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Boone Hospital Center (a BJC Healthcare facility) is now live in test and production on Cloverleaf 5.6, RedHat Linux, and VM.
Cloverleaf Version: 5.6 rev2
RedHat Version: 5.0 Enterprise
VM Infrastructure: IBM 3650, VMWare ESX x3.5 Update 2
Here is our reasoning for making this huge change …
Both of our servers are running RedHat Linux which is approx. ~$1200/year per OS license. Both of our serves are running on our VM (VMWare virtual machine).
RedHat Linux is much cheaper than every other OS supported by Cloverleaf. The documentation for RedHat and Linux in general is excellent on the web and from RedHat directly. RedHat provides the gnu tools by default. Installing and upgrading software is very easy. Installing modules for perl is very easy. RedHat comes with ssh by default. The default shell is bash which is very powerful.
VMWare provides some very compelling functionality. There is no additional cost for hardware (i.e., you don’t buy servers for each installation of Cloverleaf). You can make snapshots of your server before OS upgrades and OS patches and before Cloverleaf upgrades or Cloverleaf patches and test the changes on the snapshot before going live with them. The VMWare infrastructure provides built-in high-availability and fault-tolerance. Gone are the days where a janitor can pull the plug and the server goes down. Gone our the days where the rack loses power, the UPS is used up, and the server goes down. Resources needed by Cloverleaf such as RAM, CPU, and disk space can be adjusted so that resources are not wasted. VMWare provides many visual tools (graphs) for monitoring system resources.
Cloverleaf 5.6 offers a much improved xlate gui, built-in “recovery_33” logic, and eliminates the need for tps_tintout (a separate script that gets around AIX file locks on the smat files). The 5.6 guis work much faster over VPN connections (ex. you can turn off the background texture). There are many other nice enhancements as well.
With the migration, we *estimate* that we will be saving the company potentially $60,000 per AIX box each time the box needs to be replaced. We had three AIX boxes (production, test, and disaster recovery). The license and support cost per AIX box was something like $7,000 per year (so $21,000 per year for 3 AIX boxes).
-- Max Drown (Infor)
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