Banking on the stability of the mainframe
ZB, National Association decided to extend its mainframe strategy to its document repository solution, migrating millions of documents from distributed servers to an Enterprise Linux Server, based on an IBM® zEnterprise® BC12, with seven Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processors. Migrating from a UNIX-based system to Linux on the IBM mainframe platform enabled ZB, National Association to significantly reduce both acquisition costs and ongoing costs for its document repository. At the same time, the organization was able to improve the reliability, performance and speed of recovery for this business-critical application.
Wolf explains: “ZB, National Association has decided to migrate everything ‘fit for purpose’ to the IBM z Systems platform, to allow us to take advantage of its innate stability and economies of scale. For our document repository, a single IBM zBC12 Enterprise Linux Server does the work of 20 distributed servers. Maintenance is also much easier on the mainframe: we have the same number of support staff as we did seven years ago, but for ten times the number of MIPs.”
ZB, National Association worked with IBM and IBM Business Partner Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc. (LRS) to achieve a smooth, low-risk migration. Wolf adds: “The support from IBM and LRS was exceptional; the combination of their skilled technical resources and industry-standard automation tools ensured success. And because we had already used Linux on z Systems for four years, there were no costly new skills to learn.”
By moving its document repository to Linux on the z Systems platform, ZB, National Association also consolidated two login procedures to one, saving time for employees and reducing the number of password-reset requests to the service desk. The company was also able to eliminate the cost and effort of maintaining its custom-built user interface, as the new solution provides the required functionalities out-of-the-box.
Equipping the workforce for success
With the document repository in place and hosted on an extremely stable, secure and easy-to-manage platform, ZB, National Association is better equipped to face the future.
“Moving our document repository to Linux on z Systems has reduced risk for us in a number of ways,” says Wolf. “We do not need to worry about document growth for a long time, because of the extra headroom our IBM zBC12 offers us. The extra reliability the platform gives us also helps to ensure that documents are stored safely for use whenever our employees need them.”
The solution is enabling greater efficiency at ZB, National Association, as Wolf concludes: “Thanks to the economics of running Linux on the specialty IFL mainframe processors, the cost of hosting our document repository is now a third of what it was before, a significant saving.
“As we move more systems to our mainframe, we continue to simplify and streamline our IT landscape and reduce support calls, freeing up IT teams to focus on more innovative work. Our document repository is a business essential, so we trust it to ultra-reliable IBM z Systems running Linux.”