Sample Projects

Sine Nomine Associates has provided strategic planning and support for some of the largest and best-known companies in the world. Below are a few samples of our projects.

Investment Bank: Enterprise-wide Distributed File System Support

Business Need: Improve stability and reduce failures for the client’s mission-critical, global file-system to the point where operations are transparent to end-users.

Solution: The client maintains a global, customized, distributed file system for its critical trading data. The Sine Nomine Associates team provides 24x7 defect resolution, functionality development and telephone and email support to the bank’s staff. This includes regular upgrades of the system’s functionality, detailed code fixes, and weekly meetings to evaluate the status of the system. Sine Nomine Associates is also on-site for critical trading days.

Global Insurance Agency: Back-office Linux Infrastructure

Business Need: Control the rising license and maintenance costs of systems infrastructure elements that are not part of the client’s core business.

Solution: A global insurance carrier sought an alternative to its existing Windows-based file/print and mail infrastructure. The company required improvements to the efficiency and stability of the environment while saving money on licensing costs. The solution Sine Nomine Associates developed and implemented used Linux virtual machines under VM as the main provider for file, mail and print services, with IBM xSeries machines in each physical location as cache servers. To execute this project, Sine Nomine Associates developed supplemental code for Samba to support the client’s file system authentication and provided utilities for managing users within the NT domain.

Telecommunications Carrier: Massively Scalable Server Farm Implementation

Business Need: Create a platform for the client’s next-generation services, optimized for ease of maintenance and maximum, enterprise-wide availability.

Solution: The client required an integrated z/VM and Linux architecture that would provide an appropriate platform for deploying Web Services applications for both internal use and external customers. The design involved a pair of z/VM 4.3 systems with mass storage (DASD) shared between them. Virtual IP addressing played a major role in the design to provide transparent adapter-to-adapter failover, ensuring high availability to a particular physical machine, and to provide routing to each guest’s virtual IP address so that it could be located from the network while running on any frame. Sine Nomine Associates developed the initial design in collaboration with the client team and other partners. Over the course of the project, Sine Nomine Associates directed implementation efforts by the overall team.

Global Insurance Agency: Virtual Server Farm

Business Need: Create a platform for the client s next-generation services, optimized for ease of maintenance and maximum, enterprise-wide availability. Solution: The client required an integrated z/VM and Linux architecture that would provide an appropriate platform for deploying Web Services applications for both internal use and external customers. The design involved a pair of z/VM 4.3 systems with mass storage (DASD) shared between them. Virtual IP addressing played a major role in the design to provide transparent adapter-to-adapter failover, ensuring high availability to a particular physical machine, and to provide routing to each guest's virtual IP address so that it could be located from the network while running on any frame. Sine Nomine Associates developed the initial design in collaboration with the client team and other partners. Over the course of the project, Sine Nomine Associates directed implementation efforts by the overall team.

Global Computer Solutions Vendor: Total Cost of Ownership Sales Tool

Business Need: Develop a Total Cost of Ownership sales tool that would enable the client's global sales force to make the case for server consolidation onto large systems.

Solution: The client was launching a large-scale sales initiative based on server consolidation and required development of a sales tool that would enable its sales force to compare and contrast the total cost of ownership of varying server consolidation architectures. Based on Sine Nomine Associates research and development, engineers gathered specific price and cost points for the variables involved in a TCO calculation, including but not limited to equipment prices, software licensing and maintenance costs, power requirements and costs, high-volume air conditioning requirements and costs, systems management costs (including labor). These variables were then documented in a spreadsheet tool based on their relative relationships and weightings. These relationships and weightings were gathered from a broad survey of actual use and costs across a wide range of industries. The final TCO model is currently in wide use across the client's sales force as the primary tool for TCO comparisons for server consolidation business cases.

Internet Service Provider: E-Mail Infrastructure Redesign

Business Need: Replace an e-mail system suffering from limited scalability with a design horizontally scalable to hundreds of thousands of users.

Solution: A growing regional ISP used an e -mail infrastructure based on outdated technologies and a design that would not scale with the growth of the business. After researching the problem, Sine Nomine Associates created a solution that separates user accounts on a flexible number of mailbox servers, while a flexible number of inbound and outbound servers perform mail routing, virus and spam scanning, and POP/IMAP proxy routing. The new infrastructure s capacity can be increased without system disruption by adding more servers at any part of the mail stream. New features include webmail, web address books, and improved spam scanning relative to the previous system. The design extensively uses various Open Source software applications, saving the customer from increasing license fees. The system is in production for the ISP s entire customer base numbering in the tens of thousands of users, and handling millions of messages per day.

Public School System: Systems and Network Monitoring Infrastructure

Business Need: Enable a public school system in Virginia to actively monitor the status of their geographically diverse computing infrastructure.

Solution: A large county school system in Virginia faced a requirement for comprehensive systems and network monitoring as part of a larger modernization initiative. The client originally planned to go with a branded, expensive commercial solution from a large vendor. During the course of the project, the County decided to re-evaluate their options. Sine Nomine Associates presented Nagios, an open source (and thus, lower-cost) monitoring alternative. The County ultimately decided to forgo the expensive commercial solution in favor of Nagios. Sine Nomine Associates fully designed and implemented the system-wide Nagios monitoring infrastructure, which allows the County to have real time visibility into their hundreds of locations' computing environments.