Business challenge

ICU IT Services aims to create the next generation of Enterprise IT by developing innovative solutions and services that break new ground and provide game-changing benefits to clients.

Transformation

As the first in BeNeLux to deploy an IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper™, the company has gained a flexible, available and scalable platform for the development of innovative new Enterprise solutions.

Results

Up to 50%

estimated savings on IT costs for clients

Grows

the company’s influence, market share and revenues

Drives

innovation through the creation of an exclusive IT laboratory set-up

Business challenge story

Identifying an opportunity

Built on entrepreneurial spirit, ICU IT Services knows better than most the benefits and risks of innovation. In the competitive managed services industry, however, having the courage to lead the way can be a lucrative strategy.

Ron Eland, Managing Partner and CEO at ICU IT Services, elaborates: “Our company has long specialized in delivering solutions and services around IBM’s largest systems. IBM enterprise platforms have many advantages: they are an effective solution to server sprawl, and can deliver unparalleled security, availability and reliability. And yet, for many companies, they are not even on their radar. We wanted to figure out how to capture a new audience for these solutions.”

To do so, ICU IT Services needed to offer a new entry-point to enterprise servers that clients would not be able to resist. Recognizing the growing popularity of open-source technology, the company saw an opportunity to tap into a new part of the marketplace.

“For many, Linux equals innovation,” Ron Eland sums up. “By introducing Linux-based solutions alongside our existing offerings, we saw a chance to appeal to companies that wanted both flexibility and the confidence that their data was in the best possible hands. Critically, for the offering to be a viable proposition for us, it needed to be highly cost-efficient.”

With the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper, ICU IT Services helps businesses slash their IT costs by up to 50 percent.

—Ron Eland, Managing Partner and CEO, ICU IT Services

Transformation story

Breaking new ground

ICU IT Services seized the opportunity to become the first company in the BeNeLux region to deploy an IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper™ system. Combining the best of enterprise Linux and open source technologies, the solution offers an ideal foundation for the company to broaden its service portfolio.

“We had already made our move into the Linux world when IBM approached us and suggested the LinuxONE Rockhopper. We soon saw the potential,” says Ron Eland. “The LinuxONE Rockhopper represents the next generation in enterprise IT design, aligning perfectly with our strategy for the future. Offering a host of capabilities within a single, scalable platform, LinuxONE gives us everything we need within a single package to develop solutions that match up with specific client needs.”

To prepare the installation, ICU IT Services worked closely with IBM. ICU IT Services now runs both SUSE Linux Enterprise and Red Hat Enterprise Linux distributions on the LinuxONE platform, with virtualization capabilities delivered by KVM and IBM z/VM® hypervisors.

Ron Eland recalls: “We participated in a proof-of-concept exercise at the IBM Client Center in Montpellier, showing us how to get the best out of the solution. Then, the IBM team helped us get our data center ready to house our first enterprise-class server. We are also part of IBM’s Beta Testing program for KVM, the open-source hypervisor, giving us early knowledge of KVM on the LinuxONE platform.”

Primarily, ICU IT Services began using the solution to support training and development environments, and showcasing the environment to new clients and prospects. By using the solution as the basis for an exclusive laboratory set-up, the company’s team can rapidly expand their knowledge and expertise. These experiences help them to create and implement innovative solutions, providing high-end services for clients. Recently, ICU IT Services has embarked on its first client projects.

“Already, we are running a PoC for a large banking corporation and setting up a mission-critical environment for a government organization,” says Ron Eland. “We are confident that the LinuxONE Rockhopper will deliver greater stability, availability and performance to both of these clients.”

Results story

Unleashing efficiency

ICU IT Services is able to host hundreds of virtual Linux servers on the LinuxONE Rockhopper, offering the company savings on management time and effort, complexity and licensing costs. By passing these efficiencies onto clients, the company can deliver dramatic cost reductions to them.

“Across just two LinuxONE cores in our Rockhopper, we can easily support between 100 and 200 virtual instances,” explains Ron Eland. “To host an environment of this size, you would need 40 or even 50 physical x86 servers, so this approach is so much more efficient.

“With the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper, we estimate that we can help new clients slash their IT costs by up to 50 percent. So many companies are growing out of their data centers—if they come to us, we can offer virtually unlimited scalability with LinuxONE, eliminating barriers to growth.”

The new offering is expected to help ICU IT Services reach new types of clients, growing the company’s impact, market share and revenues.

Ron Eland concludes: “By becoming the first in BeNeLux to deploy the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper, we have seized priceless first-mover advantage over our competitors. IBM is reinventing the enterprise server for the current generation, retaining the performance and scalability that make it hard to beat, but combining it with the flexibility of open-source technologies. As result, we can appeal to new corners of the market with an offering that is hard to turn down. With the LinuxONE Rockhopper, we feel that the possibilities are endless.”

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About ICU IT Services

ICU IT Services is a Dutch IT infrastructure specialist that wants to create the next generation of Enterprise IT. Specialized in designing and implementing large and complex Enterprise IT infrastructures, ICU helps businesses to construct more efficient and secure IT environments. With its team of 40 highly skilled professionals, the company focuses on the interaction between platforms and applications; in particular availability, scalability, security, management and reliability of the z/OS and Linux platforms.

Solution components

  • LinuxONE
  • LinuxONE - Rockhopper
  • z Systems : z Systems running Linux - SUSE
  • z Systems : z Systems running hypervisor – KVM
  • z Systems : z Systems running z/VM
  • z Systems: z Systems running Linux - Red Hat

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM LinuxONE, visit: ibm.biz/linuxoneconsolidation or read the IDC Analyst White Paper: ibm.biz/idcdigitaltransformation

 

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