Red Hat, a leading provider of open source solutions, announced that Acxiom Corp., a supplier of interactive marketing services, has selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the standard operating system for its high-performance grid processing environment.
Acxiom is recognized for its ability to utilize advanced technology to meet clients’ marketing demands. Its competencies include customer data integration (CDI) and technology, data, databases, digital marketing services, consulting and analytics, privacy leadership and IT outsourcing. Acxiom advises clients on the integration and development of multi-channel marketing campaigns spanning digital, Internet, email, mobile and direct mail channels.
When Acxiom introduced a breakthrough technology that delivered entity resolution and customer recognition capabilities, it became vital to the company’s business proposition. Acxiom discovered scalability and affordability challenges because the application was built on large SMP boxes running UNIX.
“We needed a reliable, stable and supported version of Linux that was tested and production-ready to support millions − and now billions − of records per day through our application. Red Hat was that solution,” said Terry Talley, chief technology officer at Acxiom. “Red Hat was sensitive to our unique support needs. Although we had thousands of machines, we had few distinct instances. Red Hat was very flexible in engaging with us, and as a result we are able to build stronger and smarter systems with our customers in mind.”
Acxiom’s grid infrastructure is designed to improve efficiency, maintain consistency across its systems and logically partition resources to meet its clients’ increasing demands. With a broad ecosystem of certified hardware and software solutions, Red Hat Enterprise Linux enabled Acxiom to make hardware choices independent of the operating system.
“Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the standard operating system for Acxiom's grid computing environment that amounts to over 6,000 machines today, translating to 12,000 sockets,” said Talley. “It is the foundation for all of Acxiom's scalable marketing business applications and bulk processing applications.”
“If you considered a ratio of throughput to cost, the ratio for one of our key applications running on SMP boxes under UNIX was about 10 to one,” said Talley. “After migrating our application to a grid computing environment running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and commodity hardware, the ratio went to 1,000 to one. The 100-fold increase was a dramatic improvement in throughput to cost and an extremely successful strategy for us.”
Acxiom’s grid environment is business-critical and can’t afford unscheduled downtime or gaps in performance. “As all of the machines in our grid run Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it is the core of where we do all of our CDI processing, which is essential to our business,” said Chuck Howland, technical group leader for Acxiom’s CDI and marketing services line of business. “One of our applications is capable of handling a peak load of 15,000 transactions per second. On average across all applications, we process billions of transactions a day and over a trillion records per month. So it simply has to work.”
Additionally, Acxiom utilizes Red Hat Network for management and procurement of the various instances of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in its grid computing environment. Acxiom has also utilized a Red Hat Technical Account Manager to assist in managing its Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based systems and for expert advice and hands-on training during new implementations.
Acxiom also uses the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. In 2004, it turned to JBoss to leverage its high-performance middleware solutions. Today, the company continues to expand its use of JBoss Enterprise middleware solutions to build its service-oriented architecture (SOA) environment.
“The open source community and open source standards are very important to us,” said Matt Hoggatt, technical unit leader, Acxiom service delivery infrastructure. “The immediate performance benefits delivered by our JBoss solutions resulted from the ease and speed of the initial migration. In the future, as we continue to build out our on-demand capabilities, we fully expect to leverage the capabilities that we have come to expect from JBoss.”
“Our use of Red Hat has grown along with our use of commodity hardware and our involvement in the open source community,” said Talley. “With Red Hat we have a very collaborative, partner-oriented discussion about the technology we need and what Red Hat can provide for us. As we venture into new technology areas, Red Hat has always been very responsive. We view it as a true partnership.”
To read the full Acxiom Corporation case study, visit www.customers.press.redhat.com.
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About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, a world leading open source solutions provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, with over 65 offices spanning the globe. CIOs ranked Red Hat as one of the top vendors delivering value in Enterprise Software for five consecutive years in the CIO Insight Magazine "Vendor Value" survey. Red Hat provides high-quality, affordable technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with applications, management and services oriented architecture (SOA) solutions, including JBoss Enterprise middleware. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide. Learn more: http://www.redhat.com.
A global leader in interactive marketing services, Acxiom helps clients connect with their customers through deep consumer insight that enables effective and profitable marketing initiatives and business decisions. Our consultative approach spans multiple industries and incorporates decades of experience in consumer data and analytics, information technology, data integration, and consulting solutions for effective marketing across digital, Internet, email, mobile and direct mail channels. Founded in 1969, Acxiom is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, and serves clients around the world from locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information about Acxiom, visit www.acxiom.com.