Ready for the Future: Berendsen Modernizes and Consolidates IT Infrastructure with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

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October 1, 2012

Consolidation and optimization of IT systems drove the effort to modernize the IT infrastructure of two datacenters at Berendsen GmbH, Business Unit Healthcare.

Customer: Berendsen GmbH

“Our new consolidated IT infrastructure, with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization at its core, ensures that our datacenters are well-equipped to meet future IT challenges.” Martin Röh, Head of Infrastructure at Berendsen GmbH, Business Unit Healthcare

Industry: Manufacturing
Geography: EMEA
Country: Germany


Business Challenge:

Consolidation and optimization of IT systems drove the effort to modernize the IT infrastructure of two datacenters at Berendsen GmbH, Business Unit Healthcare.

Software:

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

Benefits:

Berendsen successfully implemented a comprehensive IT solution using Red Hat® Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux®, Red Hat Network Satellite, and OpenV3, a preconfigured open source datacenter solution from Magirus.

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Background:

About Berendsen The Berendsen Group is part of Berendsen plc, a leading textile service company in Europe. Based in Glückstadt, Berendsen GmbH, Business Unit Healthcare, offers a comprehensive, around-the-clock supply of textiles tailored to customer demand. As experts in infection control and linen management, Berendsen offers the highest standards of cleanliness, and in many hospitals has an on-site team to enable medical staff to concentrate on patient care.

Business Challenge:

Modernizing and optimizing IT infrastructure

Consolidation and optimization of IT systems drove the effort to modernize the IT infrastructure of two datacenters at Berendsen GmbH, Business Unit Healthcare, in Glückstadt and Hagen, Germany. In addition to running different operating systems and virtualization platforms, the dated hardware resulted in inefficient use of resources and high maintenance costs. Intel x86 and HP-UX systems ran Windows Server 2008, Windows XP, Debian Linux, SUSE Linux, and Oracle Linux in conjunction with virtualization platforms such as Xen, OpenVZ, and Virtualbox.

“Our IT infrastructure was reaching its limit. Plus, its heterogeneous nature incurred extremely high maintenance costs. The only way forward was to upgrade and consolidate our entire IT infrastructure,” said Martin Röh, Head of Infrastructure at Berendsen GmbH, Business Unit Healthcare.

Berendsen required a solution that had high availability, improved load distribution, used physical hardware more efficiently, had scripted capability, and efficient administration. It also had to be a certified solution that can run existing SAP and Oracle applications. Ultimately, Berendsen needed to standardize its system with an open source platform, allowing it to utilize the company’s existing Linux expertise.

Solution:

The solutions

Gonicus, an Arnsberg-based Red Hat Advanced Business Partner that specializes in IT infrastructure and virtualization, identified a solution that met Berendsen’s criteria. With Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, which includes the latest version of the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor, Gonicus provided Berendsen with a solution of the highest degree of functionality, at an attractive price, and with the capability to integrate into the existing IT system. Since 2003, Gonicus has supported Berendsen as one of the largest independent service providers for open source software in Germany. To implement a homogeneous solution, Berendsen also selected OpenV3 from Magirus, one of Europe’s leading Red Hat distributors. OpenV3 is a preconfigured open source datacenter solution designed to meet the needs of small-to medium-sized enterprises. OpenV3 is based on Cisco servers and network components, EMC storage systems, and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is the core element of Magirus’ rapidly deployed infrastructure package. It features a high-performance hypervisor, full range of management functions, high availability, and live migrations. “Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization offers excellent scalability and performance, including a web-based management system and an intuitive graphical user interface,” said Röh.

Berendsen also consolidated its IT infrastructure’s operating systems on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which allowed it to run its existing SAP, Windows, and Oracle applications on 34 Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization virtual machines. Both Red Hat products are supplied, scaled, and managed via the Red Hat Network Satellite management platform.

The following products were implemented as part of the project:

1. VM hosts: 4 Cisco UCS C200 M2 servers, equipped with 2 Intel CPUs 5670, 64GB RAM, and 2 500GB hard drives

2. Management server: 1 Cisco UCS C200 M2 server, equipped with 2 Intel CPUs 5620, 48GB RAM, and 2 500GB hard drives

3. Storage: 1 EMC system, VNX5300, with 5.7TB of raw capacity and SAN mirroring

4. SAN switches: 2 Brocade DS300B with 8/24 ports

Red Hat Training added even more value to the migration. Gonicus conducted several training sessions and trouble-shooting seminars during the implementation process. This led to the completion of the entire project within just six months.

Benefits:
A future-proof IT infrastructure
 
As a result of the smooth migration, the administrative and maintenance costs and associated personnel resources required to run the previous infrastructure have been significantly reduced. The consolidated IT infrastructure removes inefficient systems and ensures better use of resources while delivering greater reliability. Optimized load distribution means that performance bottlenecks are a thing of the past.
 
“The project was completed in a short time and we were able to achieve all of our goals thanks to the results-oriented cooperation of our implementation partners, Gonicus and Red Hat. Our new consolidated infrastructure, with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization at its core, ensures that our datacenters are well-equipped to meet future IT challenges,” said Röh.

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