STATISTICS AUSTRIA is Austria’s national office for statistics, located in Vienna. The independent, non-profit organization produces official statistics for the Austrian government, which are also made available to the European Union and other national and international bodies. STATISTICS AUSTRIA employs about 800 people.
To meet ever-growing demand for informative, accurate statistics, STATISTICS AUSTRIA must develop its own highly specialized statistical software with advanced visualizations while maintaining existing applications. To achieve this, the organization needs a lean, costeffective IT environment. Running SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) across three different hardware architectures gives STATISTICS AUSTRIA the flexibility to move applications between platforms quickly and easily — ensuring that mission-critical applications run smoothly while cutting management and maintenance efforts.
In today’s digital age, demand for information is at an all-time high. STATISTICS AUSTRIA is at the forefront of this information revolution, producing statistics from Austrian society and economy, to politics and industry.
DI Dr. Richard Plasun, Deputy Head of IT Division & Head of Data Center at STATISTICS AUSTRIA, begins: “There’s always high demand for new, accurate and more engaging statistics. The highly specialized nature of our work means that we develop many statistical applications ourselves.
“And because we are a public organization, keeping operating costs low is a priority. It’s therefore critical that our IT infrastructure runs the applications as cost-effectively as possible.”
“Knowing that we can always turn to SUSE for support is a big weight off our shoulders and dramatically reduces business risk, since we know that they’ll do whatever it takes to resolve any problems.”
STATISTICS AUSTRIA has relied on SLES to support efficient operations for many years. The organization currently runs SUSE Linux as its main operating system across all three of its hardware platforms: IBM z Systems, IBM Power Systems and its x86 servers.
Dr. Plasun recalls: “We initially deployed SLES on our z Systems environment because SUSE is the market-leader for Linux on the mainframe. As we’ve moved systems off the mainframe onto other platforms, we’ve decided to keep running them on SUSE Linux to simplify operations.”
Today, SLES is the default choice, and STATISTICS AUSTRIA runs it across all hardware platforms, giving the organization a single standard operating system.
Dr. Plasun explains: “To support our IT strategy with a focus on open source software, we wanted a unified IT environment whereby we could develop applications on one platform and run them on another, depending on what level of resources the application needs. Standardizing the operating system to SLES has given us immense flexibility.”
He adds: “Knowing that we can always turn to SUSE for support is a big weight off our shoulders and dramatically reduces business risk, since we know that they’ll do whatever it takes to resolve any problems. Not that we’ve had to call on their support much over the years — SLES is a remarkably secure and stable operating system.”
STATISTICS AUSTRIA operates about 100 virtual servers with SLES across its mainframe, IBM Power Systems and x86 environments.
Dr. Plasun comments: “SLES provides the flexibility, reliability and performance we need to ensure that everything from our core statistical applications to new information platforms run smoothly.”
One such service is the Personal Inflation Calculator, available on the STATISTICS AUSTRIA website. Running on SLES on IBM z Systems, the tool enables citizens to calculate their personal inflation rate by comparing their monthly or annual expenditure on energy, food and other categories with the national inflation rate, helping them understand the impact of inflation on their own lives.
Another application running on SLES, this time on IBM Power Systems, is the Road Traffic Accident Map, which allows citizens to check online where road accidents happen most frequently.
“SLES gives us the freedom to make the most out of our IT infrastructure,” says Dr. Plasun. “For example, when we experienced performance issues with the Personal Inflation Calculator, we were easily able to move this Java application to another platform with more free capacity. With SUSE Linux, we don’t have to worry about interoperability when migrating applications from one platform to another. Being able to move between architectures means we can react rapidly when performance or capacity bottlenecks arise, enabling us to keep applications running smoothly.
“Running SLES across hardware architectures means we have a homogeneous IT environment, simplifying management and maintenance and cutting operational costs, by utilizing the right hardware platform depending on the needs of the application.”
He concludes: “SLES has been at the heart of our IT strategy for many years, and we’re currently evaluating SUSE Manager to help us make the very most of it. To further increase automation and use computing resources more efficiently.”