03.03.2009 | Austria

S&T Czech Republic virtualizes servers for water supplier KHP

155% return on investment with a simple but far more powerful system

Since the beginning of 2009, the Czech water supplier KHP has had access to 18 completely virtualized servers that are operated on the basis of four physical servers. The company is thereby set to save around 1.9 million CZK (approximately 67,000 euros) in direct costs and 1 million CZK (36,000 euros) over three years in indirect costs. Calculated over three years, the company is forecasting a return on investment of 155%. The virtualization was planned and implemented by S&T Czech Republic.
Kralovehradecka porovozni a.s. (KHP) is as a subsidiary of the Veolia Water Group part of a leading water treatment company. KHP’s core business is water supply and waste water disposal in the central and eastern Czech Republic. The company has 225 staff and achieved sales of 609 million CZK (approx. 21.5 million euros) in 2007. Even in 2004, KHP had seven server rooms and the associated considerable needs and high costs in terms of administration, maintenance, operations and personnel. “Assuming steady growth of the business, KHP’s existence would have been threatened by rising operational costs for its information systems. Without the virtualization solution, KHP would have incurred unsustainably high costs for energy and systems administration. The need for space would have grown and the number of servers would have increased disproportionately“, comments Zdeněk Mládek, IT Manager at KHP.

30 virtual servers by 2010

An initial migration to 14 virtual servers took place in September 2008, and these were then joined by another four. A consolidation of infrastructure in the KHP general data centre is planned for 2009, and this consolidation will also include the main server room and two smaller server rooms. By the end of 2010 there should be 30 virtual servers installed in the company’s main and secondary server rooms. Mládek: “It proved to be very useful that we invested time in the procedural planning. The actual migration in September was realized in cooperation with S&T entirely according to plan - in weekly cycles with planned down times for the production applications. The cooperation ran very smoothly and within five weeks we had established a new and more modern infrastructure. The tasks carried out were: networking in the central server room, hardware installation (server, disk array), server and UPS relocation and removal from separate server rooms, and the actual migration of the virtual servers and their integration into the production processes.“

Significant cost benefits

With the virtualization solution, KHP now works with a system that not only provides significant savings, but which also guarantees improved system availability. Alongside the decrease in the overall operational costs, the smaller space requirements for server rooms (reduction from seven to two server rooms) and the associated energy savings and reduction in the need for operation and servicing of air conditioning units constitute considerable benefits for the business. The support costs for the physical servers have also diminished as there are fewer of them.

Greater availability and flexibility

System maintenance is also considerably easier due to the centralized administration and the SAN backup. In the case of a system error that cannot be remedied, a recovery can be rapidly realized using the backup image. In addition, KHP can react quickly to the demands posed by new developments in the company. New information systems can be established within an hour, and the establishment of new servers takes just a few minutes. And, not least, the system ensures that the existing hardware configuration is utilized optimally, as all capabilities can be flexibly exploited, which means that new hardware only needs to be acquired when it becomes absolutely necessary. Christian Rosner, CEO S&T: “With the new system, KHP has attained maximum possible system availability while at the same time minimizing the effects on the company in the event of a fault. The company is thereby in a position to ensure smooth operations around the clock and to rectify any problems in real-time.”
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