LuLu Group Leans on SUSE for High Availability and Lower Costs, Improving Response to Opportunities and Threats

September 2, 2016

With 124 retail outlets and 700,000 daily shoppers, LuLu Group migrated from UNIX to SUSE Linux as platform for SAP solutions, reducing SAP landscape operating costs at least 20 percent


LuLu Group International, a retailer with 124 outlets and operations in 31 countries, has migrated to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications to help its business managers faster identify and respond to new opportunities and competitive threats.

Since starting its retail journey in the early 1990s, LuLu Group has grown its retail activities aggressively. Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, the company enjoys a 32 percent market share in its territories and welcomes more than 700,000 shoppers daily. As LuLu Group drove its rapid growth, the pressure to keep business systems working optimally also rose, leading the company to migrate its SAP for Retail landscape from Solaris to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. When LuLu Group wanted to improve the speed of business reporting and analytics by deploying the SAP HANA database, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was again its platform of choice, combining high availability and performance with low total cost of ownership.

"We decided to deploy SAP HANA both for business intelligence and as the operational database for our complete SAP landscape," said Madhav Rao, CIO of LuLu Group. "Given our experience of the availability, flexibility, scalability and ease of management of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, this was the logical platform on which to deploy our new SAP HANA software."

Shiju Shanmughan, network and infrastructure manager at LuLu Group, said, "We knew that the relationship between SAP and SUSE® is very close, and that SAP uses the SUSE operating system for its own development on Linux, so it seemed to be the best option. The deployment went very smoothly, and we handled it largely with our in-house team, using the excellent SUSE documentation. Thanks to this complete, end-to-end workflow for the installation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, our team was able to save valuable time throughout the implementation process–helping to ensure that we went live on time. We also support the OS in-house, escalating any more-complex queries to the experts on the SUSE support team."

Taking advantage of the bundled SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension solution has enabled LuLu Group to ensure extremely high availability for its SAP landscape in the two years since initial deployment. The company also uses a special kernel-tune option to improve SAP performance; this protects less-used memory from being paged out and used by the Linux file system, keeping it available for SAP applications.

With both its core SAP ERP landscape and its new SAP HANA landscape running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, LuLu Group enjoys optimal performance, easy management, seamless scalability and low cost of ownership. As LuLu Group continues its expansion, the added speed of analysis provided by SAP HANA in-memory technology will help the company's business managers to identify new opportunities and competitive threats faster, and determine the optimal response.

"Our initial migration from Solaris to the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform reduced our total operational costs for the SAP landscape by at least 20 percent," Rao said. "However, the increases in performance and availability are more important to the business because these help us to ensure excellent customer service at all times. We trust SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to provide extreme stability for our mission-critical SAP ERP and SAP HANA landscapes."

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