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June 23, 2009

Customer: Repsol YPF

Industry: Oil and Gas
Geography: LATAM
Country: Argentina

Business Challenge:

Renovate proprietary infrastructure with the goal of reducing costs and boosting performance with open source solutions

Migration Path:

From SUN Solaris, HP-UX, and IBM AIX to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with virtualization on Intel Xeon Processor-based IBM System x servers


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with integrated virtualization, Red Hat Network, SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), 10g DB, Red Hat Consulting


Intel Xeon Processor-based IBM System x 346, 366, 3650, 3850 servers


Reduced capital and operational costs, boosted performance and efficiency of administrators, increased internal customer satisfaction by reducing implementation time, increased scalability and agility, and expanded flexibility


YPF S.A., the largest company in Argentina, is an energy company, operating a leading integrated oil and gas business across the domestic upstream and downstream segments. The upstream operations consist of the exploration, development and production of crude oil, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas. The downstream operations include the refining, marketing, transportation and distribution of oil and a range of petroleum derivatives, petrochemicals, liquid petroleum gas and biofuels.

Business Challenge:

In 1999, YPF embarked on the task of renovating its proprietary infrastructure for the solution of its YPF Gas business unit with the goal of reducing its costs and to boost the performance of its critical business applications.

YPF determined that migrating its infrastructure off legacy RISC/UNIX and proprietary software and deploying open source solutions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, would allow it to manage operations more efficiently and drastically reduce the cost of IT operations.

At the time of the decision, YPF had to overcome internal hesitation about open source platforms, as Linux was just beginning to emerge as a viable enterprise operating platform, and had not yet gained the widespread adoption prevalent in today’s industry.

“At YPF, decisions are made only after thorough testing and research, and the IT team had proven that migrating from the RISC/UNIX and proprietary servers to open and flexible platforms would pose no risk to the reliability, availability, and performance of the systems,” said Adriana Marisa Vázquez, responsible for the UNIX administration group at YPF. “We also had to ensure that our SAP and Oracle solutions were fully supported and certified on the selected platform.”


After research and testing, YPF selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel Xeon Processor-based hardware and started incorporating the solution on small Informix systems to renew the database servers distributed among the company’s 29 gas plants around Argentina.

The company saw an immediate positive impact on cost and performance. The significant reduction in costs, especially when compared with the license cost of RISC-based platforms, and the increased performance and availability, drove the decision to scale with Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel Xeon Processor-based IBM System x servers.

“We chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux for a number of reasons, the most basic being the lower costs, simplified management with Red Hat Network, and the compatibility and performance with our SAP and Oracle solutions,” said Vázquez. “After the initial success, we began to include other platforms. Now, more than 80 percent of our Oracle databases and 90 percent of our SAP applications run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with integrated virtualization on Intel Xeon Processor-based servers and is the choice for our SAP and Oracle implementations.”

There are 117 Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Intel Xeon Processor-based servers, 83 percent of which are allocated to SAP and Oracle applications supporting different company processes such as:
- Serviclub
- YPF Boxes
- Internal Service Stations network
- Service Station Stores
- Well information for extraction and maintenance
- Retail
- 90 percent of the dialog steps processed at YPF run on the Red Hat and Intel

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with integrated virtualization enables YPF to quickly virtualize servers for testing and development, and arranging configurations to try new features in-house before offering them to the public. YPF can rapidly push servers live into productions, effectively increasing the utilization of servers without server sprawl in data centers.

“The virtual machines we built were very expansive, and we’ve achieved truly outstanding performance with Red Hat. Without the help of Red Hat Consulting, we would not have been able to have the virtual servers providing the SAP and Oracle application services as we have today,” said Vázquez. “With Red Hat’s virtualization technology, we can maintain the hardware without affecting the performance by moving virtual machines on the fly,” she added.

YPF relied on Red Hat Consulting to contribute expertise during the deployment and ongoing improvement, and the Red Hat Consultants still provides expert product knowledge to increase internal capabilities. With demanding day-to-day activities at YPF, deploying new technology solutions generally takes significant time and resources, Red Hat Consulting has been able to speed up implementation projects, helping to free up internal YPF resources to work on strategic projects.

“Over the years, Red Hat Consultants have gained considerable knowledge of our business and we consider them technological partners rather than a consultant or a vendor,” said Vázquez.

The implementation of Red Hat Network, a centralized systems management platform, heavily involved Red Hat Consulting. “Red Hat Network has allowed us to administer the platform in a centralized manner, which has helped us save considerable time and enabled our administrators to become far more efficient,” said Vázquez.


The success of YPF’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtualization deployment has allowed the company to roll out Red Hat as the standard solution of choice across its organization. Through the combination of Red Hat’s virtualization capabilities and Intel processor-based servers, YPF achieved cost savings, heightened performance, simplification and ease of management, and expanded scalability.

Through Red Hat’s advanced virtualization capabilities, the organization was able to free up internal hardware and technical expert resources for reallocation in alignment with business goals. With its virtualization technology integrated with the operating platform, and at no extra cost, Red Hat Enterprise Linux provided YPF with added flexibility and reduced costs and complexity for its critical systems.

“Our systems have become more agile and flexible with the combination of Red Hat’s virtualization technology on Intel’s reliable platforms,” said Vázquez. “Our systems are now more operationally efficient, and we still have the high performance our business demands, coupled with decreased costs” she added.

“With Red Hat Network, our work has been simplified by means of set-up and configuration standards. With Red Hat virtualization technology, deployment times are drastically reduced, and a Linux server only takes a few minutes, compared to hours, to configure,” said Vázquez.

The reduced delivery times of an installed server have increased YPF’s internal customer’s satisfaction too.

Currently, YPF is analyzing the addition of the Red Hat Network Satellite option, in order to leverage high-end management, provisioning, and monitoring. It is also evaluating the implementation of Red Hat Cluster Suite for high-availability solutions.

“Red Hat is based on the subscription model, which has provided us freedom from vendor lock-in,” said Vázquez. “We trust Red Hat as a technology partner for the solid expertise of its IT professionals, its knowledge of our business-critical concerns, and its commitment to high-quality support and services. We look forward to growing together with Red Hat in the future,” she concluded.

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