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Success story

Chinese telecom finds way to grow without new hardware

21CN Information Network, a top web portal in China, owned by China Telecom, wanted to expand but already had more than 100 servers to host key business applications. The company chose to implement virtualization and centralized management with Red Hat® Virtualization. The Red Hat solution has become a virtual resource pool from which the company can create, deploy, and manage virtual servers needed in the 21CN environment.

Customer Since

2010

Guangzhou, China

Telecommunications Industry

Objective

Maximize existing IT resources by building a stable, efficient, and powerful virtualization platform capable of supporting the parent company’s growth.

Hardware

  • Dell PowerEdge R910
  • HP ProLiant DL785 servers

Red Hat Virtualization takes full advantage of our existing hardware resources. Compared with other virtualization solutions, it provides higher cost-effectiveness by reducing our operating and maintenance costs dramatically.

Xiao Jinsong, Project manager, 21CN Information Network

Telecommunications company wanted virtualization

One of the top web portals in China, 21CN Information Network (21CN) is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Telecom. The company provides a comprehensive multimedia consulting platform, online video, mailbox, broadband, and value-added mobile services.

21CN also serves as a major business operation support and maintenance vendor for China Telecom. In this role, 21CN plans, designs, implements, deploys, and maintains services for various critical businesses of the parent company. 21CN provides technology support for such portals as Tianyi Photo Album, E-home Garden, and Broadband Safeguard.

Business demands grow

To meet the demands of the thriving telecommunications industry, 21CN had to expand and purchase new equipment to complement its existing server, storage, and network resources. Businesses within China Telecom required more than 100 servers to host key business applications and keep up with the continued growth in services. After extensive evaluation, 21CN determined that many of its essential business services could run on a virtualized platform, but the company feared that the cost of licensing and software could well exceed the cost of hardware.

21CN already had numerous servers and storage devices supporting existing projects, so it needed to find a way to continue to handle the parent firm’s growth with its existing resources. The company chose to implement virtualization and centralized management of its fleet of servers and storage hardware. The goal was to maximize its existing resources and avoid the need to purchase additional hardware.

21CN moves to unified environment

The company did careful evaluations, then turned to Red Hat Virtualization to build a stable, efficient, and powerful virtualization platform. “Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization takes full advantage of our existing hardware resources,” said Xiao Jinsong, project manager at 21CN. “Compared with other virtualization solutions, it provides higher cost-effectiveness by reducing our operating and maintenance costs dramatically and by providing stable and effective support for our core business systems.”

Centralized management

To implement its centralized management approach, 21CN used Red Hat Virtualization with the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor as the foundation for its management server, along with Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating platform. The Red Hat solution is deployed on 7 servers that are maximized as a virtual resource pool from which the company can create, deploy, and manage virtual servers needed in the 21CN environment.

More than 70 virtual machines have been deployed since the implementation. Each virtual machine has a minimum configuration of a 4-core CPU, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 500 gigabytes of virtual disk space. These virtual machines support various versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other operating systems, as well as numerous application servers and Oracle database servers.

Company uses existing resources and reduces cost

21CN’s virtualized platform has been providing stable, efficient support for nearly a year for the company’s portals, such as Tianyi Photo Album, E-home Garden, and Broadband Safeguard. By taking full advantage of 21CN’s existing equipment resources, the Red Hat Virtualization solution has enabled the company to avoid buying more hardware.

“Since its implementation, all physical and virtual servers have been performing well and their performance exceeds our business requirements,” said Jinsong. “More importantly, the entire business system is built on existing servers and hardware resources, so we have not had the need to purchase additional hardware. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization reduces the software cost considerably.”

21CN has been so impressed with its stability, performance, and cost advantage that, after a year of experience with the Red Hat virtualization solution, the company has decided to add more Red Hat technology. The company plans to deploy more production servers using Red Hat Virtualization and also is considering implementing Red Hat Virtualization 3.

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