Leading the way
Groupe France Mutuelle worked closely with IBM Business Partner DeltaDB, IBM and CSC to run a proof of concept (PoC) to assess the feasibility of migrating GraphTalk to IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows. Following the success of the PoC, the company decided to proceed with a full deployment.
Jean-Yves Pignier recalls: “As far as we know, we are the first company in the world to migrate GraphTalk to IBM DB2. As an early adopter, we wanted to demonstrate to ourselves that the migration would be worth the risk. The PoC gave us confidence that all parties could work together to make the project a success.”
During the PoC, Groupe France Mutuelle was keen to test several innovative features of the IBM DB2 configuration. In particular, the company was eager to take advantage of IBM DB2 High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR), which is designed to help improve availability by continuously replicating data between primary and standby databases. Jean-Yves Pignier notes: “With HADR, we will be able to switch over to the standby database much more quickly and easily than we could before, which will help minimize disruption to services if there is an outage.”
The company also implemented IBM Data Server Manager to help database administrators (DBAs) monitor and manage performance. The solution collects and analyzes performance data from the DB2 database instances, which helps to give Groupe France Mutuelle’s DBAs faster, more comprehensive insight into database health than they had before. Real-time and historical monitoring deliver a high-level view of database performance, while automated alerts enable DBAs to take a more proactive approach to managing that performance.
“The support and encouragement we’ve received from DeltaDB and IBM has been wonderful,” adds Jean-Yves Pignier. “As well as doing a lot of testing to prepare for the migration, they also ran informative training workshops for our DBAs. And even now that we manage the database ourselves, it’s reassuring to know that the DeltaDB team is always there for us should we have any questions or encounter any issues.”
Saving time and money while accelerating access to data
With IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows, Groupe France Mutuelle feels that it has gained the perfect platform to support its mission-critical GraphTalk system, while helping to reduce its operational costs.
Jean-Yves Pignier comments: “By migrating our core insurance administration system to IBM DB2, we have cut licensing and database administration costs by over 80 percent—a very significant saving. Moreover, high licensing costs were a major roadblock to database virtualization with our previous database. With IBM DB2, we’re in a good position to explore virtualization in the future, which may lead to further cost savings.”
He continues: “Using IBM Data Server Manager to monitor our DB2 landscape also frees up the DBA team’s time. This means that they can spend less time on troubleshooting, and more time proactively boosting performance.”
With support from IBM and DeltaDB, Groupe France Mutuelle completed the migration project on time and within budget. Looking at the project as a whole, the company expects to achieve a complete return on investment after the first year.
Jean-Yves Pignier adds: “Performance was not our primary goal, but we have been delighted to find that DB2 runs our high-volume data analytics jobs 30 percent faster than our previous database. We are not only hitting our daily processing target of six hours—we are also seeing increased application performance, helping our users work more productively.”
He concludes: “Above all, we feel that we can rely on IBM DB2 to keep our most critical business systems online 24/7, helping to keep customer services running smoothly.”