The National Business Center (NBC) is an office within the United States Department of Interior (DOI) created in 1999 with the mission of providing business management services and systems across the DOI and other federal agencies. The NBC competes for its business head-on, against both government and private sector organizations, and its ability to compete hinges on its effectiveness in meeting customer expectations for the continued delivery of high-quality products and services.
While the NBC has a long and well-regarded history of providing IT shared services to federal agencies, its fast growth also created challenges. "We ran out of floor space, we ran out of power; it was a very complex and not strategically managed environment," says Doug Bourgeois, director, National Business Center. "This was driven by our clients wanting custom-hosted solutions, and if we were going to achieve our goal of providing economical hosted solutions, we had to get away from this environment to something more standardized."
NBC overhauled its data center, standardizing on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and IBM's System z mainframe environment as its enterprise-server of choice after identifying the advantages the solution brought in terms of cost-of-acquisition, data center footprint reduction, and improved power consumption, as System z can perform the work of hundreds of individual servers.
Read more about how the NBC has reduced the number of physical servers, but increased the number of virtual servers, effectively increasing capacity while decreasing power consumption and floor space requirements, and in the process, achieved 30%-60% cost savings.