An IT director at a large financial services company shares the benefits and cost reductions they’ve experienced by switching to Red Hat Virtualization. In just three years, it’s paved the way for an efficient, stable and cost-effective virtualization environment.

Digital transformation in a Linux environment

For companies across every sector, supporting increasingly complex IT environments is a growing challenge. IT teams are under constant pressure to speed up application development, minimize downtime and reduce costs. Many have chosen virtualization to achieve better IT flexibility, security and scalability.

Recently, Red Hat asked Forrester Consulting to interview an IT director at a large financial services company1. The business serves more than 15 million customers, and its technology department alone employs over 1,500 people. When its proprietary virtualization solution for its Linux and Windows environment needed scaling up, it decided to switch from its legacy provider to Red Hat Virtualization. Not only has this overcome many of the company’s IT challenges — it has also resulted in major financial savings. Here’s how.

Immediate and long-term savings

The business has been heavily reliant on Linux for some time. Three years ago, a quarter of its mission-critical workloads and applications were already being run on virtualized Linux — and this figure was growing fast. The IT director knew the company needed a more flexible and cost-effective infrastructure to support their expanding Linux footprint. They decided to deploy Red Hat Virtualization; and they’ve never looked back.

"Our [Linux] environment was growing quickly, and we were already using some Red Hat products," the director told us. "We therefore considered that it would be fairly easy to integrate Red Hat Virtualization with new products and technologies, while at the same time realizing cost savings as compared to our legacy environment."

Within three years of deployment, Red Hat Virtualization has successfully delivered significant cost savings for the business. For example, the company no longer pays upfront license fees for their proprietary virtualization solution. Instead, they pay for Red Hat Virtualization on a subscription basis—resulting in almost half a million dollars worth of capex savings over three years.2 The company has also achieved an estimated $495,000 in opex savings, as it no longer has to pay yearly renewals for ongoing maintenance and support costs charged by the previous vendor. 

Faster problem-solving and innovation

Another benefit that the company is experiencing is faster custom deployment and development. This is helping to save on development time and resources, while the company's IT team moves towards a culture of innovation and rapid problem-solving. The business is now in a better position to meet development deadlines and act decisively when application and infrastructure improvements are needed. 

For example, the company had previously developed a custom disaster recovery solution, but it was rigid and difficult to maintain. With Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat Ansible Tower delivers a much more flexible disaster recovery solution. The new solution is still configured to the company’s needs — but instead of being entirely bespoke, it’s supported by Red Hat and easy to update. This newfound stability is saving the company around 200 hours of development time a year and driving further opex savings.

According to the director, "[Red Hat] Ansible Tower provides us with a very flexible environment. We used Ansible to build our disaster recovery solution. It is far easier for us to maintain than the custom disaster recovery solution we had built with our legacy virtualization environment."

Simplified support and reduced downtime

Stability is key for any IT department. Experiencing technical issues like unresponsive virtual machines (VMs) can be frustrating for all employees and lead to costly downtime. With Red Hat Virtualization, the company’s infrastructure team is saving significant time and resources due to the reduced number of incidents. Not only is this further contributing to the company’s opex savings, it’s also helping to free up IT employees to focus on driving innovation and new opportunities.

A business that’s now ready for the future

Since the introduction of Red Hat Virtualization, the company’s Linux footprint has more than tripled. And while the business is already realizing tangible financial benefits from Red Hat Virtualization, there may be even more positive side-effects in the future. 

The IT Director also says that they believe that the use of Red Hat Virtualization will paint the organization in a positive light when it comes to recruiting new talent. "Our vision is to invest in open source technologies because this is where the innovation lies. Using new, modern DevOps tools allows us to attract and keep talent."

They say that they believe that many developers are attracted to organizations that use open source technology, as it empowers them to collaborate — and it’s often seen as an indication that the business has an innovative and forward-thinking attitude. 

Red Hat Virtualization has also helped the business to build a strong foundation for the deployment of new technologies in the future, like container-based applications and custom cloud infrastructure-as-a-service solutions. The company feels ready for whatever IT demands its rapid growth might bring. Are you?

Forrester Consulting has constructed a Total Economic ImpactTM framework for organizations considering implementing Red Hat Virtualization. This identifies the cost, benefit, flexibility and risk factors that can impact the choice to invest. To find out more and learn exactly how much the financial services company saved in capex and opex, download the full study from our resource library here.

1: The Total Economic Impact™ Of Red Hat Virtualization, a July 2019 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Red Hat.
2: All values quoted are the present or current value of (discounted) cost and benefit estimates given at an interest rate (the discount rate). See the study for full details about the economic impact of Red Hat Virtualization: https://www.redhat.com/en/resources/forrester-total-economic-impact-red-hat-virtualization​

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