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Industry: Banking & Financial Services
Location: France
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Verspieren

Highlights

  • Provides a reliable platform for Verspieren's business-critical applications
  • Offers low operational costs and high performance
  • Helps IT staff focus on more productive activities

Products

Insurance broker Verspieren wanted to provide user-friendly front-ends to its key mainframe-based business applications. Verspieren selected IBM WebSphere Portal software running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems on the mainframe. The Linux environment provides high uptime and excellent performance combined with low administration costs, ideally suited to the company's mission-critical applications.

Overview

Verspieren is a leading family-owned insurance broker, providing clients with the most appropriate cover for their individual businesses for more than 130 years. Headquartered in the French town of Wasquehal and with operations in Italy and Spain, the company achieves annual revenues of over €300 million, and employs more than 2,000 people.

The Challenge

Verspieren wanted to replace green-screen environments running on virtual IBM 3270 terminals with user-friendly front-ends for its key business applications. These are accessed by the company's internal staff, as well as by corporate clients and business partners via extranets.

Since Verspieren's core databases were already running on IBM DB2 for z/OS, the logical choice was to deploy the portals on IBM WebSphere Portal software running on the mainframe to benefit from the platform's outstanding reliability.

Dominique Bourgain, Manager of Systems and Production at Verspieren, explains: "We selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE as the operating system, because we were confident that it would provide 24/7 availability and an excellent price-performance ratio for our mission-critical applications."

"Our SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE environment is very easy to manage, allowing our IT staff to focus on more productive tasks. Linux on IBM z Systems also offers high performance and low operational costs for these applications."

SUSE Solution

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE currently runs a total of 15 portals, including environments for production, testing and development. The portals provides a user-friendly web presentation layer for Verspieren's business-critical applications, and hook securely back into the company's IBM DB2 databases on z/OS.

Verspieren also runs IBM Content Navigator software, designed to help staff quickly find the content they are looking for in the company's electronic document management system, on two instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on the same mainframe.

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server environment is hosted on a z/VM virtualization layer on Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processors on Verspieren's zEC12 server.

While the environment currently runs on three IFLs, Verspieren is planning to use all six IFLs in its mainframe to support applications once their migration from the green-screen environment is complete.

"Our SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE environment is very easy to manage, allowing our IT staff to focus on more productive tasks," said Dominique Bourgain. "Linux on IBM z Systems also offers high performance and low operational costs for these applications."

The Results

Verspieren has found that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE provides an extremely reliable platform for its business-critical applications.

"The reliability of our key business systems is extremely important to us, since our internal staff, business partners and clients rely upon them to support their day-to-day activities," said Dominique Bourgain.

"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE provides round-the-clock availability for these systems, and we have never had any problems with the environment."

Deploying portals on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE within the mainframe also enables Verspieren to keep sensitive data not only in-house, but also within the same high-security landscape as its core databases.

Running both z/OS and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE on the mainframe also enables Verspieren to avoid adding cost and complexity of investing in additional servers, helping the company maintain the low operational costs it needs to sharpen its competitive edge.

Dominique Bourgain concludes: "We selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for z Systems and LinuxONE as our strategic platform because it provides low costs, high performance and requires little day-to-day administration. In fact, we are moving as many of our key applications as possible onto the platform."