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The Bank of New Zealand deploys Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

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February 17, 2009

Red Hat announces that the Bank of New Zealand, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group, has deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on IBM System z mainframes to solve environment, space and cost issues related to its data center.

With Red Hat and IBM, the Bank of New Zealand has significantly reduced its hardware footprint, power consumption, heat and carbon emissions and costs, including an expected 20 percent cost reduction over the life of the platform.

The Bank of New Zealand was close to reaching capacity in its data center and needed a new solution that could maximize space and resources while at the same time help keep costs down.

"The bank had defined two important goals for the future, both of which relied heavily on IT infrastructure. The first was for the bank to become carbon neutral by next year, and the second was to explore open source opportunities through the adoption of Linux," said Lyle Johnston, infrastructure architect at BNZ.

"We also faced the challenge of creating a disaster-recovery solution for our data centers in Auckland, New Zealand and East Melbourne, Australia."

Two years ago, the bank began overhauling its mission-critical front-end IT environment, including its Internet banking and bank teller functions, and its middleware layer providing connectivity through to its core back-end data.

It then migrated its systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 running under z/VM on the mainframe.

Today, the bank utilizes both IBM System z10 and z9 systems, exclusively running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, to power the bank's customer-facing banking systems, including Internet banking and teller platforms.

"When it came to selecting a Linux provider, the choice to invest in Red Hat was largely based on its commitment to the ongoing development of the platform and its strong support capabilities, particularly in reference to supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the mainframe," said Johnston.

"Deploying IBM mainframes with RHL to address our cost savings concerns was a very big deal, especially at the senior management level," added Johnston.

A critical component in the successful deployment and ongoing management of its new systems, the bank also integrated Red Hat Network (RHN) to provide it with the ability to provision, update, patch and maintain through simple, easy-to-use functionality.

By utilizing RHN Satellite, the bank was able to re-provision its entire teller platform development environment in just two hours.

The combination of z/VM and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 enabled BNZ to virtualize and consolidate a largely distributed IT environment, which incorporates all of its front-end systems, down to just one server.

It boosted the speed and simplicity of the bank's new deployments. Now, instead of taking days, a new environment can be deployed in just a few minutes.

Additionally, now just one administrator is needed for every 100 virtual servers. That way, the bank can save and reallocate some of its IT resources that would traditionally have been used to manage the platform.

For the future, the bank has adopted a long-term strategic view that incorporates expanded use of Red Hat Enterprise Linux throughout its IT architecture.

"Introducing Red Hat Enterprise Linux into the organization has brought new enthusiasm and life into the business and the people behind it. This project has been a gateway for us, and working with Red Hat has opened our eyes to what's possible with open source," said Johnston.

"We have also managed to lower our front-end power consumption by about forty percent, which means we are well and truly on our way to become carbon-neutral by our 2010 goal," said Johnston.

With the combination of Red Hat and IBM, the Bank of New Zealand has achieved significant cost savings and made major steps to 'green' its IT department. In just three months, it was able to consolidate its servers and lower its front-end systems data center footprint by almost a third.

The bank has recorded a 33 percent reduction in heat output and a 39 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions for its front-end systems. The IT solutions have also helped it carve out costs, as it expects approximately a 20 percent ROI over the life of the platform.

Source: Red Hat.

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