City of Chicago Realizes Cost Savings and Performance Gains on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Oracle Openworld

United States, October 23, 2006

Chicago selects Red Hat to help improve services provided to citizens while reducing infrastructure costs by more than 85 percent

Red Hat (NASDAQ: RHAT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions to the enterprise, today announced the City of Chicago's successful migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux for essential government programs, including the vehicle registration system, online job applications, restaurant inspections, ethics training and more. The City of Chicago migrated to Red Hat in order to reduce costs and improve support, performance and scalability. The city has already saved more than $250,000, and is reducing server hardware, maintenance and operating costs as a result of Oracle's certification and support infrastructure on Red Hat.

For the City of Chicago, information technology (IT) is an integral part of the government's processes and services to the city's nearly 3 million residents. City officials, led by Mayor Richard M. Daley, have embraced a Transparent Government initiative and are committed to running an open, responsive and fiscally responsible government. As a result, the city's information systems department is committed to putting technology in place to help the government meet its operational objectives.

The city's infrastructure had historically been a multi-platform environment that included about 100 Solaris servers used to run a large number of Oracle databases and applications. As these servers neared the end of their life cycles, the City of Chicago began the migration to cost-effective Red Hat solutions.

The first City of Chicago program migrated to Red Hat Enterprise Linux was the motor vehicle department's online registration renewal, City Stickers. This program manages and tracks all vehicle permits and provides an online registration component where Chicago residents may purchase and renew stickers via the web.

"We needed to enhance the functionality," said Amy Niersbach, Platform Architect for the City of Chicago. "Support was a major issue as our maintenance had turned very costly. As a result, we were focused on the support aspect and the Oracle certification. We liked the approach that Red Hat took to support the City of Chicago, and Oracle's certification and support infrastructure on Red Hat sealed the deal for Chicago's IT decision makers."

Impressive results were immediately noted by the City Clerk's office responsible for the City Stickers program. Sun Solaris benchmarked at 50,268 transactions per minute, while the HP DL580 G2 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux benchmarked at over 149,500 transactions per minute. When running the city's long batch cycles, Red Hat Enterprise Linux proved to be 50 percent faster. The significantly improved performance has increased total revenue for the project as well. The city has seen a significant increase in online renewals since implementing the system, and expects overall revenues to continue to rise as the application is more fully leveraged.

"People can now renew vehicle registrations online. It's faster and more efficient for them, and they get their stickers faster," Niersbach said.

Today, the server platform supporting the City Stickers program consists of Oracle 9i Real Application Cluster (RAC) and Oracle 10g RAC database servers and a BEA WebLogic server. Based on the significant increase in overall performance, the city has future plans to migrate two more Oracle database servers from Sun to HP and Red Hat. In addition to the performance improvement, the City of Chicago experienced signifant cost savings by migrating to Red Hat. City officials estimated the cost of replacing each of their previous Sun Enterprise 6500 servers at $300,000. Instead, they selected HP servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux at $50,000 each. Maintenance costs have also declined.

"Our main priorities when evaluating our planned Solaris-to-Linux migration were three-fold: user support, reduction in cost and compatibility with our current vendor," said Niersbach. "The results of our migration to Red Hat have dramatically exceeded our expectations and have helped us find a better way to deliver government services."

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