Carnival Cruise Case Study: Slashing Server Footprint
 

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Carnival Cruise Case Study: Slashing Server Footprint

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Carnival Cruise Lines slashes server footprint by around 60 percent, preserving scarce shipboard resources.

Carnival Cruise Lines slashes server footprint by around 60 percent, preserving scarce shipboard resources.

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Carnival Cruise Case Study: Slashing Server Footprint Document Transcript

  • 1. Carnival Cruise Linesslashes server footprintby around 60 percent, •  Consolidation •  Dell Systems Managementpreserving scarce •  Green Computing •  Power & Cooling •  Servicesshipboard resources •  Storage •  Virtualization “We do everything possible to ensure that our guests enjoy their vacations. By providing a highly reliable server environment, our virtual machines support that mission.” John Staker, Senior Information Systems Manager, Carnival Dream Customer Profile Company: Carnival Cruise Lines Industry: Travel, Hospitality and Tourism Country: United States   Benefits Employees: 43,000 •  Approximately 60% reduction   Web: www.carnival.com in physical footprint of servers   on ships Business Need •  Approximately 7,000 hours/year  Each Carnival Cruise Lines ship operates as a self-sufficient environment reclaimed for shipboard   in which power and floor space are limited, making IT efficiency a critical IS managers requirement. Several years ago, the IT infrastructure on Carnival ships •  100% availability for shipboard  was consuming too much power and occupying too large a footprint. virtual servers over past 6 months The company engaged Dell Consulting Services to evaluate its options. •  Shoreside management possible   for storage arrays on ships at sea Solution Carnival began virtualizing shipboard servers using VMware® vSphere™ •  4-hour recovery time objective  running on Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers with Intel® Xeon® processors (RTO) for virtual machines through  and Dell EqualLogic™ storage arrays. The implementation has been SAN-based replication so successful at boosting efficiency that Carnival also adopted Dell •  38% performance improvement   PowerEdge and Dell EqualLogic equipment in its shoreside data center for Oracle data warehouse in  and remote office operations. Now, Carnival is moving its critical proof-of-concept Oracle data warehouse from a Solaris and Fibre Channel platform to Red Hat Linux running on Dell PowerEdge servers and EqualLogic •  Hundreds of thousands of dollars  iSCSI SANs. saved by selecting iSCSI SAN
  • 2. Customers of Carnival Cruise Lines want to get away from it all. Whether they choose to dance into the wee hours, play miniature golf with the kids or just read a great book by the pool, most are looking for a vacation from the complexities of everyday life. Paradoxically, the company’s fun and carefree cruises rely on a cutting-edge and highly efficient IT infrastructure to run smoothly. “Our ships carry as many as 4,500 of shipboard servers and determine guests at a time, so paper-and-pencil how it could use virtualization to meet “We initially management doesn’t cut it,” says Doug Eney, vice president, information its consolidation goals. Its 22 ships rotate through dry dock so that each selected the systems engineering for Carnival. gets a complete overhaul every few “When guests come on board, we years or so. Starting with the ships PowerEdge R900 need to have their cabin prepared the that were on dry dock at the time, servers because way they want it. When they arrive at dinner, the wine they requested Carnival began implementing VMware vSphere server virtualization and Dell of their chipset.” needs to be on their table. And when EqualLogic virtual storage solutions. they disembark at a destination, their The first ships saw their server footprint Rodney Orange, Supervisor shoreside activities need to be exactly consolidated to 22 virtual machines of Wintel Server Engineering, as their reservations specify. All the hosted on three Dell PowerEdge R900 Carnival Cruise Lines logistics that make a vacation go servers supported by two EqualLogic smoothly need to be transparent PS5000XV SANs. More recently, ships to our guests. Making that happen have begun receiving Dell PowerEdge requires excellent, reliable technology.” Destination: efficient and   effective IT Technology at Work Every ship in the Carnival Cruise Services Lines fleet is its own floating island, Dell™ Consulting Services which poses unique challenges for IT. “A cruise ship is completely Hardware self-contained,” says Eney. “It carries its own water and generates its own Dell EqualLogic™ PS6010XV, PS6010XVS, PS6000XV, PS6000E electricity. The physical footprint and PS5000XV storage arrays of hardware devices is a huge issue on a ship. Reliability is also crucial. If Dell Latitude™ laptops with Intel® something breaks on the ship, it has to Core™2 Duo processors be fixed on the ship; hardware vendors Dell OptiPlex™ desktop computers aren’t going to send new parts by with Intel processors helicopter. Our systems must be both Dell PowerEdge™ R710, R900 highly available and highly efficient.” and 2950 servers with Intel Xeon® A few years ago, each ship in the processors Carnival line required between 13 Dell Studio One 19 all-in-one and 22 physical servers, with direct- desktop computers with Intel attached storage, to run the various Core™2 Duo processors applications that support operations. “We had one server for each job, so Software those systems were taking up a lot Dell EqualLogic SAN of floor space,” says Rodney Orange, HeadQuarters supervisor of Wintel server engineering. “We needed to reduce the physical, Oracle® 10g databases power and cooling footprint of each Red Hat Linux ship’s IT infrastructure.” VMware® vSphere™ 60% smaller server footprint Windows Server® 2008 and 2003 Carnival engaged Dell Consulting Services to help evaluate its utilization
