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Success story

Canary Islands get high performance, low-cost IT

To meet growing demand for its services, the IT department for the government of the Canary Islands needed to expand and update its existing VMware virtualization environment. The new solution had to offer high performance, scalability, security, and operational efficiency. After an exhaustive research process, the IT department chose Red Hat® Enterprise Virtualization. In just 4 months, it successfully migrated 100 physical servers running approximately 1,000 virtual machines on VMware to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization—all while keeping the department fully functional and without impacting users. This migration also improved the consolidation ratios of virtual machines per host, and resulted in budget savings of up to 70% compared to previous virtualization platforms.

Customer Since

2011

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Government Industry

Objective

Coordinate IT departments of multiple government ministries and upgrade virtualization infrastructure to meet growing demands for services from citizen customers.

Hardware

  • HP BladeSystem

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is certified with leading hardware and software manufacturers and offers the best security guarantees for our critical environments.

Roberto Moreno Díaz, general manager of telecommunications and new technologies, Government of the Canary Islands

Island government faces growing IT workload

The administrative structure of the Canary Islands is composed of multiple ministries, each with its own IT department and computing resources. The General Office of Telecommunications and New Technologies manages telecommunications, information technology, and data communication for the Canary Islands.

The agency handles all horizontal applications for businesses in the region. It also manages vertical applications and eGovernment services. That includes support for electronic processing, corporate websites, and third-party applications.

Infrastructure not keeping pace

The main challenge facing the government was upgrading its existing VMware-based virtualization infrastructure, which could not keep up with the organization's growing workloads.

During the initial virtualization process in 2007, most of the physical servers were not equipped for virtualization. Over time, demand from applications hosted on virtual machines soared. That resulted in an increase from two clusters and 40 hosts in 2007 to six clusters and more than 160 hosts in 2011. The government faced booming organic growth that led to an increase in virtualization investments and to uncertainty over total costs.

Budget limits led to open source solutions

When considering options for updating its virtualization platform, the government of the Canary Islands found it couldn't meet new budget requirements with proprietary virtualization solutions--if it wanted to achieve high performance, scalability, security, and flexibility.

Agency seeks quality with efficiency

The government established two key goals:

  1. Promote convergence between horizontal and vertical growth by bringing physical machines up to maximum capacity. That would reduce the number of hosts, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.
  2. Adopt a virtualization solution that reduces the cost of ownership without jeopardizing the quality of the service or future continuity of the solution.

Red Hat offers 70% savings

After evaluating several options, the government found that the Red Hat solution offered more capacity at an affordable price, along with professional service and uptime guarantees. Red Hat's proposal outlined cost savings of up to 70% compared to proprietary solutions. It also allowed for a modernization plan that was perfectly tailored to the needs of the Canary Islands.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization ensured the financial sustainability of the government's IT platform in the medium and long term. The technology met all of the government's requirements, with guarantees for upgrades, quality, and service. The government was also a satisfied user of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat JBoss Middleware, so Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization helped standardized existing technology.

Island government finds cost stable, tools reliable

The government of the Canary Islands conducted a series of tests to ensure that Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization fulfilled specific requirements. That meant avoiding suppliers with unpredictable costs and technologies that could not evolve or might disappear.

Red Hat's other key advantages were its technological roadmap and open door to customer influence. The government also liked Red Hat's open source technology and the predictability of an annual subscription model. Overall, government leaders recognized the strength of Red Hat as a company.

Team handles migration

The government of the Canary Islands created a joint team to handle migration. That included people from the government's 24/7 management center, its trusted local technology vendor, and Red Hat staff. This team focused on four key areas:

  1. Efficiency: All tasks had to be automated as much as possible to reduce need for human resources.
  2. Business continuity: Disaster recovery procedures were tested to plan capacity and reduce downtime.
  3. Independence: The government wanted knowledge and control of the solutions so it could maintain independence from outside parties and cope with any incident. That meant investing in training sessions and creating operation manuals.
  4. Evolution and optimization: Red Hat and the government of the Canary Islands collaborated regularly to maintain the adoption, optimization, and evolution of the solution.

Teamwork produced results

Teamwork was key. Government staff communicated their needs and considered alternative solutions, new technologies, and working methods to improve efficiency. Red Hat consultants provided thought leadership and best practices for automating and optimizing data center processes. Their trusted local technology vendor guaranteed professional service, ensuring the speed and efficiency of the project.

Migration brings government efficiency, less cost

With Red Hat, the government's complex virtual infrastructure—consisting of nearly 100 physical servers and 1000 virtual machines running on Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux platforms—was successfully migrated in just four months. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization was integrated seamlessly with the existing infrastructure. The government avoided the expense of purchasing new hardware. That reduced costs dramatically and achieved operational efficiency with improved service to citizens.

Red Hat enables consolidation

Once Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization was deployed, the government went from consolidation ratios averaging seven virtual machines per physical server (7:1) to a ratio of 27 virtual machines per host (27:1). It also brought a 10% savings in disk space, increased reporting capabilities, and an overall simplification of the architecture.

Future plans to improve efficiency

Collaboration with Red Hat helped the government of the Canary Islands develop strategic plans for its platform to ensure future development with predictable costs. As service demands from citizens continue to grow, the next step for the Canary Islands government is to virtualize more workloads by further reducing the 100 physical servers in the government's infrastructure.

More innovation from the Red Hat technological roadmap is planned with the subscription model, without additional unforeseen costs. Teamwork will continue to improve operational efficiency so the government has options open for adopting cloud-based computing.

With Red Hat, the island government is no longer captive to closed technologies with unpredictable costs.

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