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Creating a Community

How Palm Beach Community College learned that consolidation and virtualization can result in more than just ease of administration and lower overhead costs.




"The value of this consortium relationship is that one school can invest a lot of effort into moving forward either regarding applications or platforms and then share that knowledge with the other schools. We just happen to be an early adopter in this area," Parziale notes.

 

As part of that leadership, the school decided to upgrade its older IBM mainframe to a newer one capable of running Linux, which would provide more flexibility regarding application and server choice should it decide to migrate to another platform. One of the reasons for the urgency to upgrade was that the consortium's licensing agreement for Software AG for z/OS* was due to expire at the end of 2006. Consortium members decided to approach Software AG to determine if it would support Adabas for Linux on an IBM System p5* (at the same time, it was reviewing other UNIX technology-based offerings from other vendors). Software AG's response was that it wouldn't support Adabas for Linux on a System p5 (only AIX*), but that it would for Linux on the System z or an Intel* technology-based system. "That limited our choices," Parziale remarks.

As a result, the consortium approached IBM about running Linux on the System z platform, not necessarily wanting to move to a Windows* technology-based platform, already having too many of them operating in the schools' various IT environments. Based on a number of factors, including the platform's flexibility, scalability and "the breadth of development behind the System z platform and the tools that are available for it," Parziale says, the consortium (members of which were operating in a mix of z/OS and Virtual Storage Extended (VSE) environments) decided to move to the System z platform (specifically, the System z890 servers).

"We wanted a platform that could handle any direction the consortium decides to go in in the future, whether it was a prepackaged application or another database," Parziale continues. The school's System z890 platform now has five virtualized Linux partitions, most of which are dedicated to the ERP system, including for production, development and testing.

 

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



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Creating a Community

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