The Société Wallonne du Logement, SWL, is the principal institutional operator of the public housing policy in Wallonia. Its various activities aim at concretizing the right to decent housing recognized to each citizen by the Belgian Constitution. Organization of public interest, the SWL ensures, for account of the Wallonia Government, the supervision, the council and the technical aid, financial and administrative of the 68 Companies of Housing of Public utility (SLSP). It coordinates the development and the rental management of a park of more than 103.000 residences of public utility (mainly social and average) as well as the creation of residences intended for acquisition under social conditions, allowing the accession of the households the property of their housing.
SWL needed a partner able to:
The new virtual environment was the biggest challenge. We selected the technologies and appropriately dimensioned the server so as to improve the current performance. This ensured that the virtual servers (Red Hat servers, Windows servers) and applications could work better in the new virtual environment and grow with the needs of SWL. We put in place a strong project management plan in order to migrate the required applications (Red Had, Microsoft Exchange) onto the new platform, while minimizing risks and providing business continuity. Finally we educated the SWL team in place to operate the new virtual infrastructure in full service mode.
When SWL decided to go for the virtualization of the current physical severs into one server on the main site using VMware for the MS Windows environment and Red Hat servers, they expected a small decrease of the performance. The advantage of doing this included: fewer servers, less electrical consumption, operational simplification for the customer, increased flexibility and reliability and higher availability. Sun Microsystems servers and SUN Backup system were used at the core of the IT infrastructure. The site consists of one SUN X4450 server with two six -core Intel processors with VMware ESX4 (Vsphere) and one SUN Storage Tek SL24 tape library and a IBM SAN. That equipment is connected together with a FC Brocade switch.
The SWL objectives were successfully achieved. The virtual Exchange server, the Red Hat servers and the Windows server performance increased. The new infrastructure provides high availability, security and backup recovery. The project has also delivered significant economic savings: reduction of the number of servers, thus reduction of the maintenance cost.
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