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Florida College Taps IBM Virtualization to Simplify Its Technology and Safeguard Data

Innovative Technology Enables Palm Beach Community College to Expand Distance Learning Program and Become Better Prepared for Hurricane Conditions

ARMONK, NY - 13 Jan 2006: IBM today announced that Palm Beach Community College in Florida has selected IBM systems and Linux to simplify its IT infrastructure.

Palm Beach Community College is a top producer of associate degrees in the U.S., with more than 49,000 students enrolled across 90 study areas. The college operates five campuses and centers throughout Palm Beach County Florida and also offers online classes throughout the country.

The College is working with IBM as a strategic partner to consolidate multiple tiers of its computing operations into a more efficient, open infrastructure:

-A single eServer zSeries 890, IBM's midrange mainframe, is
virtualized to run five SUSE LINUX partitions that consolidate
key financial, human resources, and facilities management
applications for the College's 2,000 employees, as well as its
entire student registration and tuition system;

-Connected to the mainframe is 10 terabytes of storage housed on
one IBM TotalStorage DS6800 Enterprise Storage
Server system running the IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller
virtualization. The storage virtualization software aggregates
data from multiple disk storage systems into a single pool of
centrally managed storage;

-Two IBM eServer BladeCenter chassis servers connect to the
Storage Area Network (SAN) and support five different IBM Tivoli
applications and various file and print functions previously run
by 70 Dell servers; and

-IBM Tivoli Storage Manager backs up the financial data, financial
aid, HR/payroll, distance learning and student records data on
IBM TotalStorage 3583 Ultrium Scalable Tape Library, and has
helped reduced the back-up window from 25 hours to less than 5
hours.

With this new solution in place, the College plans to have significant paper documents imaged and digitally saved to the virtualized storage network. The move to paperless is intended to help safeguard important information in the event of severe hurricane conditions in southern Florida. The mainframe's legendary reliability ensures that the student portal and distance learning modules remain accessible around the clock to students.

"We were looking to secure and automate as many of our critical workloads on the mainframe and get greater economy of scale by moving to Linux for a low-cost, high-performance solution," said Tony Parziale, CIO, Palm Beach Community College. "As a result, we will have only a handful of servers instead of nearly a hundred, significantly reducing our IT staff's time maintaining and connecting systems. This allows us to focus on more strategic initiatives like distance learning."

The zSeries system runs the College's custom Enterprise Resource Planning system based on Software AG Adabase software running on the SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server V9 operating system. Prior to using the z890, the College depended on an older IBM mainframe for its ERP support. IBM Premier Business Partner Cornerstone Systems installed the new mainframe.

"Taking advantage of innovative IBM virtualization technologies, Palm Beach Community College is making it simpler and less expensive to manage workloads and computer systems while also increasing resiliency and improving access to information," said Rich Lechner, vice president of Virtualization, IBM. "IBM is delighted to partner with Palm Beach Community College in virtualizing open and heterogeneous IT systems across their infrastructure." 

Contact(s) information

Colleen Haikes
IBM Media Relations
(415) 545-4003
chaikes@us.ibm.com

Related XML feeds
Topics XML feeds
Servers
System i, System p, System x, System z, BladeCenter, and Supercomputers
Software
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source

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