  • 3. R710 servers with EqualLogic PS6000XV Moreover, IT staff effectiveness or PS6000E SANs. has increased. IS managers move between ships as frequently as every “We initially selected the PowerEdge six months. Previously, when each R900 servers because of their chipset,” ship had different hardware, an IS says Orange. “But we’ve found that manager would require time to get up although the PowerEdge R710 servers to speed after a transfer. In the virtual have a smaller footprint, they can environment, management of virtual hold as many virtual machines as the machines, as well as server and storage R900 servers, if not more.” Fifteen of hardware, is very similar between ships. the company’s ships now run a virtual “When I come into a new situation, I environment; the entire fleet will be can focus on what needs to be done upgraded by the end of 2011. without having to reinvent the wheel On the upgraded ships, efficiencies every time,” says Staker. “It’s fantastic.” abound. Now, the critical applications Carnival uses EqualLogic SAN and services for the ship, including HeadQuarters software to monitor Microsoft Exchange, run on the performance of the shipboard storage virtualized, consolidated Dell platform. arrays from a data center in Miami. “Now that we’ve gone virtual, we’re “We have roughly 60 EqualLogic saving floor space, saving power and SANs, most of which are in motion at getting better air flow, which keeps the servers cooler,” says John Staker, any given time,” says John Ashmore, “Across our fleet, manager of systems engineering. senior information systems manager “But EqualLogic SAN HQ enables us the combination on the new ship Carnival Dream. “We’ve reduced the physical footprint to look at all our storage platforms from one centralized location.” of VMware running of our servers by 60 percent.” From the shoreside data center, the on efficient Dell“Across our fleet, the combination of VMware running on efficient IT staff monitors alerts and storage servers with utilization. When necessary, they also Dell servers with EqualLogic storage arrays is proving to be a green solution, plan capacity increases for the SANs. EqualLogic storage while also greatly reducing the cost of “One thing we particularly like about Dell EqualLogic storage is its ability arrays is proving to running our ships’ critical applications,” says Eney. to scale incrementally,” says Ashmore. be a green solution, “We can add both storage capacity Simplified management saving  and controller capacity to generate while also greatly7,000 IT hours per year additional I/O with a single unit.” reducing the cost ofIT staff are also saving time they previously spent on system administration. High-availability data centers   at sea running our ships’Driven by a combination of storage automation and intelligence of the The virtualized server and storage critical applications.” platform also helps Carnival deliver EqualLogic SANs and advanced Doug Eney, Vice President, high availability and redundancy for vStorage API integration with VMware Information Systems Engineering, its isolated floating data centers. Using Carnival Cruise LinesvSphere, Carnival’s virtualization vSphere’s vCompute and vStorage solution is able to extend efficiency features backed up by an iSCSI SAN, across the entire IT infrastructure. Carnival can achieve highly reliable “Management of our servers is greatly production environments. In addition, simplified,” says Staker. “We no longer with EqualLogic auto-replication, have to spend time going through the SANs have a local recovery option logs for each server. VMware vCenter built in. enables us to see, in one place, “We’re also taking advantage of the everything that’s happening. Plus, software features that are included at if a virtual server is running slowly, no extra cost with the Dell EqualLogic we can add another processor, double platform, including snapshotting and the RAM, add more disk space—do replication for disaster recovery,” whatever we need to do—without says Ashmore. “Most of our ships have physically opening up the box. Each a third EqualLogic array, kept in a shipboard information systems (IS) separate room, to which the primary manager is saving 5 to 10 hours a week, SANs replicate data. If a virtual server so across the 15 ships that have gone were to fail, we could recover it from virtual, we may be saving as much as the replicated VMware virtual machines 7,000 hours a year.” within a four-hour window or less.”
