Luca Paleari, CIO at Emmelibri, said: “We identified the proprietary UNIX operating system and hardware platform for our SAP landscape as one of the elements that hindered the innovation strategy that we were pursuing. First of all, the existing platform was too expensive to manage, maintain and upgrade, particularly if we wanted to fully virtualize the SAP landscape. Second, enabling full business continuity and disaster recovery functions was prohibitive in terms of costs and complexity.”
High availability and disaster recovery are essential to the companies Emmelibri serves because 75 percent of them use SAP applications for their core business processes. That means any unexpected downtime could potentially translate into financial or reputational damage.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is a SAP-certified system and SAP’s preferred Linux platform, designed to increase performance, dramatically lower costs and provide higher availability.
During the first phase of the implementation project, the joint Emmelibri and SUSE team migrated most of the company’s SAP world—including SAP ERP with modules for financials, control, materials management, SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Business Warehouse and SAP BusinessObjects—to the SUSE platform. The remaining applications, running third party operating systems, will also soon be migrated to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, fully virtualized on VMware and running on Cisco UCS servers. By moving SAP to its preferred virtualization platform—Emmelibri has more than 500 virtual servers on VMware—the company benefits from being able to concentrate skills and investment on a single platform.
Emmelibri is currently also deploying SUSE Manager, which will become a crucial part of the company’s standardized SUSE environment. As Luca Paleari said: “We expect to leverage SUSE Manager for alerting, monitoring, and upgrading. This is a very user-friendly and intuitive tool, and we are confident that our small but busy IT department will find it easy and enjoyable to manage it.”
Luca Paleari said: “We can finally enjoy all the advantages of having a scalable, reliable, fast platform for SAP which enables us to rapidly deploy our virtual SAP application servers, run snapshot backups and over-provision new virtual servers in preparation for expected increases in demand. This allows us to boost processing capacity for our business-critical SAP applications and to ensure business continuity.” He added: “Migrating SAP from a proprietary platform to an open platform has also been beneficial financially. We estimate that we have reduced our software and hardware costs by 25%, and we can also now expand our virtual server landscape at zero incremental software cost as our requirements grow. In our previous landscape, the licensing conditions effectively made it impossible for us to fully virtualize our SAP landscape.”
Emmelibri also benefits from the fact that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is specifically tuned to meet the demands of SAP ERP software and includes a completely separate update channel for certified and pre-tested software packages. SUSE provides integrated priority support, working with SAP to support the whole stack from a single point of contact.
“The SUSE OS cuts our costs, improves support and gives us a clear, realistic roadmap for future requirements,” said Luca Paleari. Ultimately, this translates into improved service delivery and better outcomes for the companies that we serve.”