To enable growth, Pacific Textiles wanted to use SAP solutions to maximize and extend its manufacturing capacity—but its IT landscape lacked the required performance, reliability and availability. To solve this challenge, the company deployed SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications in a high-availability cluster. Today, Pacific Textiles is able to ensure high performance and 24×7 availability for SAP applications, enabling it to maximize capacity utilization, support new factories and drive business expansion.

Overview

Pacific Textiles is a leading manufacturer of customized knitted fabrics. With headquarters in Hong Kong and manufacturing operations in Panyu, China, the company employs more than 6,000 people, and has strong relationships with apparel brands worldwide.

The Challenge

To support growth and make its business as efficient as possible, Pacific Textiles wanted to maximize the operating capacity of its production plants in China.

Hubert Tsang, IT Manger at Pacific Textiles, said, “In order to obtain the highest return on our assets, we must operate our production plants 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We need a system resilient and scalable enough to handle this massive workload.”

Delivering 24×7 availability for the company’s manufacturing resource planning application posed a significant challenge.

“Our server landscape was based on IBM technology, and required a daily downtime window of up to four hours for batch jobs and backups,” said Hubert Tsang. “To help our manufacturing teams to perform their roles at peak efficiency, we wanted to offer them uninterrupted access to the planning application.”

In addition, the company was set to increase its total operating capacity, including opening new manufacturing facilities in Vietnam.

“Our operations in Vietnam will ultimately increase our total manufacturing capacity by 70%, and enable easier access to valuable new markets,” said Hubert Tsang. “We knew that our existing planning application lacked the performance to manage the added order volumes, and the complexity of managing a new factory.

“To address this challenge, we decided to refresh our planning application with best-in-class SAP solutions, including the SAP HANA in-memory analytics appliance. However, the existing Pacific Textiles server platform lacked the performance, reliability and availability to support the new SAP landscape.”

“The SUSE support process is completely transparent to us—enabling us to focus on delivering an even higher-quality service to the business.

SUSE Solution

Pacific Textiles determined the new requirements for a strategic SAP platform. “We evaluated a number of vendors against key criteria including performance, availability, total cost of ownership and the maturity of the partner ecosystem,” said Hubert Tsang.

“Of all the platforms we considered, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was a clear winner. The strategic alliance between SAP and SUSE and its extensive network of partners gave us confidence that we would receive timely support whenever we needed it.

“Moreover, because SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the recommended operating system for SAP HANA, the SUSE platform offers us a single-vendor solution—eliminating the cost, risk and complexity of managing support agreements from multiple vendors. Total cost of ownership was the icing on the cake—the SUSE offering came in well below comparable solutions from the other vendors we evaluated.”

Working with SUSE, Pacific Textiles implemented SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on Dell hardware. Next, the company deployed the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension to create a high-availability cluster. With SUSE SAP Hana and SAP Hana Topology resource agents running on each node, the company can automatically fail over to a secondary instance in the event of a disaster-recovery scenario. Pacific Textiles manages the environment from a central point with SUSE Manager, increasing security and dramatically reducing administration requirements.

“The availability, performance and manageability of SUSE solutions are fantastic,” said Hubert Tsang. “SUSE Manager was instrumental in accelerating the deployment, which we achieved in just one week. And thanks to the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, we have dramatically reduced the risk of unplanned downtime in the new SAP environment.”

The Results

“SUSE solutions offer Pacific Textiles the mission critical platform we need to deliver services to support the execution of our strategic business goals,” said Hubert Tsang. “We can now give manufacturing teams in China 24×7 access to the planning systems they need to work effectively, maximizing our existing manufacturing capacity. Additionally, SUSE solutions ensure we have the performance on hand to meet the new requirements of manufacturing operations in Vietnam, which will go live within the year.”

Equipped with an enterprise-class server platform, Pacific Textiles lets its infrastructure fade into the background—freeing time to develop new services to support the business.

“The best part about the SUSE solutions is that there is no need to troubleshoot by ourselves,” said Hubert Tsang. “As soon as we file a support ticket with SAP, their team alerts SUSE and both work together to resolve the issue quickly and effectively. The SUSE support process is completely transparent to us—enabling us to focus on delivering a high-quality service to the business.”