Chinese Telecommunications Company Builds Reliable and Stable Virtualization Platform using Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

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October 8, 2012

To maximize its existing IT resources, 21CN turned to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to build a stable, efficient and powerful virtualization platform.

Customer: 21CN Information Network

“Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization takes full advantage of our existing hardware resources. Compared with other virtualization solutions, it provides higher cost effectiveness by reducing our operating and maintenance costs dramatically.” Xiao Jinsong, project manager, 21CN Information Network

Industry: Telecomm
Geography: APAC
Country: China


Business Challenge:

To meet the demands of the thriving telecommunications industry, it was essential that 21CN continued to expand and purchase new equipment to complement its existing server, storage and network resources.

Software:

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization®

Hardware:

Dell PowerEdge R910 and HP ProLiant DL785 servers

Benefits:

21CN has been impressed with the stability, performance and cost advantage and has decided to expand its footprint of Red Hat-based systems.

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Background:

21CN is the largest portal in South China A wholly-owned subsidiary of China Telecom, 21CN Information Network (21CN) is one of the top portals in China, and the largest in South China. In addition to providing a comprehensive multimedia consulting platform, online video, mailbox, broadband and value-added mobile services, 21CN is also a major business operation support and maintenance vendor of China Telecom, and provides planning, designing, implementation, deployment and maintenance services for various critical businesses of its parent company.

Business Challenge:

Traditional server deployment model proved costly

To meet the demands of the thriving telecommunications industry, it was essential that 21CN continued to expand and purchase new equipment to complement its existing server, storage and network resources. The organization was largely driven by the need to build a stable and efficient virtualization platform to provide operational support for both 21CN and China Telecom organizations.

To support this growth, select businesses within China Telecom required more than 100 costly physical servers to host specific, critical applications. After extensive evaluation, 21CN assessed that many of its mission-critical services could successfully run on a virtualized platform, but feared that the cost of licensing and software might exceed the cost of hardware.

With a large number of servers and storage devices already integrated into existing projects, the company aimed to utilize existing resources to implement virtualization and centralized management.

Solution:

Red Hat solution enables unified environment and centralized management

Upon careful evaluation, 21CN decided to build its virtualization environment using Red Hat® Enterprise Virtualization.

To provide centralized management, 21CN now uses Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization with the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor as the foundation to build its management server, along with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating platform. The Red Hat solution is deployed on 7 physical servers which are used as a virtual resource pool from which to create, deploy and manage virtual servers needed in the 21CN environment.

Since the implementation, more than 70 virtual machines have been deployed. Each virtual machine has a minimum configuration of a 4-core CPU, 4GB of memory and 500GB of virtual disk space. They support various versions of Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating systems, as well as a large number of application servers and Oracle database servers.

“Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization takes full advantage of our existing hardware resources. Compared with other virtualization solutions, it provides higher cost effectiveness by reducing our operating and maintenance costs dramatically and by providing stable and effective support for our core business systems,” said Xiao Jinsong, project manager, 21CN Information Network (21CN).

Benefits:

Leveraging existing resources reduces costs

The company’s new architecture has been stable and effective for nearly a year, providing efficient support for portals such as Tianyi Photo Album, E-home Garden and Broadband Safeguard. In addition, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization takes full advantage of 21CN’s existing equipment resources, avoiding the need to purchase additional hardware.

“Since its implementation, all physical and virtual servers have been performing well and their performance exceeds our business requirements. More importantly, the entire business system is built on existing servers and hardware resources, so we have not had the need to purchase additional hardware. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization reduces the software cost considerably,” said Jinsong.


Ease of implementation lead to further migration to Red Hat

After approximately one year of production use of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, 21CN has been impressed with the stability, performance and cost advantage and has decided to expand its footprint of Red Hat-based systems.

In addition to existing business systems, 21CN plans to deploy more production servers using Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and is currently exploring a deployment of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.

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