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Messaging Architects

Using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with built-in Xen virtualization, Messaging Architects can offer flexible and cost-effective solutions that run on diverse hardware platforms.

About Messaging Architects

Messaging Architects ranks among the industry's leading providers of services and solutions designed to mitigate e-mail risks. The company’s applications address the needs for policy, security and compliance in the corporate messaging infrastructure and are used daily by thousands of enterprise clients worldwide. The Messaging Architects’ portfolio is installed and supported by a worldwide channel of certified system integrators and IT consultants.

Challenge

Messaging Architects produces e-mail security, compliance and archiving software that is compatible with Novell GroupWise®, Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino. The company's appliance software runs on recommended and tested hardware.

As hardware costs are of great concern to customers, Messaging Architects wanted to give customers greater choice in this area. Many of its customers were also asking for virtualized appliances to reduce the number of physical servers needed, as well as to provide high availability. As a result, Messaging Architects decided to move to a flexible development platform to offer more options for its customers.

Novell Solution

Messaging Architects selected SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server as its Linux development and hosting platform. The company uses Novell eDirectory™ as its main directory structure, regardless of e-mail platform.

"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a robust and stable development platform, plus we get great support from Novell," said Branden Black, Hosted Solutions Architect at Messaging Architects. "With so many global customers, we simply had to have a Linux distribution that offers enterprise-level support. We also use Novell eDirectory for centralized policy management in our security and compliance suite."

Using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with built-in Xen virtualization, Messaging Architects can now create virtual server-based solutions for its customers. Customers can run a virtual server on existing machines rather than having to purchase several additional machines, and can also have the high availability benefits of a virtual environment.

"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server helps us lower the barrier to entry with our customers," said Black. "Instead of telling customers which hardware to use, we can hand them a pre-configured virtual machine. Xen virtualization makes it easy for us to test our solutions in-house and to give customers something they can use without having to purchase expensive new hardware."

Messaging Architects uses IBM's System x and BladeCenter series servers with Intel Xeon processors for both its development and hosting platforms. Scalability is important as the company has many large enterprise clients worldwide.

"We evaluated several hardware solutions and knew we needed a vendor with global support capabilities," said Black. "IBM System x has been excellent for us, from both a technology and support standpoint. The built-in Intel Xeon chip gives us added performance."

With Xen virtualization, Messaging Architects has consolidated its SUSE Linux Enterprise environment, in some cases by 90 percent, allowing the company to take full advantage of its hardware investment.

"For our hosted environment, we need high availability and flexibility for our clients," said Black. "Using virtualization, we get the most out of our hardware and can support our customers' extra workloads without a huge increase in cost and maintenance."

Novell ZENworks® Orchestrator allows the company to manage and administer virtual servers across several different physical locations with a single interface, providing enhanced monitoring services for its customers.

"In the past, we had to travel to individual customer sites to check their servers," said Black. "With Novell ZENworks Orchestrator, we can fully monitor servers from a central location and proactively address any problems such as limited disk space or low memory. The ability to remotely manage servers has cut our administrative time in half."

Results

Using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and built-in Xen virtualization, Messaging Architects can now create virtual server-based solutions that work on a variety of hardware. This flexibility will expand the company’s market and help customers reduce new hardware costs an average of $12,000. Virtualization has also helped the company achieve server utilization of 90 percent in its hosted data center.

Messaging Architects is also using Novell ZENworks Orchestrator to manage remotely physical and virtual machines from a single interface, streamlining management time and costs by up to 50 percent. The ability to proactively administer customers' environments will considerably reduce the number of support calls received by the Hosted Services Support team.

"Without Novell, we would face higher development and integration costs," said Black. "Moving to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Xen virtualization has been easy and the Novell eDirectory integration is seamless. We have the ability to support more services, applications and platforms than ever before."

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