Industrie : Manufacturing
Lieu : Brazil
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CENIBRA elevates availability, resilience and efficiency in its SAP landscape with SUSE

Points clés

  • Fully supported hardware and software stack reduces business risk.
  • Powers fast, consistent reporting across business units.
  • Improves administrative efficiency with simplified management and patching.
  • High uptime combined with highly responsive support keeps business operations running smoothly.
  • Intuitive user interface reduces time to train staff.


Introducing CENIBRA

CENIBRA is a major Brazil-based producer of bleached eucalyptus pulp, used in the manufacture of paper and cardboard products. CENIBRA has an annual production capacity of 1.2 million tons and exports 98% of its pulp to markets in Asia, Europe and North America. The company also owns and manages 254,000 hectares of land spread across 54 municipalities in the state of Minas Gerais, the majority of which is dedicated to eucalyptus farms and ecological reserves.


A key producer of raw material for paper products, CENIBRA (Celulose Nipo-Brasileira SA) has long relied on SAP ERP applications to support its extensive operations. As booming demand puts aging systems and processes under increased pressure, the company decided to upgrade to the next-generation SAP S/4HANA solution, running on IBM Power Systems servers with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications. The move has boosted system stability and availability while accelerating key reporting processes and improving overall efficiency, giving CENIBRA firm foundations for future growth.

Ready for change

With its low production cost, high pulping yield and exceptional quality, eucalyptus has become one of the most sought-after fiber sources for papermaking. As the COVID-19 pandemic has sent demand for hygienic paper products and corrugated packaging surging, eucalyptus pulp is now more popular than ever. According to some estimates, the market is expected to grow by a massive $1.32 billion between 2021 and 2025.

CENIBRA was eager to capture a bigger piece of this growing market, but to make the most of the opportunity, it first needed to overhaul outdated systems and processes.

For years, the company had relied on SAP ERP applications to support everything from finance and accounting to logistics. With the infrastructure underlying this SAP ERP instance nearing its end of life, CENIBRA decided that the time was right to refresh its IT landscape.

Miguel Antunes, IT coordinator at CENIBRA, elaborates: “One of our most pressing concerns was that our HP-UX operating system release had fallen out of official SAP support, and we didn’t want to risk running SAP ERP on an unsupported operating system for long.”

“SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension gives us the robust failover and replication tools we need to maintain business continuity and maximize uptime for vital SAP S4/HANA systems. At the same time, the open source nature of the SUSE technologies helps keep our options open for the future.”

Choosing a proven technology stack

CENIBRA decided to migrate core business applications to SAP S/4HANA, running on the SLES for SAP Applications operating system on IBM Power servers.

Flávio Gandra, SUSE specialist at CENIBRA, says: “SLES for SAP Applications stood out due to its strong interoperability with IBM and SAP solutions, in particular given the optimization of the OS for IBM Power hardware. In addition, SAP and SUSE provide integrated technical support for their software. Thus, the time to resolve any issues with SAP S/4HANA on SLES is reduced compared to other operating systems, in our experience.”

Partnering for a successful migration

CENIBRA enlisted the help of local systems integrator, PC Place, to procure the new hardware and to ensure that the technology implementation and SAP migration went off without a hitch. “PC Place was very thorough,” recalls Antunes. “The team spent a lot of time planning the migration and performing testing to ensure that all business processes worked on the new hardware and software.”

Together with PC Place, CENIBRA installed two IBM Power Systems E950 servers: one for production and the other for disaster recovery. Each server hosts six virtual machines (VMs) running SLES for SAP Applications. Two VMs are dedicated to the company’s main SAP S/4HANA database, while the remaining four VMs support various SAP S/4HANA applications.

Today, close to 1,000 people at CENIBRA make use of SAP S/4HANA to support their work. On a typical day, there are up to 500 simultaneous connections to the SAP platform.

Maintaining high availability for key systems

To keep key processes running smoothly around the clock, CENIBRA implemented the SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) High Availability Extension, a bundled component with SLES for SAP Applications. The extension provides leading open source high availability clustering technologies that are easy to set up and use, and it can be deployed in both physical and virtual environments.

Antunes comments: “SAP is a mission-critical platform for CENIBRA: any unplanned disruption or downtime would have a significant impact on our operations. SLE High Availability Extension gives us the robust failover and replication tools we need to maintain business continuity and maximize uptime for vital SAP S4/HANA systems. At the same time, the open source nature of the SUSE technologies helps keep our options open for the future.”

Unlocking greater value for the business

With SAP S/4HANA running on IBM Power Systems servers and SLES for SAP Applications, CENIBRA has a modern, fully supported IT stack that it can count on to keep operations running smoothly from end to end.

CENIBRA can now generate reports in a much faster and more standardized way across multiple business entities. This enables the company to always have trusted, up-to-date information at hand to drive sound business decisions.

Meanwhile, with SLES for SAP Applications, CENIBRA enjoys consistently high application performance and has improved the resiliency of its mission-critical SAP systems.

SLES for SAP Applications helps us get the most out of our SAP S/4HANA environment,” says Gandra. “As SUSE’s operating system is optimized for SAP software, it includes tested performance tuning configurations, optimized memory management settings and a dedicated update channel.”

CENIBRA made use of saptune, a tool specific to SLES for SAP Applications that optimizes numerous operating system settings, including I/O caches, networking and memory usage. Together with joint optimizations by IBM and SUSE to ensure that the operating system takes full advantage of the IBM Power architecture, this tool helped CENIBRA to maximize the value of its investment in the new platform.

The SUSE operating system has also delivered a noticeable improvement in administrative efficiency. CENIBRA particularly appreciates the operating system’s intuitive user interface and easy-to-navigate configuration tools, which help simplify and streamline management.

Gandra confirms: “Having migrated from HP-UX, we find SLES to be very user-friendly, and our team was able to familiarize themselves with the operating system without much training, which has been a big plus from an IT-management perspective.”

Antunes adds: “CENIBRA values the reliability and ease of use of SLES for SAP Applications. With a fully refreshed IT infrastructure, we are much better placed to meet new demands and keep growing our business.”

What’s next for CENIBRA?

Thanks to its solid foundation of SLES for SAP Applications, IBM Power and SAP S/4HANA, CENIBRA is ready for the next phase of its technology evolution: migrating to the cloud.

“We want to migrate part of our infrastructure to the cloud in the coming years,” notes Antunes. “Making this upgrade to SAP S/4HANA on IBM Power Systems with SLES for SAP Applications is an important step in achieving our ambitions around cloud. With reliable, high-performing and easy-to-manage IT systems in place, we can move ahead with new strategies and take full advantage of innovative technologies that help our business run better.”