Fed Reserve boosts servers

The Federal Reserve System's in-house IT staff beat out four outside vendors with the most cost-effective proposal for boosting server capacity.

Dennis Heidlebaugh of the Federal Reserve IT group in Richmond, Va., used a modeling tool from BMC Software Inc. of Houston to estimate capacity needs at one of the Fed's check-processing centers.

The check application, running on IBM SP servers under AIX, was poised for significant growth and experiencing performance problems, he said.

In the short term, the IT group used the Predict function of BMC's Patrol for Unix-Perform & Predict to transfer some of the workload to a standby server node. For the long term, however, hardware would have to be upgraded or acquired.

Working with projections for business growth, Heidlebaugh's team ran models with Perform & Predict and recommended that the processing center upgrade its hardware to large IBM p670 eServers, which would need fewer IBM DB2 licenses.

That configuration turned out to be less expensive and more expandable than the outside vendors' proposals.

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