Austria | Public and government organizations


Infrastructure Harmonization

ORF is located in Vienna and is the largest media operator in Austria. ORF produces three television channels together with three nationwide and nine regional radio channels. The Server and Storage System Department deals with the central planning of all server, storage and back-up equipment and the operation and maintenance of most of the system. ORF has some 600 servers in operation throughout Austria.

The challenge

The superficial motive for the harmonisation of the IT infrastructure of ORF was the rapid growth in both television production workflows and the data archive at the start of digitalisation. Furthermore, a significant reduction in equipment and operating costs was required in order that the installation space needed and the corresponding heat wastage were considerably reduced.

It was important that the solution had flexibility, in order that a rapid response could be made to unforeseen ORF IT requirements. It was vital to provide rapid and seamless installation and dismantling of new servers and easy adjustment of performance to any capacity (CPU, RAM allocation). A further important aspect was the provision of a fail-safe guarantee (in the case of disc failure or memory faults).

The project

The ORF requirements had to be covered by VMware. During server consolidation, 25 existing virtual servers and 40 physical servers were migrated onto VM-ware ESX. New servers were also brought into operation virtually, so that in total, 90 virtual servers are operating on 5VM ESX servers. Windows servers currently run exclusively on the VMware ESX Farm and are used for Terminal Server, Web Server, Share Point, Microsoft Operations Manager, SAP Test systems, Oracle Enterprise Grid Control and many in-house software developments.

A further aspect was the creation of fail-safe protection for the server without using a cluster solution. High system availability was guaranteed with the installation of the HP Proliant DL580 server and VMware VMotion technology. The whole project was refinanced directly through the virtualising of 40 physical servers, for which no new hardware had to be purchased.

The project plan agreed between ORF and S&T Austria was adhered to and the project was concluded within five months. The hardware was ordered, delivered and installed and the physical server quickly virtualised within this time frame. Virtualising can be implemented in normal IT operating time without any additional cost. The time savings made in bringing the new server on-line are enormous. The cost of the work required in creating the new servers is paid back not only in terms of IT, but throughout the whole company. The sourcing of offers, the choice of the best option, ordering, delivery, installation and cabling are not included. Whilst a physical server can be available in around four to six weeks, it is the virtual server which can be ready installed within the shortest time.

In the future, ORF is also planning to operate its loop-recorder fail-safe on VMware. Loop recorders have a central function in news editing, recording all incoming news and facilitating its efficient processing through the editorial offices.

Benefit for the customer

  • clear reductions in equipment and purchasing costs
  • increase in flexibility
  • performance increases
  • fail-safe protection for applications
  • lower administration costs