germany. October 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, BladeCenter, Easy Tier, IBM Flex System, IBM Flex System Manager, Power, POWER, PowerVM, PureFlex, PureSystems, Storwize, System Storage, Tivoli and XIV are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. Intel, Intel logo, Intel Inside, Intel Inside logo, Intel Centrino, Intel Centrino logo, Celeron, Intel Xeon, Intel SpeedStep, Itanium, and Pentium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. IBM and PROFI Engineering Systems are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor PROFI Engineering Systems makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.