STIA is growing at around 10% every year. To boost operational efficiency and strengthen its customer value proposition, the company wanted to launch new services—without adding costs. Migrating from Red Hat Enterprise Linux to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has enabled STIA to boost the availability and performance of its business-critical applications, while reducing system administration requirements.
STIA is growing at around 10% every year, and is constantly searching for ways to boost operational efficiency. A key part of this involves preventing costs from spiraling out of control, which would damage profitability.
STIA wanted to strengthen the value proposition that it offers to its customers and partners, which include companies such as architecture firms.
Thomas Brottrager, Head of IT at STIA Holzindustrie GmbH, said, “We wanted to begin working more closely with partners and customers, so we needed to launch new services to support that collaboration.
“We set out to find a new platform that would enable us to launch new services without adding costs, and provide the scalability to support future growth.”
STIA engaged ITdesign, a SUSE partner, to identify possible solutions, and ultimately chose to migrate from Red Hat Enterprise Linux to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
“After testing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for six months, we decided to switch and simplify our workflows,” said Thomas Brottrager. “ITdesign provided us with outstanding support throughout the evaluation and migration.”
STIA operates a VMware cluster with nine physical nodes, running almost 100 instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server plus some Windows servers. The company is steadily migrating applications to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and is already successfully running various mission-critical systems such as its ERP system, Informix, PostgreSQL and MySQL database clusters and Oracle Database servers on the new platform. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server also supports various application servers, portal systems and web servers at STIA, including Apache Tomcat for its Java
Thomas Brottrager said, “We found our business application vendors released patches much earlier for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server than for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so we get faster fixes when problems occur.”
STIA also deployed SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop as a development platform, streamlining application development and testing workflows. Using SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server together helps to avoid bugs when moving from development to production, since they are extremely similar environments.
The container engine from the Docker open source project featured in SUSE Linux Enterprise enables users to run multiple applications on one host without a hypervisor—allowing a much more efficient use of resources. This has enabled STIA to decrease the number of virtual machines required for test systems, reducing the associated administrative overhead.
The migration to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is already providing significant benefits.
“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provides a remarkably reliable platform for our business-critical systems,” said Thomas Brottrager. “For some applications, we have achieved availability of 99.9%. We have also seen significant performance improvements for our PostgreSQL database.”
STIA has also been able to accelerate patching processes by capitalizing on the seamless integration of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with third-party software repositories, which simplifies system maintenance.
“Most vendors provide software packages for easy installation and updates, but in the past, integrating external package sources was extremely complicated, so we avoided doing it,” said Thomas Brottrager. “With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, we can update over 70% of the basic components of our applications easily without compiling software ourselves from the source code, so we can maintain higher levels of security with less effort.”
Moving to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has also reduced the time and resources required for system management by approximately 20%.
“We find SUSE Linux Enterprise Server much easier to use and manage than our previous Red Hat environment,” said Thomas Brottrager. “The YaST® tool gives us a central point to configure many aspects of the system, helping us save time.
“Using the container engine from the Docker open source project tool included in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has enabled us to reduce the number of virtual machines we need to manage in our development environment. We estimate that we have cut system administration costs by 10% as a result.”
Overall, migrating to SUSE Linux Enterprise Administrator is helping STIA to free up resources, which can then be used for value-add initiatives. The platform also provides the scalability needed to support STIA’s rapidly growing business.