ResMed Breathes Easy with Impressive Cost Savings with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware

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February 10, 2010

Customer: ResMed Inc.

Industry: Retail
Geography: APAC
Business Challenge:

Replacing end-of-life proprietary system with a stable and reliable platform that would facilitate lower-cost hardware and ongoing savings on platform maintenance

Migration Path:

From Sun Solaris running Sun One Application Server to JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and Tru64 UNIX servers running Oracle E-Business Financials, both on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Dell servers. The six Solaris Sunfire V240 servers were replaced by the same number of Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on Dell hardware

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform

Hardware:

80 Dell servers, including four-node Red Hat cluster on Dell 2950s, front-ended with a load balancer

Benefits:

Substantial savings on hardware and licensing costs for all new deployments and savings of approximately $200k on replaced Tru64 server licensing fees, increased and impressive performance, stability and reliability, higher availability, and excellent local support

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Background:

ResMed is a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of products for the screening, treatment, and long-term management of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and other respiratory disorders. Established in 1989, the organisation operates in more than 70 countries through direct offices and a network of distributors and has grown dramatically via the introduction of highly innovative product lines based on sleep medicine and non-invasive ventilation that advance the diagnosis, treatment, and management of SDB.

Business Challenge:

 

As a traditional Sun Solaris and Sun One Application Server user, ResMed was becoming increasingly aware of the mounting hardware and licensing costs of its existing proprietary infrastructure. And as its Tru64 UNIX hardware approached end of life, the organisation recognised an opportunity to reduce its short-term server replacement costs, as well as its longer-term licensing and operating costs.
 
According to Mike Ingram, UNIX Team Lead, ResMed, “Carving costs out of our hardware investment was a big driver for us, so rather than look to Hewlett Packard and Sun again for servers for our refresh, we were interested in looking at how an enterprise-ready open source platform could work for us.”
 
“At the same time, we really wanted to look at the prospect of starting to use iSCSI as opposed to fibre for our SAN connectivity, because our existing fibre environment was already well utilised and to expand this was going require a significant financial investment,“ said Ingram.
Solution:

 

ResMed first introduced Red Hat solutions into the organisation in 2005, when it began successfully migrating it’s Java Applications running on Sun One to JBoss Application Server as its application layer on Sun Solaris.
 
It was due to its positive middleware experience through JBoss and a recommendation from its Linux software developer that in early 2006, ResMed began its Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployment. Over a period of four years, its use of Red Hat Enterprise Linux expanded to 50 Dell 1950 and 2950 servers based in Australia, Europe, and the USA, with three servers running Red Hat virtualisation clusters for 10 guests.
 
In 2009, ResMed replaced two production Tru64 servers with four Red Hat servers and implemented another two Red Hat servers in place of its two UAT Tru64 servers. Its three Solaris Sunfire V240 production servers were replaced with three Red Hat Enterprise Linux based servers, and the three Solaris Sunfire V240 UAT servers were replaced with an additional three Red Hat servers. The remainder of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux based servers were implemented for development, UAT, and production purposes, to host Oracle databases and applications, along with internally developed JBoss applications.
 
The organisation also finally implemented the much-anticipated iSCSI for its SAN connectivity.
 
“We set up a couple of servers into a cluster running Red Hat Enterprise Linux with integrated virtualisation, and we now have three hosts in the cluster connected to the SAN and are using Red Hat clustering and global file system,” said Ingram.
 
“We’re using a mixture of Red Hat Enterprise Linux installations, including our original Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 installation, and more recently, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 and 5.3. In the coming months, we will migrate to version 5.4 across the board.”
 
ResMed also continues to value its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, which it uses for a number of critical internal applications, including IPMS (Intellectual Property Management System), POS (Point of Sale), and PRS (Performance Review System), as well as for externally hosted websites (including www.resmed.com).
Benefits:

 

By replacing its Tru64 UNIX server cluster with non-proprietary Dell servers, ResMed estimates it saved approximately $200k on licensing costs.

“Previously we had replaced a Tru64 UNIX cluster, which at the time cost about $200k in maintenance per annum and is an end-of-life operating system. We replaced this Tru64 cluster with a Red Hat cluster, which has cost us just $40k in hardware and $10k for licensing, significantly less costly than our previous platform,” said Ingram.

Importantly for ResMed, the impressive cost savings are coupled with solid performance for the administrators and users, along with rock-solid stability and maximum uptime, which is crucial for the business.

In addition, running its Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtualization cluster has proven to be considerably cheaper than any other virtualisation offering ResMed investigated.

Finally, replacing its fibre SAN connectivity with iSCSI has also enabled ResMed to cut costs. While the cost of extending the fibre switches is approximately $60,000, it cost ResMed only $20,000 to install Ethernet switches for iSCSI. Furthermore, the cost of an HBA is approximately $2,000 per server, while the cost of an Ethernet card is close to just $400 per server.

Throughout the migration process, ResMed found Red Hat’s on-the-ground support to be very reassuring. With its Brisbane-based engineering and support centre, Red Hat provides local expertise and experience on a 24×7, ‘follow-the-sun’ basis.

“Compared with many other vendors where support is outsourced internationally to various time zones, Red Hat’s quality support is reliable and available if and when we need it,” said Ingram.

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