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Produban Migrates to Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
June 11, 2014
Produban needed a platform that could be scaled horizontally, and running Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® on an x86 architecture would achieve that goal. Produban also added Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to their technological standards.
“Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides us availability and access to information in a way that is easier and simpler than proprietary solutions, which allows us to be much more productive.” - Daniel Concepción, managing director of IT Produban
Produban decided to renew and standardize its technology infrastructure. The key objective was to become more efficient without increasing risk or cost.
Standard x86 server-based environments, with a reference design defined by Produban and updated every 6 months
Red Hat Enterprise Linux provided a stable platform well-suited to mission-critical loads in highly demanding environments. The company has benefited from substantial cost savings and improved efficiency over its former UNIX and Windows system environment.
Produban, part of the Santander Group, specializes in the design and ongoing operation of IT infrastructures. It offers comprehensive services to its clients within the areas of the design and operation of datacenters and the interconnection, design, and operation of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), management and monitoring processes, technical risk and business continuity management, users’ workstation management, mobility, and self-service. Produban is a global company that provides services to more than 120 companies, supported by a workforce of more than 5,500 professionals based in nine countries (Spain, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the United States, Mexico, Portugal, and the United Kingdom).
I.T. architecture standardization
As the IT services arm of the Spanish banking Santander Group, Produban’s mission is to guarantee its clients high levels of availability and quality IT infrastructure services around the clock. Produban put in place a series of reference designs based on standardisation, automation, and partitioning to help reduce the operational risk and increase efficiency without impairing quality.
In 2012, Produban decided to renew and standardize its technology infrastructure. The key objective was to become more efficient without increasing risk or cost. To do this, Produban planned to move their datacenter servers to Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®.
Produban IT decision-makers chose to migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux based on two fundamental factors:
1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a stable platform well-suited to mission-critical loads in highly demanding environments.
2. The open source platform is much more cost-effective than other proprietary market alternatives.
Produban needed a platform that could be scaled horizontally, and running Red Hat Enterprise Linux on an x86 architecture would achieve that goal.
“Red Hat provides us with an operating system base that meets all our needs as far as growth, scalability, security, and corporate support are concerned, and with long-term stability, as far as software solutions are concerned,” said Daniel Concepción, managing director of IT at Produban.
Red Hat Satellite was also added to the standardized infrastructure. This Red Hat Enterprise Linux management system makes the platform easy to deploy, scale, and manage. Updates and upgrades, patches, security alerts, monitoring, and provisioning are all contained within Red Hat Satellite’s console, making it easy for Produban to manage thousands of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems as easily as one.
Freedom and flexibility with open source software
Produban selected Red Hat for a number of reasons. First, Produban needed an enterprise-ready Linux technology with a reliable back-up strategy. The company was particularly impressed by the support Red Hat provided, both at technical and commercial levels and in terms of its security guarantees, product roadmap, and certification with third-party applications.
“One of the things about Red Hat that we liked most was how its solutions are so compatible with products from a majority of independent software vendors (ISVs). Being able to rely on Red Hat solutions guarantees certification for use with the third-party products we might need, which is something we don’t get with other solutions,” said Concepción.
Red Hat’s enterprise open source technology also gives Produban the freedom of choice that no proprietary product could offer. Produban can now create its own strategy, perfectly adapted to its business needs. “Open source allows for more customization, and that is the key to being able to stand out from your competitors. Proprietary products don’t give you that advantage,” said Concepción.
Red Hat Services train and educate staff
Although Produban has considerable in-house knowledge, Red Hat training and consulting services played an important role in bringing the company’s technical staff to a necessary level of confidence and comfort with the new system.
Much of the design and deployment could be undertaken internally by Produban’s staff, but they were also able to call on Red Hat’s in-house consulting services and technical personnel. This significantly contributed to the design, installation, and resolution of any technical problems that arose during the project’s day-to-day development.
Produban’s deployment of Red Hat Enterprise Linux also included a training agreement so that the company’s technical staff could gain or update their knowledge of this platform and its design. This hands-on training ensured that employees are both knowledgeable and experienced with the new platform.
Successful migration of 9,000 servers (and growing)
The new infrastructure is based on standardized hardware with a reference design defined by Produban. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is deployed on x86 servers from various manufacturers, and with different configurations, that are updated every six months.
In the first year of the migration, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been loaded onto more than 9,000 servers, mainly in Spain but also in other subsidiaries in Mexico, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
The new open source infrastructure will eventually take on all Produban’s workloads and those of the Santander Group companies that it serves. Workloads include but are not limited to:
The move from UNIX and Windows has been more successful than Produban expected, and the company reports noticeable performance improvements on workloads. At the same time, the company has benefited from substantial cost savings and improved efficiency over its former UNIX and Windows system environment.
In the next year, Produban expects to migrate around 70% of its entire global IT platform solutions to standard x86 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In addition, the company is also undertaking massive Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization implementation to create and manage their virtual machines.
Produban plans open source future with Red Hat
Produban is also collaborating with Red Hat in the development of new enterprise-ready open source products and with communities of developers working on a variety of projects. Produban doesn’t want to be just a user of open source solutions; it intends to contribute to the communities as well. Red Hat is helping Produban improve its involvement with the open source world so that it can extend this model to other software elements that the company is currently using — including utilities and infrastructure such as GSNET and other applications related to financial services.