Please pardon the lack of specific company names. Much of our work is performed under NDA, so while generals can be discussed, any information which could provide advantage to a competitor or expose weaknesses is obscured.
Fleet-wide RedHat Enterprise Linux upgrade, Major Retailer:
A major retailer had let their Linux fleet run for several years without consistent patching — 700+ x86 machines running various versions RedHat Enterprise Linux 3 through 5. Furthermore, these machines were running different levels of system board and HBA firmware. Over six weeks, AnderSand designed and implemented a set of upgrade scripts which leveraged their existing (but underutilized) Satellite infrastructure. In addition to upgrading all machines to the most recent revision, HBAs were flashed with updated firmware, vendor-specific support packages were upgraded, and system BIOS flashed. Rolling upgrades were massively successful, eliminating inconsistencies among machines and greatly reducing associated troubletickets. As an added bonus, all RHEL4 and RHEL5 machines were configured with HP SIM (System Insight Manager), allowing phone-home capability on detection of hardware errors.
Web-based IVR reporting system, Loyalty Marketing Company:
A major loyalty company had developed an in-house MS Access reporting system to show utilization of their Interactive Voice Response system. As the system had grown, the Access database was increasingly taxed, until the once-weekly report took a full day of manual work to generate and distribute. Andersand proposed and implemented a web-based reporting system which generated statistics nightly, and pushed HTML reports to access-controlled websites. In addition to freeing up personnel, this also allowed for aggregate weekly, monthly and annual reporting on an entirely automated basis.
Server Virtualization, Educational Institution:
An educational institution needed personalized Linux servers for students enrolled in their network administration degree program. Budget was extremely limited, as was available hardware. A hybrid solution, based on qemu/kvm, was built: As students logged into the system, their personal VM was started, and their ssh session was connected to the hardware console. When students logged off, or were disconnected, the server was gracefully shut down. This allowed more than sixty students to have individual servers — with up to 24 logged in at once — despite the entire system running on a dual cpu, quad-core Opteron box. Students were also capable of resetting their server to pristine state, allowing them to recover from system-crippling mistakes. Furthermore, ssh access to the virtualization server allowed students to access their machines outside classroom, lab or school hours.