Schwäbisches Tagblatt GmbH Logo
Industry: Technology & Media
Location: Germany
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Schwäbisches Tagblatt GmbH gives digital readers access to real-time news with SUSE

Highlights

  • Minimizes virtualization costs, while maximizing reliability for effective IT operations
  • Supports time-critical journalism, bringing news to readers on schedule
  • Powers rapid deployment of new apps and services to drive new initiatives

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The Schwäbisches Tagblatt is a local newspaper serving Tübingen, a university town in southwestern Germany, and the surrounding communities. The print edition, published Monday to Saturday, is the newspaper with the highest circulation in the Tübingen area, reaching over 100,000 readers. The company also publishes local, national and international news, as well as weather, sports and entertainment content on its website seven days a week. The Schwäbisches Tagblatt employs around 150 people.

At-a-Glance

To run a modern publishing operation, German local newspaper the Schwäbisches Tagblatt must ensure journalists can use email and phones at all times, as well as manage production, from editing to printing, without delays. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension and integrated Xen virtualization, the publisher keeps mission-critical tasks and processes on track and on budget, ensuring that its print and digital publications go out to readers on time, every time.

The Challenge

The Schwäbisches Tagblatt prints and delivers tens of thousands of newspapers six days a week, and continuously updates its digital news website. It is therefore vital that the IT systems underpinning operations run reliably — day in, day out.

Sascha Speidel, head of IT at the Schwäbisches Tagblatt, explains: “We rely very heavily on IT at every stage of the production process, from research and writing to editing and design. We must keep to very strict schedules in order to go to press on time, so there is no room for downtime. Ensuring high availability for these applications is a top priority.”

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has proven to be a remarkably stable and reliable platform over the years. We have always been very satisfied with the SUSE solution in terms of its simplicity, availability and performance. SUSE Linux Enterprise continues to meet our requirements and is a tried, tested and trusted platform.”

SUSE Solution

For many years, the Schwäbisches Tagblatt has run its mission-critical business applications, as well as its file, print and email services, on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).

Speidel comments: “SLES has proven to be a remarkably stable and reliable platform over the years. We have always been very satisfied with the SUSE solution in terms of its simplicity, availability and performance. SUSE Linux Enterprise continues to meet our requirements and is a tried, tested and trusted platform.

“In all the years that we have been using SLES, we have not experienced any major issues. We work with our technology partner B1 Systems, who answers our questions and resolves any issues very quickly and professionally in collaboration with SUSE Support.”

The Schwäbisches Tagblatt has six physical Lenovo servers, configured as two redundant three-node clusters, running SLES with SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) High Availability Extension. The host systems run the Xen virtualization technology built into SLES. The Schwäbisches Tagblatt relies on around 60 virtual machines running a mix of SLES, Open Enterprise Server, other Linux distributions and Microsoft Windows Server.

Speidel notes: “Thanks to the built-in Xen virtualization, we can consolidate workloads onto an environment with high availability and an attractive total cost of ownership, making SLES a very costeffective platform.”

Using a wide range of general and industry-specific business applications, including content management systems, archives, bookkeeping and subscription management systems, the Schwäbisches Tagblatt runs several databases on its SLES and Xen environment, including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL. The company has also deployed its business-critical central phone system, based on the Swyx Voice over Internet Protocol communication solution, on SLES.

The Results

With SLE High Availability Extension, the Schwäbisches Tagblatt can ensure that its business applications and communications services run reliably 24/7.

The organization recently achieved a live migration of its telephone system from one physical server cluster to the other without any impact on business-critical phone communication services, demonstrating the robustness of the SUSE solution.

Speidel comments: “We are delighted with the availability, stability and reliability of SLES. Since we implemented SLES, we have not experienced any unplanned outages. Our employees can always reliably access the tools they need to chase the latest stories and get the newspaper out quickly, so we can deliver news when it’s most relevant to our readers.”

By taking advantage of the Xen virtualization technology built into SLES, the Schwäbisches Tagblatt can offer fully virtualized, clustered IT services very cost-efficiently. “Our solution with SLES and Xen virtualization offers us all the flexibility and tooling we need to make the most of our infrastructure with low administration overheads,” says Speidel.

He concludes: “As more and more readers choose to subscribe to the digital app rather than the print newspaper, round-the-clock availability becomes even more important. Thanks to our partner B1 Systems, SLES and SLE High Availability Extension, we can deliver news to our readers when and how they want it — whether that’s a physical paper on their doorstep in the morning, or online in the middle of the night.”