As part of a cloud-first strategy, the company decided to migrate to SAP HANA on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Fitch Ratings’ partner for the migration, Protera Technologies, advised that the best option for running SAP HANA in AWS was on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. Fitch Ratings was using Red Hat Linux for its enterprise applications and decided to switch from Red Hat to SUSE for its SAP HANA applications.

The Challenge

Fitch Ratings decided to move from a capital intensive, traditional on-premises–based data center environment to a cloud-first strategy. This strategy will enable Fitch to improve agility for spinning up instances while reducing hardware costs and capital expense.

Fitch was planning on migrating all its SAP ECC, BW and EPM10 applications to the AWS cloud. As a risk-averse organization, Fitch wanted to do a full proof-of-concept in the AWS environment to ensure there would be no surprises when migrating production. While planning the move, Ranjit Prithviraj, who is responsible for Fitch’s global ERP environment, made sure to consult with Protera Technologies, a trusted partner and a service provider that offers technical implementation services for SAP and third-party products. Prithviraj was advised that using SUSE for SAP HANA on Amazon Web Services was the preferred solution for the task.

“It gives me a lot of comfort that SUSE is one of the early adopters of the HANA platform and have a history of working with SAP HANA. Going with HANA on SUSE mitigates our risk and gives us the best and most optimal platform to run our SAP enterprise applications.”

SUSE Solution

The strong partnership between SUSE and SAP was one of the main reasons Protera advised Fitch Ratings to switch to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. The two companies have collaborated closely to ensure that SUSE is the best Linux provider for SAP HANA on AWS, including engineering innovation such as being the first to market with an automated SAP HANA Failover Detection for High Availability on AWS, support for Enhanced Networking Adapter and other performance benefits on AWS.

After a meeting with the SUSE team, Prithviraj was convinced: “SUSE was certainly an important factor in feeling comfortable that the HANA applications would perform as expected on Amazon,” said Prithviraj. “If I would have gone with Red Hat, I think there would have been certain challenges with not knowing how well HANA would run on Red Hat. The inherent features that SUSE has running on HANA made me much more comfortable making the move to Amazon.”

The inherent features Prithviraj referred to include Page Cache Management, Live Patching, Disaster Recovery and High Availability.

Prithviraj was impressed with the page cache management feature because it ensures that the Linux kernel won’t page out important data stored in RAM. The SUSE solution also enables Fitch to replicate databases and applications natively through SAP with the AWS high availability agent.

Once Fitch selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, it took about four weeks to complete the sandbox migration, moving SAP HANA and the SAP ECC, BW and EPM10 applications to AWS.

The Results

Although the entire migration project has not been completed, Prithviraj has already noticed an extremely helpful benefit in the sandbox: speedier process chains. Be fore AWS, SAP HANA and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Fitch’s process chains, which move data from SAP ECC to BW and to its consolidation system, took hours to complete. As a result, Fitch was only able to run four loads a day.

Fitch’s new solution has dramatically sped things up: “Moving to SUSE on HANA and AWS, those process chains now run in minutes,” explained Ranjit. “In theory the business can request ad-hoc loads at any time, and it won’t interfere with the business. That’s a huge benefit, especially during month-end processing and year-end close.”

In September of 2017, Fitch Ratings is expected to complete its full migration of development, QA and production environments and is eager to see what other benefits are in store.