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UK's Orange Sees Red (Hat) in New Clusters

May 07, 2003, 17:30 (1 Talkback[s])

Dell and Oracle Corp. today announced that Orange, one of the leading telecommunications providers in the United Kingdom, has deployed a standards-based computing Red Hat Linux platform, powered by Intel-based processors, to support up-to-the-minute multimedia and SMS services to mobile phone customers in the United Kingdom.

The platform consists of four Dell PowerEdge servers running an Oracle9i Database with Real Application Clusters and Red Hat Linux Advanced Server using Intel Xeon processors MP. It is the result of close work between Dell, Intel and Oracle, and it has enabled Orange to significantly increase overall service and performance while reducing total cost of ownership.

The new cluster replaces a proprietary RISC-based platform and supports the content delivery and subscriber databases critical to Orange services. With the capability to store the user preferences for over 13 million Orange customers, the subscriber database allows targeted information from thousands of different topics, such as sports and horoscopes, to be delivered directly to mobile phones. Content is delivered through the company's portfolio of information portals which include website, WAP, SMS, MMS, audio and video content services.

The combination of an increasing number of multi-media users and the variety of information portals through which content can be accessed meant that a high performance, reliable and stable solution was imperative. Because the number of users and applications it supports is anticipated to grow, Orange chose the Dell/Intel/Oracle platform due to its ability to easily and rapidly scale out based on demand, without increasing the overall complexity of managing the system.

Paul Thompson, head of technical operations for Orange Multimedia Operations, explained further: "Intel technology was a key factor in our choice of platform. Oracle database clusters, powered by Intel processors and Dell servers, are not only some of the most cost effective and highest performing systems available, they are based on market leading technology. In addition, as we upgrade the system, we will be able to take advantage of the latest Intel processor enhancements."

Oracle Consulting played a pivotal role in ensuring the system achieved optimal performance before going live. As Paul Thompson continued: "With the help of the Oracle Consulting team we were able to deliver twice the performance, with a single Intel-based processor design, over our previous dual-processor RISC system. After further optimization, and with the new system consisting of four dual-processor nodes, the system has achieved up to 10 times the performance at a reduced cost."

Rick Skett, director, Intel UK and Ireland, added: "This is truly a best of breed solution. The combination of Intel processors and Dell servers delivers outstanding power and flexibility. Add this to the stability of Oracle9i Database with Real Application Clusters and Orange has a high performance system that delivers excellent scalability and uptime at a price that makes perfect sense."

With multi-media messaging placing extra demands on existing infrastructures, and with users accessing information 24/7, high availability and system performance is integral to success. John McLevy, vice president of Oracle Enterprise Technology in Europe, Middle East and Africa commented: "Oracle continues to evolve our technology offerings to meet our customers' requirements for delivering enterprise class solutions on Linux. We are seeing more customers like Orange using Linux-based Oracle9i Database with Real Application Clusters on Dell and Intel to achieve highly reliable, high performance solutions for customers at an attractive price point."

The cluster deployed by Orange MMO consists of four Dell PowerEdge 6650 servers connected to a Dell/EMC FC4700 system. Oracle9i Database with Real Application Clusters is running on Red Hat Linux Advanced Server.

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