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AIX > Case Studies > Miscellaneous

Square Pegs, Square Holes

The City and County of Honolulu allow their applications to dictate the platforms on which they run.

Photography by Dana Edmunds



CUSTOMER: The City and County of Honolulu
BUSINESS: Government operations
HARDWARE: Two IBM System z9 Business Class, two IBM System p5 570s, one Power System 570, five System x servers and an IBM System Storage DS8100
SOFTWARE: IBM WebSphere and an ERP suite from CGI
CHALLENGE: Upgrading an aging IT infrastructure
SOLUTION: Deploying two new System p servers, two new System z servers and WebSphere to create a flexible and dynamic, services-oriented IT architecture

Many organizations take a very homogeneous approach to their IT environments, using, for example, only mainframes, AIX* OS-, Linux* technology- or System x* servers running Windows* technology-based boxes for everything. In some cases, this type of approach reduces administrative and programming overhead. In other cases, however, a more heterogeneous approach may be required. This provides organizations a bit more flexibility, with applications and databases being deployed on whichever platform is most suitable. This is especially true when it comes to large, enterprise-type organizations, which often have distinct application requirements.

That’s in part why the City and County of Honolulu has taken a multi-pronged platform approach, which includes both IBM System z* servers and IBM AIX OS-based System p* and Power* Systems servers, as well as IBM System x boxes, when it comes to delivering services to residents. This has allowed the local government to deploy applications, databases and, most importantly, services more dynamically.

As Gordon Bruce, director/CIO for the City and County of Honolulu, puts it, “Our point of view is that the applications should dictate the platform.” This deployment philosophy has allowed the Honolulu government to offer more and increasingly powerful tools to its users, without cramming square IT offerings into round platform holes.


Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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