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Harte-Hanks’ data center today

May 24, 20042 mins
Data CenterLinux

A look insider the Harte-Hanks data center

Scott Hopkins, vice president of technology planning, lords over Harte-Hanks’ data center operations from his home base in Billerica, Mass. He takes us for a look inside that data center.

Data center statistics: At this data center, and this is just one data center of many, we’re predominantly Unix-based Sun Solaris. We have about 47 heavy production servers, one mainframe environment and then a few hundred servers that are a healthy mix of Windows and Linux. For storage, we’re very heterogeneous, with somewhere around 45T to 50T bytes of storage right now.

Mainframe plans: We have a strategy for the mainframe to be retired in the next 24 to 36 months. The technology we are deploying today to do our database construction and to service our customers is more open systems and Internet-based. The cost associated around a good-size mainframe environment is fairly significant. You can deploy newer technology to meet the same business goal in a less-expensive environment.

Linux’s role: Directionally, when we talk about the data center of the future, Linux is going to play a role. We’re looking at Linux for what I would call, at this point, niche areas of the data center, fringe areas such as firewalls and some file servers, but in the future it seems that Linux as an operating system might provide us with flexibility and cost-reduction as we look at it for our database environments.