Melaka State Government Reduces Costs, Gains Flexibility and Prepares for the Cloud with Red Hat Solutions

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September 26, 2012

The Government of the State of Melaka in Malaysia has 43 departmental offices and governs 4 local authorities. To overcome the challenge of information and systems invarious silos, the company embarked on an IT consolidation and virtualization journey.

Customer: Melaka State Government

"The only company that gives us safety and security for our IT infrastructures Red Hat.” Dr. Mohamed Sulaiman Sultan Suhaibuddeen, head of ICT, Melaka State Government

Industry: Government
Geography: APAC
Country: Malaysia


Business Challenge:

To overcome the challenge of information and systems invarious silos, the company embarked on an IT consolidation and virtualization journey led by Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

Solution:

Red Hat provides cost-effective and reliable solutions for full cloud enablement.

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

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Background:

Standardizing datacenters for cloud-readiness Famous for the historical city with the same name, Melaka State is also a vibrant manufacturing center. With over 43 departmental offices and governance of 4 local authorities, the company had an eye on cloud computing with a goal to standardize datacenters within the 4 local authorities. The organization embarked on this initiative and conducted a detailed analysis to find commonalities among the centers, in order to ensure consolidation would be successful.

Business Challenge:

Challenge in consolidating information and systems

The Melaka State Government faced the challenge of having information and systems in silos. The ICT division, which handles most IT needs centrally, began looking for ways to control and consolidate its assets.

“The number one challenge for us is of course cost savings. Enabling all of these agencies to access information effectively and work with the systems meaningfully is a costly endeavour, and we want to make sure the solutions we adopt are cost-effective,” said Dr. Mohamed Sulaiman Sultan Suhaibuddeen, head of ICT, Melaka State Government.

Part of the cost concerns from the government involve connectivity. The state government believes that using telecom networks to connect 43 different government offices is very expensive, especially when data volume is constantly increasing.

To address this issue, the government is in the process of deploying its own fiber network, called MelakaNet, at these sites. The first phase of the project started in April 2012 and is a RM15 million (US $4.76 million) project. It will include 150 kilometers of fiber, with 4 major nodes, that will connect all 43 sites.

Once this phase is complete, the bandwidth for each government agency will increase from the current 2MB to 1GB.

Solution:

Red Hat ensures safety and security

The state government also plans to build a common datacenter and a disaster recovery center, create operating environment and IT infrastructure standards, and introduce and evaluate effective management practices.

The first step of this project was to evaluate a platform for its datacenter. With a background in accountancy and business administration, Dr. Sulaiman was very careful when evaluating technologies in the market.

“Quite often, people select solutions based on particular technologies. However, what you need from solutions is return on investment— the ability to solve real business problems,” said Dr. Sulaiman.

Several years of experience with Internet service providers, cloud services, and grid computing, coupled with a PhD in information security and Dr. Sulaiman’s exposure in IT management played a huge role during the evaluation process.

“Open source is leading the way in the web server space, and systems running open source technology are much more reliable and much less likely to get compromised,” said Dr. Sulaiman. “The only company that gives us safety and security for the future of our IT infrastructure is Red Hat.”

Compared to proprietary software, open source technology offers choice and avoids vendor lock-in–a key concern that keeps organizations from reaping the full benefits of cloud computing. Another key difference for the government was the Red Hat subscription model. Open source costs are mainly from support and are therefore more operational.

In addition to rigorous technical evaluation, the Melaka State Government’s technology partner’s advice also provided further assurance. “ABYRES, a very reliable partner we have been working with for a long time, told us that Red Hat had never let them down. That fits with what we have discovered in our evaluation,” said Dr. Sulaiman.

With tremendous feedback from the market on Red Hat technology, the state government will be implementing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a trusted and secure operating system that has been in the market for more than a decade. For the strategic virtualization platform of its datacenter, the team chose Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, a comprehensive virtualization platform that features the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor and includes enterprise virtualization management tools.

Benefits:

Red Hat provides cost-effective and reliable solutions for full cloud enablement

“We will have consolidated all the common data and services to the State Government Data Centre by 2015,” said Dr Sulaiman. Naturally, the government is also virtualizing its datacenter facilities to be ‘fully cloud-enabled’.

At the end of the day, a robust, cost-effective, and reliable solution will allow the Melaka State Government to do more with the resources it has on hand. In addition, strong analysis allows it to be confident about the products it has selected for its future IT strategy.

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