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Chicago Tribune’s Server Consolidation a Success. Brandon Fahrner IS 340 Section 6 Spring 2010 Chapter 5, Closing Case 1 . Table of Contents. What is the Chicago Tribune? The IT Challenge the Chicago Tribune Faced IT Problem That Occurred Recovery of the IT Problem

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chicago tribune s server consolidation a success

Chicago Tribune’s Server Consolidation a Success

Brandon Fahrner

IS 340 Section 6

Spring 2010

Chapter 5, Closing Case 1

table of contents
Table of Contents
  • What is the Chicago Tribune?
  • The IT Challenge the Chicago Tribune Faced
  • IT Problem That Occurred
  • Recovery of the IT Problem
  • Benefit or Cost Overall?
  • Critical issues and review
  • Quiz Questions
  • Discussion Question
the chicago tribune
The Chicago Tribune
  • Seventh-largest newspaper in the Country
  • Most read newspaper in the mid-west
  • Formerly known as “The World’s Greatest Newspaper”
  • Founded by James Kelly, John E Wheeler, and Joseph K.C. Forrest
  • First published edition of this newspaper was on June 10, 1847
the it challenge
The IT Challenge
  • Enterprise Architectures- includes the plans for how an organization will build, deploy, use, and share its data, processes, and IT assets
  • Moved its critical applications from a mishmash of mainframes and older servers to a new dual-site enterprise architecture
  • Results in lower costs and increased reliability throughout company
  • Clustered its servers over a two-mile distance with a 1 Gbps dark-fiber link between the two data centers
  • This architecture lets the newspaper spread the processing load/improving redundancy and options for disaster recovery
it problem with consolidation
IT Problem with Consolidation
  • Transfer was not smooth to new architecture
  • Small piece of software written for the transition contained a coding error
  • Applications experienced processing failures
  • Forced to delay delivery to about 680,000 readers and cut 24 pages from the Monday edition
  • Costing newspaper $1 million dollars in advertising revenue
it recovery
IT Recovery
  • Editorial applications were stabilized
  • Tribune proceeded to migrate files to the new enterprise
  • Considering consolidating across all its newspapers
  • Most business processes can be standardized
  • Single package of billing and ad applications
  • Newspapers will have the same processes and same systems for access
  • Over time will allow company’s call centers to handle calls for multiple newspapers
  • Other plans being considered such as freeing processor power and making the use of disk space more efficient
it benefit or cost
IT Benefit or Cost?
  • Increased reliability
  • Lower costs
  • Improved redundancy
  • Improved disaster recovery options
  • 95% of classified-ad processes standardized
  • 90% of advertising-sales processes standardized
  • Other project plans
  • Processing failure
  • Newspaper delivery delay
  • 24 pages were cut out of the paper
  • About 40% of readers did not receive newspaper
  • $1 million in advertising revenue

“As we gradually took applications off the mainframe, we realized that we were incurring very high costs in maintaining underutilized mainframes at two different locations,” said Darko Dejanovic, VP and CTO of the Tribune.

“By moving from two locations to one, we’ve achieved several million dollars in cost savings. There’s no question that server consolidation was the right move for us.”

"One five-hour delay doesn't change the fact that this project has brought us significant cost savings and improved our system reliability for the long run.”

critical it issues and review
Critical IT Issues and Review

Critical Issues

  • Reliability
  • Backup
  • Recovery
  • Disaster recovery plan


  • Poor Architecture
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Coding Error
  • Fast Recovery
  • Other aspects of company consolidated
  • Success
quiz question 1
Quiz Question 1

What happened during the consolidation process of the Chicago Tribune?

  • Company went bankrupt
  • Coding error occurred
  • Server Failure
  • Consolidation process failed
quiz question 2
Quiz Question 2

The Chicago Tribune is the ________ largest newspaper in the country?

  • 2nd
  • 5th
  • 10th
  • 7th
quiz question 3
Quiz Question 3

Was the consolidation process a benefit or a cost in the long run for the Chicago Tribune?

quiz answers
Quiz Answers
  • B
  • D
  • Benefit
discussion question
Discussion Question

You are the new owner of a high-end newspaper company in Oklahoma during a very unpredictable tornado season. You have business units in 10 different physical locations over the state, and you notice the company is suffering high costs because of this. Money supply is low for the company, and there is no disaster recovery plan. Newly implemented server consolidation plans are in progress to a single, newly built location, and application migration is underway. Would you implement a disaster recovery plan with low money supply, and if yes what would you include in it? Hot sites? Cold sites? Backup and recovery media? Daily, hourly, or weekly backups?