2012 Red Hat Innovation Award Winner: Colombian Telecommunications Innovator Cuts Costs in Half with a Seamless Migration to Red Hat Technology

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June 25, 2012

Owned by parent company Empresas Públicas de Medellín, UNE was faced with migrating to a platform that could handle its growing need for bandwidth while drastically reducing licensing, hardware, and maintenance costs.

Customer: UNE EPM Telecommunications

“Red Hat technology is a fundamental pillar within the company’s IT standards.” -Julián Andrés Vélez Muñóz, IDC, Applications and Convergent Services, UNE EPM Telecommunications

Industry: Telecomm
Geography: LATAM
Country: Colombia


Business Challenge:

Owned by parent company Empresas Públicas de Medellín, UNE was faced with migrating to a platform that could handle its growing need for bandwidth while drastically reducing licensing, hardware, and maintenance costs.

Migration Path:

Oracle JES Directory Server, Sun by Oracle to Red Hat Directory Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8, 64-bit

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Training, Red Hat Directory Server

Hardware:

3 master directory servers, 2xE5450 3.00GHz quad-core CPU, 32GB, 2 x 146GB internal disk,Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8 OS, 64bit, Red Hat Directory Server 8.2

Benefits:

Even before the migration to the Red Hat Directory Server was complete, it became apparent to UNE that the new platform was more flexible, streamlined, and cost-effective than expected.

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Background:

UNE EPM Telecommunications is a publicly owned company focused on providing information technology and communication services to customers throughout Colombia. Owned by parent company Empresas Públicas de Medellín, UNE has more than 3,000 employees and boasts one of the largest companies in Colombia. UNE was the first Colombian company to implement interactive television with digital quality via IP protocol as well as the first company with the right to use the 2.5 GHz mobile broadband spectrum granted by the Information Technology and Communications Ministry. With the highest number of IP television subscriptions in Latin America, UNE prides itself on its experience and support, providing a competitive edge to quality services with state-of-the-art technology. UNE provides a wide range of services such as telephone services, datacenter housing, hosting and web hosting, connectivity, and Internet services along with a strong presence in both the professional services and entertainment industries.

Business Challenge:

Unforeseen rising costs of competitors prevents scalability and expansion
With over 1.5 million customers and about 5 million subscribed services in Colombia, UNE EPM Telecommunications views its directory server as the heart upon which its Internet, datacenter, and IP telephony services thrive. The IT and communication services UNE supplies rely on an uninterrupted, seamless connection, that, if disturbed, would leave millions of the the company’s customers without service.

With UNE’s previous purchase of Sun technology, licensing and maintenance costs of its JES Directory Server products skyrocketed by 400%. The increase in costs made many of the products the company supported on its Sun platform unfeasible. Moreover, the internal conditions changed unexpectedly, leaving UNE little time to structure a complete migration project.

With an expanding service portfolio, the company was faced with finding a replacement for its previous platform that could withstand UNE’s growing need for bandwidth, could drastically cut down on licensing, hardware, and maintenance costs demanded by Oracle, and could migrate information from the previous platform in a way that appeared seamless to the end user.

“In view of these costs and risks, migrating our critical platform became a top-priority project,” said Julián Andrés Vélez Muñóz, IDC, Applications and Convergent Services.
 

Solution:

Red Hat Directory Server guarantees flawless migration and seamless integration
Through industry experience, benchmarking, and analysis of UNE’s customer needs, UNE began to consider open source options to propel their business and innovation potential to new heights. Based on this progressive approach, the infrastructure existing on Oracle JES Directory Server was successfully migrated to Red Hat Directory Server. With the new project, UNE’s Directory Server will be supported by Red Hat technology, from the operating system to the application development.

“Red Hat technology is a fundamental pillar within the company’s IT standards, and has given us the ability to carry out major projects in a timeless manner,” said Vélez. “We now have over 46 servers running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, high-availability schemes including clusters, and have reached a complete and successful Red Hat Directory Server migration.”

Red Hat products and services have become a technological standard for UNE EPM Telecommunications. Months prior to the migration, UNE began working with a Red Hat Directory Server technology during a previous project that yielded extremely successful results. “When we embarked on the UNE Red Hat Directory Server project, the power of the Red Hat platform was already known and, coupled with the reliability and high availability of the operating system, Red Hat guaranteed a successful deployment and comprehensive solutions,” said Vélez.

Benefits:

Red Hat’s Directory Server customization cuts licensing,support, operating, and maintenance costs in half
Even before the migration to the Red Hat Directory Server was complete, it became apparent to UNE that the new platform was more flexible, streamlined, and cost-effective than expected.

With the initial anticipation of slightly reducing costs, the telecommunications company found that the licensing and support savings are estimated at almost 50%. “We also estimate an average decrease of 50% in operating and maintenance costs, not to mention that Oracle recovery times after massive failure paled in comparison against Red Hat,” said Vélez. Disaster recovery times within UNE EPM Telecommunications are now 95% lower on average than that of the Oracle JES Directory Server.

“To carry out the project, we engaged Summan S.A.S., a Red Hat partner located in Medellin, Colombia, which took part in every stage of the migration, including feasibility, design, implementation, training, and stabilization. Its involvement has been a success factor in the deployments with Red Hat technology at UNE EPM Telecommunications,” said Vélez.

UNE EPM Telecommunications enlisted Red Hat Training to aid and prepare all of its employees for a a smooth transition to the technology platform. “At the beginning of the project, we Julián Andrés Vélez Muñóz, IDC, Applications and Convergent Servicesneeded comprehensive training to guarantee understanding of the platform operation and expansion processes. The official Red Hat courses we took not only met but surpassed those requirements,” said Vélez. “It was extremely beneficial that Red Hat Training courses were structured to allow attendees to work in controlled scenarios that mirror reality and day-to-day use of the platform for both operation and expansion.”

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