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Local Louisiana Governments Implement Solutions From IBM and CMA


IBM Hardware and Software Stacks Trim Costs While Providing Vital Disaster Recovery in Hurricane-Prone Area

ARMONK, NY and BATON ROUGE, LA - Feb 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and business partner CMA Technology Solutions today announced that four Louisiana municipalities have implemented IBM hardware and software stacks to help deliver lower costs and energy savings as well as disaster recovery support, which is vital in Louisiana. Working with CMA, the Cities of Alexandria, Sulphur, Monroe and Bossier City deployed IBM solutions as part of an infrastructure to support the region’s famous water ways, riverboats and culture.

The City of Alexandria celebrated its bicentennial last year. Located along the navigable Red River, the City is home to 46,000 people and is a premier port facility for the central Louisiana corridor. Alexandria consolidated 26 existing servers on to just two IBM System x servers to reduce server provisioning times, simplify management and improve business continuity.

The city also created a disaster-recovery site comprised of one virtualized IBM System x server coupled with an IBM System Storage DS4300. At their main site, the city uses IBM BladeCenter, IBM System x, IBM System Storage DS4500, an IBM System p server and is moving to the latest version of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino advanced collaboration capabilities. IBM hardware and software has enabled the city to save time and money. Now, employees work together more effectively and the reduction of infrastructure complexity has helped the city trim server provisioning time from several weeks to less than 10 minutes.

“We realized a dramatic reduction in IT costs after consolidating and virtualizing our server and storage infrastructure,” said Blake Rachal, MCSE Systems Analyst, City of Alexandria. “Decreasing the amount of onsite physical hardware enabled us to reduce our data center footprint and ongoing warranty costs as well as a drastic reduction in power and cooling costs. We have been very pleased with the overall reliability of IBM servers and storage.”

The largest IBM Premier Business Partner in Louisiana, Baton Rouge-based CMA has worked with the City of Alexandria and other Louisiana municipalities for more than twenty years and understands local IT and financial needs. After witnessing the benefits of the City of Alexandria’s new IBM hardware solution, the cities of Sulphur, Monroe and Bossier City followed suit, evaluating and adopting their own IBM solution. With the help of CMA and IBM, the three cities are starting to see results like those of Alexandria.

“Knowing the challenges Louisiana municipalities have faced after encountering Hurricane Katrina, it’s nice to know IBM and CMA can provide our customers with an IT solution they can count on,” said Jonathan Peyton, IBM System x and Storage Sales Specialist, CMA. “IBM and CMA are beside their customers from the moment a concept is created, through the implementation and beyond. To make major IT decisions even easier, CMA has an on-site Business Partner Innovation Center (BPIC) in our Baton Rouge office that is available for our customers to see and feel their solution before implementing.”

Sulphur, Monroe and Bossier City

CMA helped the Cities of Sulphur, Monroe and Bossier City implement a tailored solution running on IBM System x servers, the System i platform and IBM System Storage DS4700 storage disk arrays.

The City of Sulphur, so named for its rich sulfur deposits, is known for its National Scenic Byway Designation -- “Gateway to the Creole Nature Trail” and the motto “faith, family, and community.” After implementing a virtualized IBM System x server solution, Sulphur was able to drastically reduce server provisioning times and create a very flexible test/dev environment. Servers can now be created, tested and retired in minutes.

“Running our application and database software on top of this unbelievably reliable infrastructure promises to offer continued savings,” said Read Ellender, Information Systems Manager, City of Sulphur. “Disaster recovery is on everyone’s mind down here. Knowing that other Louisiana municipalities run a similar setup gives us piece of mind that we could restore our entire system in a very short timeframe.”

Located along the Ouachita River, the City of Monroe is the economic, medical and educational hub for Northeast Louisiana. The city boasts the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo and Masur Museum of Art as well as three major universities located within 30 minutes. According to Anita Eppinette, Director of Information Technology, City of Monroe, “IBM’s breadth of products and services made it easy for us to find the right solution to fit our needs. CMA is a great partner and continues to help steer us toward solutions that are in the best interest of our city and its residents.”

Located across the Red River from Shreveport in Northwest Louisiana, Bossier City is a growing metropolitan area home to more than 58,000 residents as well as Harrah’s Horseshoe, Diamond Jacks and Boomtown riverboat casinos.

“We chose to implement the IBM hardware solution for its load balancing and disaster recovery capabilities as well the reliability and high availability it provides. The addition of the IBM System Storage DS4700 Storage Area Network enhanced our storage capabilities,” said Bill Bell, Information Services Manager, City of Bossier City. “The ease of server administration is definitely a plus as well. We currently have various virtual servers and workstation running in a production environment, enabling our staff to literally create a virtual server on demand saving many hours of server setup and configuration.”


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