Finnish City of Kankaanpää Cuts Costs by 50 percent with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

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August 24, 2011

Customer: City of Kankaanpää

Industry: Government
Geography: EMEA
Country: Finland


Business Challenge:

To centrally manage and configure individual desktops at multiple locations around the city of Kankaanpää; To increase the availability of mission-critical solutions running on over-utilised physical servers; To overhaul the city’s IT infrastructure by consolidating both server and client environments onto one centrally managed platform

Migration Path:

Existing CentOS environments were migrated to Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®. Additionally, all physical environments, including Microsoft Windows and the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments (Desktops and Servers) were migrated to virtual machines hosted on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers,
Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Cluster Suite

Hardware:

Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX200 S4, PRIMERGY RX200 S4, and HP ProLiant DL360 G7; Storage solution running on Fujitsu Eternus DX80

Benefits:

Increased scalability to meet requirements for new services and applications from different institutions in the city; simplified and centralized desktop and server availability; single point of management for both servers and desktops; lowered total cost of ownership (TCO); reduced costs for deploying new desktops by 50 percent; increased hardware utilization

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Background:

The City of Kankaanpää is a regional centre for trade and education, as well as the administrative and commercial heart of Northern Satakunta, a region in south western Finland. Kankaanpää has a population of nearly 13,000. The city’s information and communications technology (ITC) department manages more than 1,000 workstations and 25 servers. Desktops are spread over 50 locations around the Kankaanpää City area.

Business Challenge:

There were a number of IT-related challenges that the ICT department in Kankaanpää needed to address. First, it was expensive to manage and configure individual desktops at several scattered locations in and around the city, including diverse places such as public libraries and schools. The various institutions have different needs; for example, schools desire both Linux and Windows desktops
for their workstations. Second, there were a number of mission-critical solutions running on physical servers in the datacenter that proposed a constant risk of downtime; which if occurred, could directly impact business continuity. In fact, several servers had multiple applications running that strained the availability and stability of those services. Often, the servers were left to rely on a single physical system.

Third, the effect of running IT services on a limited number of physical servers increased complexity when deploying new applications, services, or during hardware migration projects, which proved to be both time-consuming and expensive.

Keeping these problems in mind, the city of Kankaanpäärealised the need to completely redraft the architecture of the city’s IT infrastructure by virtualizing and consolidating both server and desktop environments onto one, centrally managed platform. By implementing clustering capabilities across servers to increase redundancy in the datacenter, the city of Kankaanpää could leverage high
availability for mission-critical applications and services running on these systems.

 

“The quantifiable effects of implementing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops were remarkable. The project costs for deploying new desktops were cut by 50 percent and deployment time was reduced by 10 percent. In addition, the lifespan of existing desktop PCs has been extended, as they can now serve as repurposed thin clients hosting virtual desktops run in the datacenter, which requires far less capacity from physical clients.” - Jukka Ehto, head of ICT, Kankaanpää, Finland

Solution:

The city of Kankaanpää entrusted its transformation project to Netorek, a local IT consultancy that previously delivered successful projects to the city. The ICT department at the city of Kankaanpää and Netorek evaluated potential strategies to address the current IT challenges. The decision to pursue an open source strategy that could provide a centrally managed and administered platform was based on satisfying criteria including scalability and flexibility, allowing the ICT department to evolve the datacenter to meet future requirements for new services and applications from different institutions in the city.

To simplify and centralize the management of desktops, Netorek, a Red Hat Advanced Partner, deployed Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops, which allows the ICT department to deploy, configure, and run both Linux and Windows desktops in every public institution throughout the city. To virtualize the city’s server environment, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers was implemented in the datacenter. At first, physical and virtual servers were running in parallel, but gradually services were migrated to the virtual environment, which is now running three virtual host servers and six Red Hat Enterprise Virtualizaton sockets. Red Hat clustering technology was deployed on bare-metal servers to balance workloads for firewalls, as well as facilitate and simplifythe maintenance of servers and increase redundancy in the datacenter.

As part of the Kankaanpää’s move to Red Hat, they are also standardizing their operating system platform on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a decision which simplifies administration and updates of operating systems across both physical and virtual environments.

The most important factors behind the selection of Red Hat as a technology provider were the low total cost of ownership (TCO), availability of full enterprise support, and the scalability that it could deliver. Red Hat’s subscription-based model was an important factor as well; particularly the absence of up-front licensing fees. This was in stark contrast to the complexity and cost of
proprietary bus-iness models, which, due to resource limitations, would have made it virtually impossible for the city of Kankanpää to deploy similar advanced technology from proprietary vendors. Netorek delivered the project on time and in a manner that exceeded the city’s expectations.

Benefits:

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops is now a valued asset for the city of Kankaanpää, enabling the ICT department to deploy virtual workstations across its entire organization in an efficient way. Cross-platform support for Windows and Linux virtual desktops ensures that the needs of each business unit are successfully met and guarantees user requirements. A centrally managed and configured virtualized desktop infrastructure also helps to safeguard data and keep pace with dynamically changing requirements, as well as plans for growth.

“Now capacity can easily be scaled up and new virtualized desktops rolled out to meet any increases in demand,” said Jukka Ehto, head of ICT at city of Kankaanpää. “The quantifiable effects of implementing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops were remarkable. The project costs for deploying new desktops were cut by 50 percent and deployment time was reduced by 10 percent. In addition, the lifespan of existing desktop PCs has been extended, as they can now serve as repurposed thin clients hosting virtual desktops run in the datacenter, which requires less capacity from physical clients.”

The city of Kankaanpää has also improved the availability and stability of mission-critical applications running on virtualized servers in its datacenter since migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers. Therefore, satisfaction has increased amongst the city’s employees and citizens, as IT services are more reliable than ever before. The number of reported IT incidents has also decreased by 20 percent, freeing up support resources.

Cost savings and the high availability of servers are some of the project’s most tangible business benefits. Running multiple workloads on virtual servers has increased hardware utilization from 10 percent to as much as 80 percent. The Red Hat subscription model provides the city with access to much needed support services, as well as certified and tested solutions. Additionally, system-wide
maintenance features easily allow the new Red Hat environment to be updated, patched, and fixed with security updates, without any downtime to end users.

 

FUTURE

The city of Kankaanpää has been so pleased with their deployment that plans to expand its use of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers are already in process. One such plan includes deploying an additional 500 virtualized desktops on the secure and redundant virtualized Red Hat platform. Kankaanpää is also evaluating Red Hat Network Satellite to centrally manage and deploy Red Hat-based virtualized clients and servers.

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