Micro Focus
Sony Italia

Sony Italia
Success Story

Sony employed SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server with built-in Xen virtualization and used PlateSpin® Migrate from Micro Focus to virtualize 12 physical servers with minimal production downtime.

“PlateSpin Migrate simplified the creation of the new virtualized server environment, and reduced the potential risk of disruption.”

Paolo Barna
Manager, Operations & Security Systems
Sony Italia

At a Glance






  • Provided an easy-to-use interface
  • Enabled compliance with the new Italian privacy legislation
  • Very fast and simple way to meet legal obligations


Sony Corporation, a global company, produces a vast array of advanced electronic technologies. Sony employs approximately 147,000 people worldwide and Sony Italia, headquartered in Milan, employs approximately 250 people.


When Sony Europe placed most of its IT infrastructure into two data centers in the UK, Sony Italia opted to keep its own local server infrastructure. Sony Italia wanted to ensure excellent performance on its country-specific systems, and wanted to be able to easily maintain them. However, continual increases in stored data and the number of users eventually put significant pressure on the 30 local servers, resulting in reduced performance and reliability. Sony Italia also needed to abate rising heat output and electricity consumption in the local data center. But with the available budget, replacing all 30 servers was out of the question.

Server virtualization was the ideal solution. It enabled Sony Italia to refresh its local computing infrastructure in a much more compact, efficient, and cost-effective physical form.


In its initial virtualization efforts, finding the cost of VMware licenses to be too high, Sony Italia began working to create a solution based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with built-in Xen virtualization. Sony Italia discovered that by adding SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension they would have a very a resilient solution.

“We were already using Linux alongside some commercial UNIX systems, and it was very compelling to be able to deploy a Linux distribution with built- in virtualization at no extra cost,” said Paolo Barna, Manager, Operations & Security Systems, Sony Italia. “SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension gave us powerful clustering tools to make sure that the new virtualized environment would be extremely reliable.”

Sony Italia replaced 12 old physical servers with only two new servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in a high-availability cluster. The two new servers host more than 12 Linux and Windows virtual servers. In normal conditions, the workload is balanced across the two new physical servers to ensure optimal performance. If a problem occurs on one of the physical servers, the other automatically takes over the full virtual workload until the fault is fixed.


Sony Italia used PlateSpin Migrate to simplify the migration from the old physical infrastructure to the new physical and virtual servers. PlateSpin Migrate enabled live migrations of active production systems, minimizing business disruption and accelerating the process.

“PlateSpin Migrate simplified the creation of the new virtualized server environment, and reduced the potential risk of disruption,” said Barna. “It provides an easy-to-use interface, so the whole process was really fast and painless.”

Sony Italia plans to use PlateSpin Migrate and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Xen virtualization to replace 10 additional physical servers.