Nationwide deploys virtualization computing solution on Linux

Intent to save millions over the next three years

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 15, 2006 -- Nationwide, one of the world's largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations, announced it has completed deployment of a virtualization solution running SUSE Linux from Novell on IBM mainframe computers to help the company reduce the total cost of ownership of its IT environment. Nationwide is sharing the success of the solution by participating in a keynote presentation at LinuxWorld on August 16.

Running two IBM System z900 servers on Linux, Nationwide is deploying hundreds of virtual servers onto the mainframe systems to help it reduce the costs of data-center floor space, power, and Web hosting. A study in 2005 suggested the savings could be tens of millions of dollars over the next three years.

Prior to the deployment, Nationwide determined that 78 percent of its distributed servers were using ten percent of the computing capacity, leaving a vast amount of its server capability untapped. Consequently, the company spent valuable resources and time maintaining costly servers that took up expensive data center space, consumed energy and used only a small fraction of the available computing power.

With the new solution, virtualization features in the mainframe enable Nationwide to quickly create new virtual Linux-based servers in minutes. The company can now support and consolidate additional workloads and run hundreds of disparate applications on a single, or two, mainframe computers rather than on thousands of physical servers it would have otherwise have purchased.

By creating virtual servers rather than physical ones, Nationwide can better manage its data center power consumption, and improve utilization by more than 80 percent. As a result, the virtualization-based solution enabled Nationwide to defer the expenses that it would have incurred in data center expansion, cooling and electricity costs.

Taking advantage of virtualization technologies, the company now has greater flexibility to boost the computing capacity needed to handle spikes in demand. For example, Nationwide promoted its re-branded Web site by advertising heavily during Super Bowl XL. They significantly increased computing capacity for a two-week period to handle increased traffic to, then decreased capacity after the event. Capacity on demand is an attractive feature of server virtualization to a company like Nationwide.

"Virtualizing Nationwide's IT environment on IBM mainframes running Linux has allowed us to significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of our Web hosting environment by leveraging open source technology, such as SUSE Linux, instead of getting tied to proprietary solutions," said Guru Vasudeva, AVP and Enterprise Chief Architect at Nationwide. "New virtualization capabilities will also help us provision new Web hosting environments in days rather than months."

"Customers like Nationwide are increasingly turning to open IBM virtualization solutions to improve efficiency, reduce server sprawl, and boost power consumption," said Rich Lechner, vice president, Virtualization, IBM. "IBM is delighted to partner with Nationwide to showcase this world class example of how an enterprise can earn a significant return on its IT investment with innovative open standards-based information technology solutions."

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $158 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #98 on the Fortune 100 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycles, boats, homeowners, life, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. The Nationwide companies include the country's seventh-largest property/casualty, the fourth-largest homeowners, the sixth- largest auto insurance group and the country's largest farm owners insurer. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, the major subsidiary of Nationwide Financial, ranks 11th in assets according to A.M. Best. For more information, visit

Nationwide and the Nationwide Framemark are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. On Your Side is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

    Liz Christopher (614) 249-7705

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