Interviews

OKDHS IT ran through its migration strategies many times to reassure IT staff and users. When appropriate, IT repeatedly ran its test suites, taking every precaution to ensure the right results came back from the tests. As a support “backbone,” both Oracle and IBM committed resources for the project.

“We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to move from the HP-UX platform to Linux on System z,” says Little. “We had anticipated this might involve significant retraining for staff, but it didn’t. One side benefit we hadn’t even hoped for was that so many of the scripts previously written for the HP-UNIX platform still ran without much modification on Linux on System z.”

Reaping Extra Benefits

When OKDHS IT started its server consolidation project four years ago, the department was still running a System z900 class machine. Today, OKDHS runs a System z9. From the purely IT side, OKDHS has seen benefits beyond the delivery of more facile applications to users.

“We were so close to the end of our lifecycle on HP-UX, and the hardware was getting very expensive to support,” says Sunni Majors, director of Enterprise Technical Services. “By moving Oracle to the Linux System z platform, we were able to restructure costs for CPUs and move away from licensing by user. This gave us a better return on our investment, since we experienced significant savings in our hardware and software licensing costs by consolidating resources onto a single platform.”

OKDHS IT also was pleasantly surprised at the ease of the server and application migration to Linux on System z, although it remains vigilant when it comes to asset management and TCO throughout its IT architecture.

“There is more to assessing the cost of doing a server consolidation and application migration than simply eliminating servers and licenses,” says Little. “You also have to assess where you will have to add incremental CPU memory to the System z, which is comparatively expensive when compared to similar costs in the Linux/ Intel environment. This is why we place a priority today on being extremely efficient with our System z resource utilization. The bottom line is [that] you have to make sure the way you scale your resources matches your ability to invest.”

Checking in With the Business

The OKDHS KIDS system is the bedrock of its child welfare program and is instrumental to that program’s administration.

“We receive 65,000 reports of child neglect and abuse each year, and track more than 100,000 children,” says Hindman. “When you extend this information to families, the amount of data is exponential.”

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