Uberfusion Sdn. Bhd. is a cross-platform software development company based in Malaysia with a sales presence across the Asia-Pacific region. The company employs 67 people, mostly involved in technical and production work, and has deep skills across .NET, PHP, Java and C++. Uberfusion has major clients in the telecommunications, FMCG and banking/finance industries.
Uberfusion had a large number of physical servers in a co-located facility, running a variety of Web services, application testing environments and database servers. Each server typically hosted just one application or service, and in many cases the processing resources were largely unused–meaning that much of Uberfusion's ongoing expenditure on hardware and electricity was delivering no useful return.
Equally, some of the physical servers were running out of resources, causing performance and reliability issues. Uberfusion was continually investing money and effort setting up new physical servers–even as resources sat idle on existing machines. This also had a negative impact on time–to-market for new customer projects.
Finally, Uberfusion was running out of room in the data centre, increasing the likelihood that it would need to rent additional rack space, and the monthly costs for powering and cooling its growing infrastructure were becoming a significant burden.
Aiming to improve the efficiency of its infrastructure, reduce risk, downtime and costs, and increase flexibility and time-to-market, Uberfusion decided to embrace a strategy of server virtualisation. The company worked with Red Tree Ventures, a Novell Gold PartnerSM, to evaluate the market-leading server virtualisation products.
"SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server with built-in Xen virtualisation technology was much more cost-effective than the VMware offering, and more mature and functional than the Microsoft option," said Jamie Saw, Chief Operating Officer, Uberfusion Sdn. Bhd.
Uberfusion worked closely with Red Tree Ventures and Novell Malaysia to build the new virtualised infrastructure, deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with Xen on seven HP blade servers, each with two quad-core Intel Xeon processors. There are now approximately 40 virtual servers running across these seven blades. Uberfusion implemented PlateSpin® Orchestrate from Novell to simplify and automate the deployment and management of its virtual servers.
"Both Red Tree Ventures and Novell Malaysia provided excellent service, walking us through the entire process from evaluation through to deployment and ongoing support," said Saw. "The immediate benefit of virtualisation was that we were able to eliminate ten older physical servers, saving power, cooling and management costs."
Beyond enabling Uberfusion to shrink the physical and economic footprint of its infrastructure, the Novell virtualisation solution enables much greater agility and speed in the provisioning of new applications and services for Uberfusion's customers.
"Once the development lifecycle for a project is complete, we can very quickly de-provision the related virtual servers, back them up, and bring up new environments for different customers," said Saw. "Using PlateSpin Orchestrate to manage virtual instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server gives us the agility to offer a faster and more flexible service than our competitors. And because our operational costs are lower, we can focus more resources on delivering services to our customers."
As a cross-platform development company, Uberfusion needs to build applications that will run on both Microsoft Windows and Linux. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Xen virtualisation technology, the company can virtualise and support both Windows and Linux on the same physical hardware, enabling significant cost savings.
"We estimate that server virtualisation provides a 30 percent overall reduction on the annual cost of running the equivalent physical environment," said Saw. "This figure includes a 50 percent decrease in hardware and software costs, a 40 percent or greater decrease in energy requirements, and a reduction of around 30 percent in our administrative costs."
Virtualisation has enabled Uberfusion to free up skilled employees from time-consuming server deployments, enabling greater focus on core development tasks. PlateSpin Orchestrate enables Uberfusion to deploy new development environments in a matter of minutes–versus the days or even weeks required to procure and deploy a new physical server–and this enables faster time-to-market for customer projects.
Finally, server virtualisation has reduced the number of potential single points of failure in Uberfusion's infrastructure, increasing availability and decreasing risk.
"We have seen a 20 percent improvement in uptime, because our virtual servers share the resources of larger physical servers with greater levels of component redundancy," said Saw. "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with built-in Xen virtualisation technology has given us greater efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness–and a lower total cost of ownership."