Infrastructure Optimization Case Study B

Reaping the benefits of shifting to a System z environment, replete with a brand new disaster recovery solution

For a large global insurance company, the shift from a distributed environment to a mainframe environment has delivered a wide range of benefits. While the cost of the two systems would have been about equal, shifting to an IBM System z solution has resulted in dramatically improved performance, better reliability, simpler scalability and improved security. Oh yes, and the company now has a fully functioning disaster recovery environment that didn’t even exist with the distributed system in place.

The company was looking at making a change with a Web-facing application that was accessing DB2 to handle, among other things, the processing of insurance claims. The number or transactions was continuing to grow and, at the same time, the pressure was mounting to deliver better performance and reliability. Vicom Infinity was able to come in and conduct comprehensive studies to understand how changes in the workload would impact costs and performance, looking at issues such as capacity planning, applications availability and total cost of ownership (TCO).

The studies showed that migrating to a System z environment would cost about the same as upgrading to a new distributed environment. But the price/performance of the IBM solution would be far superior, as well as the reliability, security and scalability. The added value of a new disaster recovery solution was also critically important – it addressed potential risks of system downtime and audit exposure, while giving the entire organization peace of mind that critical data would now be protected in the event of natural disasters or other events that could disrupt operations.

Vicom Infinity worked closely with the customer to ensure that every aspect of the deployment was successful. In the end, the deployment was so successful and the organization so pleased that it decided to migrate additional mission-critical applications in the System z environment. The goals were to improve performance and bolster availability for these applications, and to also deploy a fully functioning disaster recovery environment for them.

Vicom Infinity was able to recognize that the addition of a second set of mission-critical applications would impact the workload and costs of the existing solution, so it recommended the deployment of IBM Solutions Edition to ultimately separate and isolate the new workloads into their own parts.

The results: The customer is phenomenally pleased. The price points for all applications continue to be driven down for the new workload environment, with performance, reliability and scalability also showing dramatic improvements. The initial system is continuing to drive significant business benefits, while the second solution is being rolled out worldwide. And the benefits of having state-of-the-art disaster recovery for critical applications is certainly a tremendous value for a company that specializes in managing risks for its own customers.

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