As an enterprise cloud services provider, Symmetry needed an operating system to support its SAP HANA offering. The company found that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was the right OS to support its SAP HANA solution.

Overview

Symmetry has been providing the highest quality cloud, hosting and IT managed services since 1996. Because of Symmetry’s focus on customer satisfaction, the company leads the cloud hosting and app management industry with an impressive Net Promoter score (NPS) of 57.

The Challenge

A pioneer of SAP cloud hosting and managed services, Symmetry was one of the first organizations to embrace SAP HANA technology when it came out in 2010. Symmetry needed a stable, scalable operating system for its proprietary SAP HANA cloud to meet growing customer demand for the HANA in-memory computing platform and to differentiate itself from competitors.

“SUSE is a piece of the puzzle for us delivering guaranteed performance for customers who are running production SAP workloads.”

SUSE Solution

Symmetry was familiar with how well SUSE solutions work before it considered SUSE for SAP HANA. It had already found success using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications for non-HANA workloads.

After a series of design iterations between Symmetry cloud engineers, HPE infrastructure experts and SAP, the company decided to go with SUSE. Because SUSE is SAP HANA certified and carries a strong reputation for its ability to execute HANA’s in-memory database operations, Symmetry felt SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was the best fit.

Additionally, SUSE’s commitment to support SAP and develop capabilities that are in line with SAP’s technical requirements made it an easy choice. Symmetry did not seriously consider any other vendors.

Matt Lonstine, Director of Client Services at Symmetry, explained the decision to stick with SUSE: “More than a definitive decision point, it was just a reaffirmation along the way as we continued to work with the product. It was doing what we needed it to do. SUSE and the product were committed to evolving alongside of HANA and making it the go-to platform for HANA.”

Out of the box, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server implements and tunes the OS for SAP applications. This makes deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications simple. Symmetry’s cloud engineers were able to become self-sufficient in a short period due to the “SAP readiness” of the SUSE platform. The availability of SAP-application best-practice repositories provided a helpful resource to facilitate deployment.

Symmetry also chose to deploy SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension and SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching, which provide excellent value for Symmetry’s customers.

The High Availability Extension maximizes service availability and virtually eliminates downtime. And Live Patching enables Symmetry to apply kernel fixes without interrupting service.

“When you’re talking about a system running an SAP production platform, downtime is a bad word—more so than in any other IT conversation because it is the heart and lungs of a business,” Lonstine explained.

Because they help drastically reduce downtime and maintain security, Live Patching and the High Availability Extensions are critical to Symmetry’s success as an SAP HANA provider.

The Results

The solution has performed well post implementation and has delivered to the performance level customers expect, thus fulfilling Symmetry’s customer SLAs.

Symmetry generally measures success through the lenses of its customers, a practice that has enabled the service provider to earn an NPS score of 57—a very high score for the IT service industry. A large part of this success stems from the quality of service, performance and availability of Symmetry’s SAP and SAP HANA hosting and cloud solutions.

Christian Teeft, CTO/SVP of Cloud Services at Symmetry, summed up nicely how SUSE helps Symmetry lead the SAP HANA service industry:

“When it comes to performance, SAP either runs well or it doesn’t. That’s how we differentiate ourselves. SUSE is a piece of the puzzle for us delivering guaranteed performance for customers who are running production SAP workloads,” Teeft said.

“Because we own our own stack and because we have experts that can tune the Linux kernel and parameters, we’re able to optimize performance holistically for our customers.” Teeft added, noting that SUSE is doing this at the hardware level, which is why Symmetry selected it.