Consolidation & Virtualization

OneMain Financial Consolidates IT, Reduces Costs with Mainline Solution

COMPANY:   OneMain Financal
HEADQUARTERS:   Evansville, Indiana
EMPLOYEES:   1001-5000

“Partnering with IBM and Mainline makes it easier for us to develop cost-effective and flexible computing solutions, so it’s a very pleasant experience working with Mainline.”

Mark Stephens

Associate Director, iSeries Systems Support, OneMain Financial

THE BUSINESS CHALLENGE

  • Meet increased infrastructure demands
  • Consolidate HQ and branch lending app
  • Reduce computing costs
  • Provide more flexibility in allocating resources
  • Reach higher utilization levels
  • Optimize energy usage

THE SOLUTION

  • IBM POWER 770 server
  • POWER Hypervisor
  • PowerVM
  • PowerLinux OS

THE RESULT

  • Improved response times
  • Reduced software costs, energy usage, floor space and administrative overhead
  • Consolidated multiple workloads on fewer systems
  • Improved system efficiency
  • Lowered operational expense
  • Made system easier to manage
  • Increased application performance, operational availability and security
  • Allowed for dynamic load assignment as traffic varies
  • Provided more flexibility
  • Allowed sharing of resources and optimized workload

The Business Challenge:

OneMain, provides loans and other credit-related products to more than 10 million customers in 44 states. As a financial services provider subject to federal regulations, security, reliability and efficiency are critical to its IT infrastructure.

In 2008 the company completed the first phase of a consolidation project, which centralized the company’s lending application to run on one platform. More than 800 branch iSeries systems were consolidated to three clustered IBM POWER System 570s.

While OneMain experienced improved efficiency and cost savings, growing workloads required additional consolidation. Specifically, the 40 iSeries servers at the Evansville headquarters being used for test, development, quality assurance and one-off applications to support HQ operations needed to be consolidated. Mark Stephens, Vice President and Director of Application Infrastructure for OneMain Financial Services, wanted to explore the best configuration options for the business while also reducing Springleaf’s computing costs. The company was seeking more flexibility in allocating resources, consolidating business-critical workloads and enabling higher utilization levels while optimizing energy usage.

Stephens contacted Mainline Information Systems, an IBM Premier Business Partner. The Mainline account executive then assembled the same team of experts who had worked on the Phase I consolidation. Together, they assessed the existing infrastructure and current requirements and strategically planned the Phase 2 consolidation. The Mainline solution consisted of two new IBM Power 770s to replace the IBM Power 570s, Power Hypervisor and PowerLinux OS for the logical partition (LPAR) and dynamic LPAR capabilities. The solution also included consulting services, which empowered Stephens and his staff to allocate the LPARs in-house. Stephens observed, “Mainline pointed us in the right direction for the first few LPAR allocations while providing oversight for the rest.”

The Solution:

The IBM Power 770 server is designed for virtualized consolidation of business-critical workloads. It delivers on performance, availability, efficiency and virtualization. PowerVM virtualization enables continuous dynamic resource adjustments across all partitions and operating environments to optimize performance and enable higher utilization levels while optimizing energy usage. Supported environments include AIX®, IBM i and Linux for Power applications all on the same system. The system includes:

IBM POWER Hypervisor
Power Hypervisor provides LPAR, dynamic LPAR and Virtual LAN (memory-to-memory interpartition communication), and is read-only firmware shipped with the OS. It includes security features that are outpacing those of the competition.

IBM PowerVM
IBM PowerVM is the family of technologies, capabilities and offerings that deliver industry-leading virtualization on IBM Power processor-based systems. On the Power 770, PowerVM includes base components provided with IBM Power Systems firmware with LPAR technologies. PowerVM allows any individual LPAR to access the maximum amount of memory and CPU cores that are available on the server. In addition, optional components in PowerVM editions are designed to provide advanced virtualization technologies, resulting in efficiencies in resource utilization and cost savings.

IBM PowerLinux
The IBM PowerLinux OS option provides standard Linux distributions for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server to run in their own dedicated partitions with access to all of IBM’s PowerVM capabilities, including Virtual I/O. This improves reliability and scalability for Linux without impacting cost.

The Result:

As a result of the consolidation project from Mainline, OneMain is experiencing many benefits.

  • Improved response times
  • Reduced software costs, energy usage, floor space and administrative overhead
  • Consolidated workloads on fewer systems
  • Improved system efficiency
  • Lowered operational expense
  • Simplified system management
  • Increased application performance, operational availability and security
  • Allowed for dynamic load assignment as traffic varies
  • Provided more flexibility
  • Allowed sharing of resources and optimized workload

“Partnering with IBM and Mainline makes it easier for us to develop cost-effective and flexible computing solutions, so it’s a very pleasant experience working with Mainline,” Stephens noted. “The new consolidated solution allows OneMain Financial Services the ability to more efficiently manage our Power Systems resources and meet business unit service levels in the most cost-efficient way.”

“Because of Mainline’s working relationship with IBM,” he concluded, “we believe we are getting the best value in both price and expertise for OneMain Financial Services.”

For more information, call your Mainline account representative or call Mainline directly at 866.490.MAIN(6246) or complete our contact us form.