By running its core applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the agency benefits from reduced hardware investment costs and overall database cost savings of 80 percent. More efficient servers reduce power consumption by more than 87 percent.
Running one of the largest IT systems in Germany, the Federal Employment Agency needs to ensure reliable operations for its broad range of services. Standardization and interoperability are key to the organization’s IT strategy.
As a self-managing public body, the Federal Employment Agency also has to be extremely cost-conscious. This has put pressure on all areas of the agency to work more productively and make the most efficient use of a limited budget.
The IT System House is the IT service provider of the Federal Employment Agency and ensures smooth processing of all IT workloads. Information Technology of the BA, develops and operates one of the largest IT environments in Germany. In total, almost 2,100 people work at Information Technology of the BA, which supports the execution of important federal business processes. The IT System House is a special agency and also the IT operations service provider to the Federal Employment Agency. With its headquarters in Nuremberg, the IT System House manages 160,000 networked computers for staff at the employment agencies as well as job centers and other shared agencies. Information Technology of the BA runs a diverse IT landscape based on different system architectures and operating systems. This led to high costs and created a complex, not entirely sustainable system. The Federal Employment Agency faces the challenge of providing businesses and citizens with quick and reliable access to relevant information and services.
The standardization of the operating system platforms for the information technology at the BA is an important step in consolidating its IT landscapes. After evaluating three different Linux distributions, the Federal Employment Agency selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on the basis of its outstanding compatibility with third-party applications.
Dr. Martin Deeg, General Manager of IT Production at the IT System House of the Federal Employment Agency said, “As our goal is to standardize as many systems as possible on a single platform, it was important that our strategic operating system supported a wide range of applications. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server had the edge in terms of certified compatibility and professional support.”
Within its standardization efforts, the agency migrated mission-critical systems including Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and custom-developed applications based on Oracle Fusion Middleware servers from Solaris, HP-UX and Microsoft Windows Server environments to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, many systems running on VMware virtualization technology.
Smaller and also very large systems are running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. This includes operational database systems with approximately 10 TB of data.
Wolfgang Schneider, Division Director of Technical Services at the IT Service House, said, “We are very satisfied with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The operating system offers a solid foundation for providing high-availability, enterprise-class IT services at low total cost of ownership.”
By deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the Federal Employment Agency was able to move from costly proprietary server architectures to commodity, open x86 systems, reducing server hardware acquisition and maintenance costs by an order of magnitude.
The BA currently runs approximately 1,800 instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Increasing server efficiency and performance density allowed the organization to considerably reduce the number of physical servers and cut power consumption by more than 80 percent. Migrating its Oracle database servers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has also resulted in cost savings of 80 percent for database server operations.
In line with its standardization strategy, the Federal Employment agency is currently evaluating SUSE Manager, with the aim of introducing the software to replace a custom-developed server management solution and improve the automation of patch and update management and further boost IT efficiency.
Dr. Martin Deeg said, “Standardizing our core applications and databases on one operating system and migrating from a mix of operating environments to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has enabled significant cost savings for IT systems. With an open server architecture and SUSE we have improved efficiency, considerably reduced our costs and can continue to provide first-class services to businesses and citizens.”