Under pressure of rising costs, the German Federal Employment Agency was looking for a more efficient way to provide critical services. With key applications now being run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the employment agency is benefiting from lower investment costs for hardware and savings of around 80 percent for database servers. In addition, these more efficient servers reduce energy consumption by more than 80 percent.
The German Federal Employment Agency is the largest service provider in the German labor market and offers comprehensive services for job seekers, employers, apprentices and employees. With approximately 120 of its own IT processes, three central data centers, 11 regional data centers and 150,000 networked PCs, the agency operates one of the largest IT environments in Germany, which it continues to develop. Every month, the agency sends 50 million emails and 9 million letters and conducts 18 million bank transfers, making service reliability a top priority. Standardization and interoperability are fundamental cornerstones of the agency’s IT strategy.
The employment agency is using an open source operating system and, after evaluating three different Linux distributions, opted for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server due to its compatibility with third-party applications.
“Our goal was to standardize as many systems as possible on a single platform,” said Dr. Martin Deeg, managing director of IT Production at the IT systems department of the German Federal Employment Agency. “It was therefore important for our strategic operating system to support a wide variety of applications. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server scored points with regard to certified compatibility and professional support in particular. With the open server architecture and SUSE, we were able to increase our efficiency, significantly reduce expenditures, and continue to offer a first-class service to business customers and citizens.”
As part of the move toward a standardized environment, the Federal Employment Agency migrated business-critical systems such as Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and in-house developments based on Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle WebLogic application servers from Solaris, HP-UX and Microsoft Windows server environments to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Many of these systems are operated with VMware virtualization technology.
After the successful transition of smaller systems to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the employment agency made the move to migrate large applications to the new platform.
Wolfgang Schneider, head of technical services at the IT systems department of the German Federal Employment Agency, said, “We are very pleased with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The operating system provides a sound basis for the provision of high-availability IT services for companies at low operating costs.”
Today, the employment agency’s main information systems are run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, including operational database systems, each of which contain several terabytes of data. The employment agency currently operates some 1,800 instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
As part of its standardization strategy, the employment agency is currently evaluating SUSE Manager. The aim is to replace a server management solution developed in-house in order to optimize the automation of patch management and update management and increase IT efficiency.
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