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TRW To Consolidate On Dell And Linux

TRW Automotive has agreed to a three-year contract extension with Dell that involves standardizing on Dell enterprise products and services, including an on-going effort to consolidate dozens of server sites into four regional data-center hubs.

TRW, a supplier of automotive safety systems with annual revenue of about $12 billion, will purchase a mixture of Dell hardware and services that includes 24,000 desktop computers, laptops, and workstations, hundreds of servers, and dozens of storage systems.

Joe Drouin, global CIO for TRW, says the company first began standardizing on Dell desktop equipment in 1999, and is now looking to move as much of its server infrastructure as possible off Unix-based equipment to Dell systems running a Linux operating system. The effort is expected to help the company, which has more than 200 facilities in 24 countries, to consolidate dozens of server installations into four primary regional data centers in North America, Germany, Brazil, and Kuala Lumpur.

The consolidation effort began about 18 months ago when TRW moved its ERP system from Unix-based servers to a Linux-on-Dell cluster, "which we found was every bit as fast, and we are able to run those Linux systems at a much lower cost for both procurement and maintenance."

Moving other applications currently on Unix-based equipment to Dell clusters, such as TRW's SAP implementation, will take place slowly as individual migration efforts are proven out, Drouin says. "We'll have to see how quickly that goes," he says. "Some installations are really not quite ready for a Dell-Linux migration. But as we can, we'll continue this effort because there is a huge value to such migrations. But we'll be cautious not to push too far too fast."

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