German Finance Group migrates from Solaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux


United States, December 2, 2004

PLUS Finanzservice selects Open Source platform over proprietary incumbents.

PLUS Finanzservice selects Open Source platform over proprietary incumbents.

Stuttgart, 2. December 2004 - Red Hat, Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions to the enterprise, today announced that PLUS FinanzService GmbH has migrated its IT infrastructure from Sun Solaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. PLUS provides financial services including in-store credit and customer loyalty cards to a number of high profile organisations including IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer. Operating an online card management system to process customer enquiries and requests in real-time, PLUS has migrated its bespoke application across to Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on an Intel cluster.

With an existing Sun Solaris system in place, the company was looking for a new platform that was as powerful and reliable as possible. The solution also needed to be scalable, manageable and, ideally, provide a significant cost reduction. After considering the alternatives, the company decided to migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel-compatible hardware from Dell and based on a new cluster architecture.

"Our Web Services application is at the heart of how we interact with our customers and so its performance is critical to the overall performance of our business," said Gerrit-Leonhard Stein, IT Manager at PLUS Finanzservice GmbH. "When faced with the choice of either upgrading our existing system or looking for a new solution, we decided to create a completely new infrastructure that would be able to deliver the reliability, high performance and scalability that we needed. During benchmarks, it quickly became apparent that performance-wise, migrating to Microsoft would not be an option for this business-critical server application. We also found during testing that the performance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel-Hardware was superior to a Solaris solution."

The central Red Hat installation at PLUS runs on a four-node cluster with dual-processor systems, which access a Storage Area Network. Clustering is controlled by the Oracle 9i Real Application Server (9i RAC) database solution. The new cluster system is designed to be fail-proof. For additional security the whole production environment is mirrored in an external data centre, which features exactly the same architecture and is synchronised online with the production environment. A Red Hat Professional Services Team was responsible for installing the production environment. Red Hat also installed and fine-tuned the entire operating system platform and the new system, including the Oracle RAC.

"Red Hat's service has absolutely convinced us. The Red Hat engineers and support team have contributed significantly to the success of the whole project," said Stein.

In addition to deploying Red Hat on a cluster for their business-critical card application, PLUS is using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on test machines and a backup server, which controls a tape library. Red Hat is also deployed on a virtual infrastructure from VMware, on which PLUS is running a production database among other applications.

An important component of the Linux-infrastructure is the Red Hat Network proxy server. The proxy server constitutes the central connection to the RHN, over which Red Hat provides updates, patches and errata. Via the proxy server PLUS can manage the systems maintenance and update centrally for the whole Linux-infrastructure. The Red Hat Network component of the Red Hat Enterprise subscription also means that PLUS does not have to depend on major releases for updates to be available.

"We are especially happy to count PLUS Finanzservice among our new customers," said Werner Knoblich, Director, Red Hat EMEA. "The deployment of Red Hat Enterprise Linux at PLUS highlights the fact that more and more organisations are entrusting their business-critical applications in the data centre to our products and services. In this case, our close relationships with our partners was key. Oracle worked closely together with Red Hat and Dell to develop the 9i RAC-solution - a combination that has proven itself frequently in demanding deployments and has achieved record performances."

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