The Weather Channel, the only national all-weather cable network providing 24-hour-a-day weather coverage to more than 87 million homes in the U.S., is building on a current strategy of running its IT infrastructure on open source technology and has migrated to Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processor-based HP Integrity servers from proprietary RISC-based platforms.
The Weather Channel has reduced physical server count by 48 percent, while server utilization has increased by more than 50 percent, and the time required to deploy applications on the servers was shortened from two days to two hours. As a result, The Weather Channel also cut its three-year maintenance contract costs to one-tenth of the costs associated with RISC-based servers. The Itanium 2 processor-based HP Integrity servers now provide double the performance of the previous platforms at an overall solution cost of 75 percent less.
Taking advantage of solutions based on Intel and HP technology, The Weather Channel has implemented a modular, standardized IT architecture to consolidate applications on fewer servers, optimize facility usage and help lower disaster recovery and licensing costs.
"The Weather Channel is rapidly changing to continue to enhance our ability to deliver innovative services and accurate, timely weather information to millions of our subscribers," said Brian Shield, executive vice president and CIO, The Weather Channel. "The Itanium architecture combined with our open source strategy enables a powerful platform that helps lower the total cost of ownership and provides the flexibility our IT infrastructure needs to meet our growth objectives."
The Weather Channel replaced 138 RISC-based processors with 42 Itanium 2 processors. The Weather Channel deployed 17 two-way HP Integrity rx2600 servers and two, four-way HP Integrity rx5670 servers running RedHat Enterprise Linux 2.1 and 3.0 and Oracle(1) 9i Real Application Clusters. The servers run applications which power corporate databases, transportation logistics, budgeting software, supply chain management, Web systems, asset management, and a file and print system.
According to The Weather Channel, the Linux operating system provides increased flexibility and a better price performance ratio when compared to the RISC platform. The databases support customer applications such as WeatherFacts(1), which currently provides local forecasts to 15,000 hotels and other outlets nationwide, and Weatherscan(1), a 24-hour all-local weather information network currently servicing 8 million TV subscribers. The HP Integrity servers support core business applications and are used in production, development and quality assurance.
The Weather Channel is planning a second phase of its data consolidation initiative and intends to migrate databases used for core weather forecasting from 72 RISC processors to Itanium 2 processor-based servers.
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