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LinuxONE Outperforms Linux on x86 Solutions

The IBM IT Economics team helped a client assess TCO in a five-year period for Oracle DB consolidation onto IBM LinuxONE, demonstrating a likely 44% cost reduction from a comparable x86 platform.

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The rapid technology improvements in recent years seemed to echo 19th century English economist William Stanley Jevons’ observation that technological improvements in improving the efficiency of coal use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. The Jevons paradox seems to explain the phenomena we’re seeing in the global economy. While technology advancements have improved the efficiency of business operations, a more effective and flexible IT infrastructure is needed to meet increasing demands on IT resources.

The Starburst Effect

The rapid growth of consumer mobile transactions has grown nearly 70 times in the last 15 years, from one mobile transaction per user per day to an estimated 70 mobile transactions per user per day in 2018. More importantly, the starburst effect from each consumer mobile transaction could trigger a cascade of four to 100 related system interactions across different systems. This phenomena suggests that each consumer can initiate 70 mobile transactions each day, which may produce as many as 7,000 system interactions by a single user per day.

The rapid growth of mobile transactions and the spawned system interactions created dramatic pressure on IT infrastructure to meet businesses solution requirements, such as transaction volume growth, disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity, high availability, flexible DevOps, etc. Many enterprises found the scale-out approach with x86 servers could no longer address the business and IT operation requirements adequately.

Reducing TCO With LinuxONE

One good example is a recent case study in Asia where a bank was facing 38 percent annual growth of customer transactions, including mobile banking transactions at 4x the growth rate of overall transactions. The bank had a mix of x86 servers for the Temenos T24 core banking solution, along with credit card and other banking solutions. The infrastructure wasn’t scalable, and it was inefficient and complex to manage. It’s existing Oracle DB significantly drove cost in terms of core-based soft licensing and system administration efforts.

The bank wanted a DR-ready platform with high availability that could better meet its business growth, support its existing banking solution and provide security support. The platform also had to be designed to run Java* enterprise workloads with optimized speed and efficiency.

The IBM IT Economics team helped the client assess total cost of ownership (TCO) in a five-year period for Oracle DB consolidation onto IBM LinuxONE*, demonstrating a likely 44 percent cost reduction from a comparable x86 platform. The cost and value advantages helped the bank make the commitment to IBM LinuxONE. The client has successfully migrated all Oracle DB onto a single LinuxONE Emperor II and is in the process of moving all banking applications—including upgrading Temenos T24 to the latest Java application framework to gain further benefits. For a visual of the bank’s TCO cost savings, see Figure 1.

Performance Advantages

This bank isn’t a unique case. In fact, Temenos and IBM just finished a full performance test for T24 banking applications earlier this year to assess the peak volumes of mixed online and batch retail banking workloads, alongside end of day/month batch and high-volume throughput (e.g., payroll) workloads.

Additionally, encryption testing was performed to analyze the capability of the central processor assist for cryptographic function (CPACF) and dm-crypt functionality to migrate the data volumes to fully encrypted disk volumes, and to measure the encryption overhead. The test results confirmed notable performance advantages with LinuxONE over x86 servers, along with essential sizing metrics to estimate server capacity required to achieve transaction throughput for typical T24 customer scenarios with 50, 100, 300, 1,000 and 2,000 tps and OLTP requirements. All cases included:

  • 15 percent annual growth of peak tps to size production capacity
  • 100 percent production capacity provisioned additionally to cover development, test and QA activities
  • 50 percent of production capacity at a remote site for DR

Pricing for the cost cases included configured hardware and software components, space, electricity and networking required in all IT operating environments (production, dev/test/QA and DR) to calculate TCO. Typical discount percentages on hardware and software observed from client engagements worldwide were also applied. The TCO assessment results showed Temenos T24 solutions on LinuxONE cost consistently less than T24 on x86 in all cost cases, with savings ranging from 15 percent to 49 percent over five years.

The Platform of Choice

IBM IT Economics teams have helped hundreds of clients in government, finance, insurance, telecommunication, transportation and manufacturing sectors. IBM LinuxONE outperforms x86, proving itself as the Linux* platform of choice for business solutions.

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