IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 30

“By virtualizing, we thought we could kind of save us from our own growth.”
— Mike Giglio

Notably, this was after the company embarked on its data center overhaul, when it decided it couldn’t keep throwing one-off servers into the mix to host its many applications. In fact, it already had about 400 to 500 such boxes in operation, and it didn’t necessarily want to add to those numbers and face yet another expensive data center expansion. “By virtualizing, we thought we could kind of save us from our own growth,” Giglio says. Since then, Shelter Insurance has been doing just that, slowly but surely. It started with its indexing application and moved on to new applications that didn’t run on Intel boxes, including two recently developed WebSphere services applications. One of those is a messaging system that verifies if people’s insurance is current. “If you get pulled over somewhere, you hand your proof of insurance over to the police,” Giglio explains. “They can then, using a computer in their patrol car, send a message to our application, which is running on Linux, to confirm that your insurance is up to date and hasn’t lapsed or been canceled. The information would include your name and policy number, which is matched to what we have in DB2. A return message is then created and sent to the patrol car.” Of course, Shelter is also eyeballing existing Linux environments currently running on Intel, hoping to put even more under the z114 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for System z umbrella. The company is taking a very deliberate approach to this, starting with nonproduction

loads, including, development, testing and staging. After that, it will move to some light production systems. Giglio is hoping to retire about a half-dozen Intel servers in this first stage. “If you do that two or three times a year, you’re eventually talking about retiring a fairly significant amount of hardware,” he adds. “But right now, we’re just looking at the low-hanging fruit—the things that are easiest to move and are running on geriatric servers. As you can tell, we move at a very deliberate pace.”

Shelter wants to ensure it gets things done precisely and not necessarily just quickly in a big-bang approach. This is, in part, because of technological and cultural hurdles that must be overcome. More specifically, the company’s IT staff had to become knowledgeable about Linux and virtualization. Giglio had some experience in this, but when he came to Shelter around six years ago, the company itself didn’t. “It was all Windows* and z/OS,” he recalls. But when Shelter chose to do a mainframe CPU upgrade, it seized the opportunity and also implemented an IFL. At the time, however, the intention was to test the waters to see if running Linux in a virtualized environment on the mainframe made sense. One of Shelter’s first tests was with its e-commerce site. It made a copy of the “monolithic application,” as Giglio describes it, and began running an offline instance of it with the assistance of IBM and Sirius computing,

which also supplies its hardware. This proved to be somewhat successful, but there were a few important caveats. “If we could move our biggest, most demanding application to this environment without a whole lot of hassles, we thought, ‘Hey, this is viable.’ The largest challenge, though, wasn’t getting WebSphere to run in that environment, but getting everything hooked up with the HTTP server and DB2,” Giglio remarks. “So our thinking moving forward was to make sure we had a quality-of-service environment before we could move production applications to Linux on System z. And what I mean by that are performance, availability, capacity, backup and recovery, and security.” Over the course of the next couple of years, reaching that quality of service became Giglio’s goal. To that end, he began assembling a team focusing on just that. He and other staff members began learning the ins and outs of Linux and virtualizing on the mainframe, both on their own and in classroom settings. He also brought storage and backup people on board to lend their expertise to the enterprise. “I wanted to make sure the infrastructure was 100 percent in place before we started deploying any apps,” Giglio says. “Now, from having nothing in the way of z/VM* or Linux infrastructure, we’ve since built a hardware environment based on existing System z processors, existing DASD and the existing network infrastructure. When you think about it from a hardware point of view, the only things we had to add were the IFLs. We had everything else.”

30

J U LY/AU G U S T 2 0 12

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IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012

Editor's Desk: The Taste of Success
Dashboard: Pay by Phone - Current Conditions - Work Without Boundaries - Digital Personalities
IBM Perspective: The Performance of Many, the Efficiency of One
Trends: Why zBX Outperforms DIY When Deploying a Hybrid Infrastructure
Q&A: Accurate TCO Analysis Demonstrates the True Value of System z
IT Today: IBM's Integrated Solution for System z Streamlines Software Delivery
Case Study: Taking Shelter From the Storm: Shelter Insurance employs a measured approach in adopting Linux on zEnterprise 114
Cover Story: Internal Transformation: System z is at the center of initiative, which has saved the company $100 million so far
Feature: Large Memory Tames Big Data: The System z stack evolves to deliver business value from more memory
Tech Corner: A More Effective Comparison Starts With Relative Capacity
Administrator: JES2 Helps Expedite the Relocation of Data Volumes
Solutions: Double-Take Share 5.0 - Vanguard Security and Compliance Solutions - MegaCryption DB - ASG-TMON for DB2 - Reflection Suite for X - Orchestrated IT
Advertiser's Index
Stop Run: Wreck Diving Brings IBMer Face to Face With Lost History
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
IB Tape Storage
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Intro
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Cover1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Editor's Desk: The Taste of Success
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Dashboard: Pay by Phone - Current Conditions - Work Without Boundaries - Digital Personalities
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - IBM Perspective: The Performance of Many, the Efficiency of One
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Trends: Why zBX Outperforms DIY When Deploying a Hybrid Infrastructure
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 12
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 14
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Q&A: Accurate TCO Analysis Demonstrates the True Value of System z
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 18
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - IT Today: IBM's Integrated Solution for System z Streamlines Software Delivery
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Case Study: Taking Shelter From the Storm: Shelter Insurance employs a measured approach in adopting Linux on zEnterprise 114
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 30
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Cover Story: Internal Transformation: System z is at the center of initiative, which has saved the company $100 million so far
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 34
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Feature: Large Memory Tames Big Data: The System z stack evolves to deliver business value from more memory
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 40
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 41
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 42
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Tech Corner: A More Effective Comparison Starts With Relative Capacity
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 44
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 45
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 46
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 47
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Administrator: JES2 Helps Expedite the Relocation of Data Volumes
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 49
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 50
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 51
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Solutions: Double-Take Share 5.0 - Vanguard Security and Compliance Solutions - MegaCryption DB - ASG-TMON for DB2 - Reflection Suite for X - Orchestrated IT
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 53
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Advertiser's Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Stop Run: Wreck Diving Brings IBMer Face to Face With Lost History
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - 56
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Mainframe
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - BG1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - BG2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - IB Tape Storage
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - T2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - T3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - T4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - T5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2012 - T6
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