  • 4. So far, the Dell-based virtual First, Dell consultants tested a us hundreds of thousands of dollars infrastructure has been extremely 10-gigabit iSCSI EqualLogic PS6010XV that we would otherwise be spending reliable. “The storage arrays have SAN. Performance was approximately on storage hardware and storage been rock-solid,” Staker says. “If 19 percent better than that of Carnival’s management software.”servers on one of our ships went down, current production data warehouse. that would impact the whole guest Then Dell repeated the tests using a Dell throughout the enterpriseexperience. But the EqualLogic arrays Dell EqualLogic PS6010XVS hybrid In two data centers, an office in London just run. On Carnival Dream, we’ve array, which includes both solid-state and shipyards in Italy, Carnival runs a had 100 percent availability of our drives and spinning disks. The hybrid virtualization platform using Microsoft servers since their launch six months array produced an additional 16 Hyper-V running on Dell PowerEdge ago. We’ve never had any problems percent performance gain, for a total 2950 servers and the efficient Dell with them. At Carnival Cruise Lines, 38 percent performance improvement EqualLogic PS5000 series SANs. These we do everything possible to ensure over the current environment. offices require Microsoft Exchange that our guests enjoy their vacation. and SQL Server, but their computing “The Dell consultants helped us By providing a highly reliable server requirements are more limited than realize the advantage of the EqualLogic environment, our virtual machines on those of the company’s data center. PS6010XVS SAN, which is that it hosts Dell servers and EqualLogic storage “The EqualLogic SANs fit very well in hot data on the solid-state drives while support that mission.” our remote offices,” says Eney. “Instead pushing cold data, the least-used of a data center, we have a small wiring 38% performance improvement  data, to the slower spinning disks,” closet in these locations. The Dell and for data warehouse explains Lyn. “This ensures that the EqualLogic platform enables us to fit most frequently used data is served Now Carnival is planning to move its the needed storage and servers in a up fast, but we don’t have to manage shoreside Oracle 10g data warehouse compact space.” the movement of data between the onto a similar platform of Dell two types of storage. And the hybrid Carnival also uses Dell client solutions PowerEdge servers and Dell EqualLogic solution is much less expensive throughout its corporate environment, storage arrays. “Our data warehouse than a pure solid-state disk would including Dell Latitude laptops and is very important to us,” says Garth be. The proof-of-concept showed Dell OptiPlex desktop computers Lyn, Supervisor, UNIX and Storage us that the Dell solution can save us for employees and Dell Studio One Engineering with Carnival. “We use 60 to 80 percent compared with the 19 all-in-one desktop computers for business intelligence software to crunch high-end enterprise storage options passenger use in Carnival Dream’s information in our data warehouse, we were considering, and 40 to 60 Fun Hub, comprised of a ship-specific analyzing what’s happening on our percent compared with our midrange intranet and the cruise industry’s first cruises, how guests are spending their enterprise options.” shipboard social network.time and what’s going on in the travel industry. This helps us effectively price The proof-of-concept sold Carnival on Dell: a true partnerour cruises, so it gives us a distinct the benefits of moving to iSCSI even “We have a true partnership with Dell,” competitive advantage.” in a data center that already had Fibre Eney concludes. “Many vendors have Channel connectivity. “We already had The data warehouse has been running walked in here and said they’re our Fibre Channel in our data center, but on a legacy Sun Solaris-based system partner, but then we’ve had a problem the cost of expanding the platform to supported by EMC Symmetrix storage, when the presales period was over and increase our storage capacity drove us but the server hardware is end-of- the partnership went out the window. to use iSCSI,” says Ashmore. “What’s life and the disk array cannot support Dell delivers cost-effective and reliable great about the Dell EqualLogic PS6010 Carnival’s projected short-term growth. solutions, and whenever we’ve brought series is that with 10-gigabit Ethernet Dell Consulting Services performed up issues with the Dell team, they’ve as a standard, we actually have faster a six-week proof-of-concept using determined the root cause and worked transport over an iSCSI network than PowerEdge R710 servers running Red with us on the solution. They always over our Fibre Channel.” Better yet, Hat Linux with Dell EqualLogic storage. show a commitment to actually being Eney adds: “Over the next five years, our partner.” this data warehouse migration will save View all Dell case studies at: dell.com/casestudiesAvailability and terms of Dell Services vary by region. For more information, visit: dell.com/servicedescriptions© September 2010. Intel and Intel Xeon are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States or other countries. Windows Server is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. This case study is for informational purposes only. DELL MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS CASE STUDY. Reference number: 10008832
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