Web Server Performance with SUSE Linux

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Novell announced independent home builder Keller Homes has consolidated its Web servers and eliminated downtime with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell. Ranked as one of the top 10 builders nationwide in customer satisfaction, Keller Homes has a variety of mission-critical Web sites, including its public site and an extranet used by hundreds of vendors to track materials, schedules and payments associated with customized home projects.

After Keller Homes participated on the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show, its Web servers received an exponential increase in activity, averaging 3,000 hits per hour, with a peak of more than 6,000 hits in a single hour.

“In the days following the ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ show, our Web site performed flawlessly,” said Lance Hill, IT manager at Keller Homes. “The reliability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server kept our site from going down and allowed us to take advantage of tremendous marketing exposure. Our national name recognition shot through the roof.”

Working with Common Knowledge Technology, a Novell PartnerNet Gold Partner, Keller Homes upgraded its Web servers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for 65 percent less than the cost of an alternative solution. The company consolidated its Web servers by nearly 80 percent and was able to reuse its existing hardware, achieving a 60 percent reduction in total cost of ownership. It also eliminated downtime and reduced administration time by 95 percent. The company estimates that its Linux solution paid for itself in just four months.

When Keller Homes was chosen as a builder for the television show, ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ the company had two months to ensure its Web servers could withstand an enormous increase in volume. Previously, unpredictable downtime had been frustrating for users and created business delays. In addition, the company was running its Web servers on both Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux and wanted to consolidate to a single, more reliable operating system.

Keller Homes evaluated several operating systems before selecting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, recommended by Common Knowledge Technology. Keller Homes moved its Web servers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server running on existing Dell hardware. The company also consolidated its Web servers to just two physical Web servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Eventually, Keller Homes plans to consolidate the rest of its data center servers using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and its built-in Xen virtualization.

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was the perfect fit for Keller Homes,” said Luke Wignall, managing partner at Common Knowledge Technology. “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a more stable platform and provides a better return on investment than other options. It also comes with Novell’s enterprise Linux support.”

Justin Steinman, vice president of solution and product marketing at Novell, said, “Server consolidation can result in enormous advantages for businesses, such as streamlining workloads, which enables companies to benefit from reduced capital and management costs. By using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, customers such as Keller Homes are benefiting from a more reliable, flexible and cost-effective platform for mission-critical computing.”

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