"Rebuilding the system from scratch each time we had to deal with these changes was becoming too difficult from a cost perspective," said Yoshikazu Sato, Chief Manager, Systems Infrastructure Department No. 1, Systems Division, BTMU. "As we examined our existing system, we began to think about the possibility of taking previously implemented features and reusing them in the new system."
In December 2010, BTMU launched its first SOA platform-based application, a batch query system that allowed bank employees to carry out multiple transactions in one operation. "We used to have to make multiple queries in order to obtain the data for a single bank employee," Sato said. "But with this new service, we are able to retrieve all of the required data in a single operation."
The implementation was successful, and BTMU put the application into use in all of its branches by February 2011.
Other businesses within BTMU are making more and more requests to use this SOA platform, and BTMU predicts the amount of transaction processing it handles will increase sharply in the future. "The system processes several tens of thousands of transactions per day right now," said Sato, "but we hope to handle about a hundred times that on the SOA platform in a year's time. Part of the reason we adopted SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on IBM z Systems was that it would be able to handle this amount of transactions."
"Building the SOA on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server this time required far less TCO than building it on the same middleware as z/OS," he said. "With IA servers, we would need to keep about 20 % of the resources free while running the system, but z Systems will continue running even when 100 % of resources are being used, which was another benefit."
Another reason for adopting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was its high stability.
"We did not have any SUSE Linux Enterprise Server-related problems when we launched the full SOA platform," said Tetsuya tagami, Manager, Systems Infrastructure Department No. 1, Systems Division, BTMU. "The transition was stable and the OS ran smoothly the entire time, allowing us to focus on developing our business services instead. We had a limited amount of time in which to build this SOA platform, so it was extremely important for us to create the highest-quality SOA in the time that we had."
An additional advantage was the opensource community around Linux, with its stores of publicly released source code.
"We didn't generally have to analyse any of the code," commented Sato, "but whenever unexpected trouble came up, we could examine the source, figure out the problem and come up with an appropriate solution, which gave all of us a sense of security."
Note: All information in this document reflects the status of BTMU's implementation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE as of November 2011.