POSCO ICT Builds Agile IT Infrastructure with Red Hat Solutions on Intel Xeon Servers

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February 25, 2013

POSCO ICT wanted to replace its complex IT infrastructure with one that is cost effective, scalable, agile, and flexible. With Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® and Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers, the IT service provider’s new IT infrastructure can easily adapt to and meet changing business needs.

Customer: POSCO ICT

“Red Hat helped us in our migration and made maintenance and operation much easier. We now have an agile IT infrastructure with lower TCO that can adapt quickly to business changes. Red Hat technologies also help us avoid vendor lock-in, and give us freedom of choice." UiJae Lee

Red Hat Business Partner: Intel
Geography: APAC
Country: Korea


Business Challenge:

POSCO ICT wanted to replace its complex IT infrastructure with one that is cost effective, scalable, agile, and flexible.

Migration Path:

From UNIX running on mainframe computers to Linux running on Intel Xeon processor-based servers; From physical to virtual servers

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, High-Availability Add-on
 

Hardware:

Intel Xeon processor-based, IBM, HP x86 servers

Benefits:

With Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® and Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers, the IT service provider’s new IT infrastructure can easily adapt to and meet changing business needs.

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Background:

About POSCO ICT POSCO ICT offers IT services covering engineering, automation, system integration, and IT outsourcing. It also paves the way to new growth areas such as LED, smart grid, and ubiquitous city projects. POSCO ICT mainly supports the IT infrastructures of the steel mills of POSCO, a multinational steelmaker based in Korea.

Business Challenge:

Complex IT infrastructure

As an IT service provider, POSCO ICT built and maintained an IT infrastructure to deliver services to and support its customers. Over time, this IT infrastructure became very complex, comprising many different hardware and operating systems including Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Linux, and Microsoft Windows servers. A plethora of applications—such as enterprise resource planning, enterprise application integration, database, content management, email, e-learning, knowledge management system, and single sign-on were served by many small systems.

The complexity and inefficiency of the IT infrastructure made it increasingly difficult for POSCO ICT to provide timely services and support business requirements. There was a need to merge the many systems running small tasks onto larger systems. This required a reliable high-performance operating system. Equally important was the need to simplify the legacy software running on different environments, which also required a more flexible and scalable operating system.

To overcome these challenges, POSCO ICT replaced its legacy IT infrastructure with a new one based on Linux and a third-party virtualization platform running on Intel Xeon processor-based servers. From 2004, several projects were launched to move AIX and Solaris-based systems to HP-UX and SUSE Linux. Most of the systems were virtualized using VMware solutions. Supporting the various flavours of UNIX required quality technical support.

In 2007, the aging Linux systems needed to be upgraded to meet the demands of a long- term project. As SUSE did not fit the project’s requirements, POSCO ICT began looking for another solution.

The main goals of the planned migration were to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) for the IT infrastructure, improve agility, apply new technologies for business innovation, and avoid vendor lock-in.

“Our TCO was relatively high, as our systems faced compatibility and interoperability issues,” said UiJae Lee, operating team manager of POSCO ICT. “The existing IT infrastructure could not properly support business changes on time.”

The new operating system needed be UNIX-like and cost-effective to reduce TCO and the migration cost of legacy applications. High availability was also a key consideration, as it’s essential to run mission-critical systems with minimal downtime. Another criterion was the availability of compilers for a variety of programming languages needed for the migration of legacy software.

Based on this set of criteria, POSCO IT evaluated the available options and selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

“In addition to meeting our criteria, Red Hat solutions included high-quality technical support,” said Lee. “We also valued Red Hat’s partnerships and connections with other vendors, including Intel and VMware.”

Solution:

Red Hat and Intel form the core

In 2007, POSCO ICT began deploying Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel Xeon processor-based servers, replacing some of its HP-UX-based servers. The migration process continued until 2010 when Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Intel Xeon processor-based servers formed the core of the IT infrastructure. Half of the 400 physical servers are now running on the Red Hat solution, with another 200 to 300 virtual machines running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the VMware vSphere environment.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the default platform for POSCO ICT’s internal and external services. The High Availability Add-on is deployed for some mission-critical systems. The new ecosystem also includes VMware vSphere, Oracle Database, Microsoft Windows 2003 Server, and several SUSE Linux and UNIX systems that are being retained to run legacy software.

Quality solution backed by top-notch support.

“Since more than 400 systems were running on VMware and were installed with many third-party solutions, Red Hat advanced technical support services are critical for handling multi-vendor issues,” said Lee. “The right support helps us avoid problems in our mission-critical systems.”

In addition, Red Hat delivered quality technical services through a Technical Account Manager (TAM) with deep understanding of the project.

The TAM supports the maintenance project team, bringing proactive responses to potential problems, sharing technical knowledge, and keeping the POSCO ICT team updated on new and emerging technologies.

“The TAM helps keep our IT infrastructure more stable and provides invaluable advice on developing our future IT infrastructure,” said Lee. “He continuously monitors our environment and understands the history of changes.

For its 2012 datacenter relocation, POSCO ICT engaged Red Hat Consulting, which helped greatly with on-site consulting--assessing potential risks, checking systems, and troubleshooting.

“The relocation was successfully completed without any major incident because of the consulting engagement and our TAM,” said Lee.

Benefits:

Extending into the cloud

POSCO ICT is very pleased with their Red Hat deployment, which has resulted in an agile, flexible IT infrastructure.

“Red Hat helped us in our migration and made maintenance and operation much easier,” said Lee. “We now have an agile IT infrastructure with lower TCO that can adapt quickly to business changes. Red Hat technologies on Intel Xeon processor-based servers also help us avoid vendor lock-in, giving us freedom of choice.”

With an agile IT infrastructure in place, POSCO ICT is looking at extending into the cloud.

“Because of the success of our migration and Red Hat’s broad ecosystem of technologies and partners, we are now considering other Red Hat solutions such as Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat Storage Server, and Red Hat Cloud solutions,” said Lee.
 

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