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Nationwide Deploys Virtualization Computing Solution On Linux

Intends To Save Millions Over The Next Three Years

Nationwide, a diversified insurance and financial services organization, announced it has completed deployment of a virtualization solution running SUSE Linux from Novell on IBM mainframe computers to help the company reduce the total cost of ownership of its IT environment. Running two IBM System z900 servers on Linux, Nationwide is deploying hundreds of virtual servers onto the mainframe systems to help it reduce the costs of data-center floor space, power, and Web hosting. A study in 2005 suggested the savings could be tens of millions of dollars over the next three years.

Prior to the deployment, Nationwide determined that 78 percent of its distributed servers were using ten percent of the computing capacity, leaving a vast amount of its server capability untapped. Consequently, the company spent valuable resources and time maintaining costly servers that took up expensive data center space, consumed energy and used only a small fraction of the available computing power.

With the new solution, virtualization features in the mainframe enable Nationwide to quickly create new virtual Linux-based servers in minutes. The company can now support and consolidate additional workloads and run hundreds of disparate applications on a single, or two, mainframe computers rather than on thousands of physical servers it would have otherwise have purchased.

By creating virtual servers rather than physical ones, Nationwide can better manage its data center power consumption, and improve utilization by more than 80 percent. As a result, the virtualization-based solution enabled Nationwide to defer the expenses that it would have incurred in data center expansion, cooling and electricity costs.

Taking advantage of virtualization technologies, the company now has greater flexibility to boost the computing capacity needed to handle spikes in demand. For example, Nationwide promoted its re-branded Web site by advertising heavily during Super Bowl XL. They significantly increased computing capacity for a two-week period to handle increased traffic to www.nationwide.com, then decreased capacity after the event. Capacity on demand is an attractive feature of server virtualization to a company like Nationwide.

"Virtualizing Nationwide's IT environment on IBM mainframes running Linux has allowed us to significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of our Web hosting environment by leveraging open source technology, such as SUSE Linux, instead of getting tied to proprietary solutions," said Guru Vasudeva, AVP and Enterprise Chief Architect at Nationwide. "New virtualization capabilities will also help us provision new Web hosting environments in days rather than months."

"Customers like Nationwide are increasingly turning to open IBM virtualization solutions to improve efficiency, reduce server sprawl, and boost power consumption," said Rich Lechner, vice president, Virtualization, IBM. "IBM is delighted to partner with Nationwide to showcase this world class example of how an enterprise can earn a significant return on its IT investment with innovative open standards-based information technology solutions."

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SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

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linux news desk 08/17/06 02:25:28 AM EDT

Nationwide, a diversified insurance and financial services organization, announced it has completed deployment of a virtualization solution running SUSE Linux from Novell on IBM mainframe computers to help the company reduce the total cost of ownership of its IT environment.

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