New Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Srpska

Gains flexibility and reliability with IBM System x and innovative KVM technology

Published on 02-Jan-2013

"RHEV with KVM is key to the new system’s flexibility and performance. Chosen for its benchmark performance, high availability, live migration capabilities, ease of management and affordability, it is the only virtualization platform used agency-wide." - Nenad Lakic, head of IT, Novi urbanisticki zavod Republike Srpske

Customer:
New Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Srpska

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Solution:
Virtualization - Server, Virtualization - Storage

IBM Business Partner:
COMPUTING systems, d.o.o., Red Hat Linux

Overview

Novi urbanisticki zavod Republike Srpske, which translates to New Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Srpska, is a government agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina specializing in urban planning, architecture, road and infrastructure planning, and ecological studies.

Business need:
The New Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Srpska was struggling with an out-of-date IT infrastructure. Due to the age of the systems, reliability and data loss had become issues. The institute needed to upgrade to a secure, flexible, scalable system to protect its data and intellectual property, as well as to increase employee productivity with easier, faster data access.

Solution:
The institute deployed IBM® System x® 3650 M4 servers with intelligent Intel® Xeon® processors running Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization v3.0 with KVM technology, an IBM System Storage® DS3524, IBM 3000VA LCD 3U Rack UPSs and an IBM NetBAY rack to house the equipment—as well as IBM Lotus® Domino® and IBM Lotus Sametime® Entry software.

Benefits:
The IBM solution boosted resiliency with security and reliability features, provided faster storage performance and improved operational efficiency and gained the flexibility and scalability to add new functions as needed.

Case Study

Novi urbanisticki zavod Republike Srpske, which translates to New Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Srpska, is a government agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina specializing in urban planning, architecture, road and infrastructure planning, and ecological studies.

In addition to serving government institutions, agencies and ministries, the agency also serves municipalities and has a long history of involvement in most major infrastructural and urban projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as several such projects abroad.

Seeking efficiency and productivity

The agency was struggling to run its business with an out-of-date IT infrastructure that no longer satisfied its needs. Due to the age of the systems, reliability and data loss had become very real issues—ones the agency could not afford.

Nenad Lakic, head of IT, explains: “The whole system required considerable manual administration and was very inflexible. For example, we would have a shortage of resources on one server and a surplus on another, rendering both unusable.” User and application administration was almost non-existent, as was security.

The infrastructure also wasn’t serving its employees’ needs. Sanja Nenadic, human resources (HR) manager as well as a “bridge” between business processes and IT, says, “Our IT infrastructure was not sufficiently flexible and did not allow employees to be as productive as possible. There were problems with data and file sharing, and no order, structure or security.” The system also did not enable automatic data searching, indexing or cataloging, which made finding information very time-consuming. Lakic adds, “We needed a stable, scalable and reliable infrastructure that could grow with us—one that would allow our employees to be productive and that would keep our data safe.”

Clearly, it was time for an infrastructure overhaul. The agency turned to IBM and IBM Business Partner COMPUTING systems d.o.o. to help it implement, deploy and configure a new IBM solution comprising servers, storage, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and more.

Deploying a scalable, flexible, reliable infrastructure

The agency looked no further than IBM to fulfill its hardware needs. As Lakic explains, “Some of our oldest servers are IBM and we never had problems with them.” The agency deployed two IBM System x3650 M4 servers—chosen for their power and scalability—as the core of its new IT infrastructure. Lakic says, “These provided the best cost/performance ratio. As our needs grow, we can easily double performance by adding another CPU and increasing the amount of RAM.” In addition, the servers are used as virtualization hosts in an RHEV v3.0 cluster. The servers run RHEV Hypervisors and the whole infrastructure is managed by RHEV Manager.

“To fulfill our IT and business requirements, we knew that we had to deploy a virtualization technology. RHEV enables us to deploy diverse virtual machines that optimally utilize our hardware resources,” says Lakic. In fact, he says that RHEV with KVM is key to the new system’s flexibility and performance. Chosen for its benchmark performance, high availability, live migration capabilities, ease of management and affordability, it is the only virtualization platform used agency-wide—all of the agency’s servers, a mixture of Microsoft Windows and Linux, are virtualized and run on the RHEV platform.

Since data backup and accessibility was a major issue, the agency implemented an IBM System Storage DS3524 disk system as its main storage, to which both x3650 servers connect using redundant Fibre Channel connections. Twenty 600 GB disks are arranged in dynamic disk pools to provide storage management flexibility, and four 146 GB disks are arranged in a RAID10 array to address specific high-performance database storage needs. Lakic says, “We can't afford to lose any data, so high-availability is a must; the DS3524, with its performance and capacity, is more than enough for our needs.”

In addition, the agency deployed two IBM 3000VA LCD 3U Rack UPSs to provide power to the other components, as well as an IBM NetBAY rack to house the equipment.

Meeting business goals with IBM

Nenadic says, “Our main goals were to improve efficiency and productivity by minimizing time spent on searching for information, confirming that it is correct and then using it efficiently.” Lakic adds, “The IBM solution has addressed our challenges completely.”

The solution has also addressed the agency’s concern with safeguarding its information and intellectual property, as well as for ease of management—which helps its limited IT staff immensely.

In particular, Lakic says the x3650 M4 servers are key enablers for achieving the agency’s goals. “These very powerful and reliable servers are completely capable of supporting our current needs. Keeping in mind that we can double their performance should the need arise, we are confident that they can satisfy our future needs, as well.”

Virtualization technology has enabled many aspects of the agency’s daily operations to be automated. For example, the agency now switches power policies automatically to achieve balanced performance during working hours, and then switches to energy-saving configurations during off hours.

All business functions have been transferred to the new system—from finance, payroll and HR, to the core business of architecture, urban planning and development, environmental studies and protection, geographic information systems, and more.

Nenadic summarizes: “We now have a stable, fast system that protects our data from hardware failures and from unauthorized internal and external access. This increased reliability and security makes us more resilient. In addition, we have the flexibility to easily add new functions as needs arise. This is a great platform that will allow us to implement document management, scanning and archiving in the future, to help us increase our productivity and efficiency even further.”

Satisfied with its long history with IBM, the agency is in the process of implementing IBM Lotus® Domino® for business collaboration and IBM Lotus Sametime® Entry for chat, and plans to add a tape backup system that will include IBM System x servers, an IBM tape library and IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager software.

For more information

Please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/systems/x/index.html

For more information on IBM Business Partner COMPUTING systems d.o.o., visit: www.cs-computing.com

For more information about New Institute for Urban Planning of the Republic of Srpska, visit: www.nuzrs.com

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage, System x: System x running hypervisor - KVM, System x: System x3650 M4

Software:
Domino EveryPlace Access Server, IBM Sametime Entry

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 Produced in the United States of America December 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, System x, System Storage, LOTUS, Domino, Sametime, and Tivoli 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 “Copyright and trademark information” at 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. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries or both. Microsoft and Windows 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. 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. Actual available storage capacity may be reported for both uncompressed and compressed data and will vary and may be less than stated.