SNO builds a scalable platform for software-as-a-service

Uniting multiple platforms into a single, easily manageable solution

Published on 01-Nov-2013

"The IBM Flex System solution puts us in a strong position to both maintain our growth in the small business sector and open the door to medium-sized clients who would previously have needed to purchase and maintain their own servers. Best of all, by improving reliability and streamlining our IT management processes, the IBM Flex System solution gives us more time to focus on what really matters: continuously improving customer service." - Christian Gillet, Deputy Managing Director and Technical Director, SNO

Customer:
SNO

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
France

Solution:
Flex System, Flex System p260, Flex System running hypervisor - PowerVM, Flex System running hypervisor - VMware, Flex System x240, PureSystems, Enabling Business Flexibility, High Availability , SaaS, Virtualization

Overview

SNO is a software publisher and IT services company that provides innovative solutions for coach and bus operators and travel agencies. Employing 17 people, SNO generates annual revenues of 1.4 million EUR (1.8 million USD).

Business need:
The user-base for the software-as-a-service version of SNO’s ORDICARS solution is growing by up to 30 percent per year. To keep growing, SNO needed a more flexible and scalable infrastructure.

Solution:
SNO deployed an IBM® Flex System™ solution, uniting the ORDICARS solution’s IBM i database layer and Windows application layer within a single platform, virtualized using IBM PowerVM® and VMware.

Benefits:
Easy scalability to meet demand: new clients can be onboarded in less than 24 hours, down from 10 days. System availability has increased by a factor of 10, while management time is cut by 50 percent.

Case Study

To read a French version of this case study, please click here

SNO is a software publisher and IT services company that provides innovative solutions for coach and bus operators and travel agencies. Employing 17 people, SNO generates annual revenues of 1.4 million EUR (1.8 million USD).

Opening up new markets
Christian Gillet, Deputy Managing Director and Technical Director of SNO, comments: “We originally designed our flagship transport management solution, ORDICARS, for larger companies with the budget and expertise to maintain their own infrastructure. Five years ago, we launched a software-as-a-service [SaaS] version to give smaller companies access to the solution without the need for hardware investment.”

Daniel Robbe, Managing Director and Commercial Director, adds: “The user-base for the SaaS version of ORDICARS is growing by 20 to 30 percent per year. To maintain this, we need to be able to update our infrastructure to enable it to scale.”

SNO engaged TD Azlan to help it deploy an IBM Flex System solution with IBM Flex System x240 and IBM Flex System p260 compute nodes in just five days.

“Instead of managing four separate physical servers, the IBM Flex System solution gives us a single chassis that integrates compute nodes based on both IBM POWER® and Intel processor architectures,” comments Christian Gillet. “It’s a more coherent approach. With built-in networking, integrated storage and flexible virtualization, it covers all the bases.”

End-to-end virtualization
In moving to the Flex System solution, SNO has been able to transfer its Windows servers into a virtualized environment based on VMware technology. Providing advanced support for virtual networking and virtualized storage management, the infrastructure is now more flexible, agile and fault-tolerant than ever before.

“Choosing the IBM Flex System offering enables us to run a large number of virtual servers on each node and set up new ones very quickly,” says Christian Gillet. “Overall, we’re seeing a ten-fold improvement in total system availability, because when we do have a problem, we can fix it much more quickly.”

When the company wins new clients, the new solution also makes the onboarding process much faster and smoother.

“With our old infrastructure, it could take us up to ten days to purchase a new physical server, wait for it to be delivered, connect and configure it, and then install the software,” says Daniel Robbe. “Now, we simply create a new set of virtual servers in PowerVM and VMware, and can bring new clients on board in less than 24 hours. When we run out of capacity, we can just plug in additional x86 or POWER nodes into the Flex System chassis.”

Reducing costs
“Offering us a single physical box to support all our Windows and IBM i environments, we expect the move to the IBM Flex System solution to cut IT capital and operational costs by 50 percent, freeing up money, time and personnel to re-invest in better service for clients,” comments Christian Gillet. “In particular, virtualizing our Windows environments should reduce management workload, minimize downtime, and improve the quality of service.”

He concludes: “The IBM Flex System solution puts us in a strong position to both maintain our growth in the small business sector and open the door to medium-sized clients who would previously have needed to purchase and maintain their own servers. Best of all, by improving reliability and streamlining our IT management processes, the IBM Flex System solution gives us more time to focus on what really matters: continuously improving customer service.”

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

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Flex System, Flex System p460, Flex System running hypervisor - PowerVM, Flex System running hypervisor - VMware, Flex System x240, Storage, Storage: Storwize V7000

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. Compagnie IBM France, 17 avenue de l’Europe, 92275 Bois-Colombes Cedex. Produced in France. November 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM Flex System, PowerVM and Storwize 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, the Intel logo, Xeon and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. 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.