PetroChina is responding to this difficult climate by expanding its operations and investing in new methods of petrochemical extraction—but innovation brings its own challenges. The new extraction methods generate enormous volumes of data, and PetroChina’s IT infrastructure was struggling to keep up.
Haitao Dou, Deputy General Manager of Orient Sky Technologies, PetroChina’s internal IT service provider, explains: “Expanding our operations and capabilities has massively increased the quantity of data we are generating. It is essential that we process this data quickly and reliably—our customers expect us to deliver reports within tight timeframes, and delays incur substantial penalties—but our traditional ERP system lacked the performance and stability to efficiently handle the increased load.”
Aiming to maximize the value of its new investments and satisfy its customers, PetroChina decided to revitalize its IT estate by migrating its ERP system to a SAP HANA in-memory database, virtualized within a private cloud environment. SAP HANA would deliver the performance necessary to support the business’ evolving needs, yet PetroChina knew that to make the most out of the platform, it also needed a world-class operating system.
Haitao Dou continues: “Our existing operating system was expensive proprietary software, which limited our flexibility. We realized that this project represented the perfect opportunity to migrate to an open-source environment.”
Haitao Dou says: “We wanted an open-source operating system, since it would help us eliminate the risk of vendor lock-in while reducing costs. We explored both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. In our view, the SUSE solution offered better value for money and superior capabilities.”
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications delivers many advantages to PetroChina, including higher levels of security, wider access to platform and application support desks, broader customizability, and improved adaptability. Additionally, the interoperability of the operating system ensures seamless integration with SAP HANA.
“The SUSE solution also provides excellent support for virtualization, working well alongside technologies such as VMware hypervisors,” adds Haitao Dou. “This was key since we were deploying SAP HANA as a cloud solution, enabling us to flexibly allocate resources across the PetroChina business as and when they are needed.”
Haitao Dou explains: “We’ve gained a cost-effective, stable and flexible environment. Running SAP HANA on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in the cloud is both economical and powerful: it has reduced our costs and optimized the performance of our ERP systems at the same time. Cutting IT costs enables us to invest in other value-add activities, and with international crude oil prices so low, this kind of competitive edge is invaluable.”
Crucially, PetroChina is now better-positioned to capitalize on opportunities for growth.
Haitao Dou concludes: “The SUSE solution removes barriers to expansion by scaling seamlessly. Using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as the foundation for our new cloud solution is helping us to pursue our growth and innovation strategy—confident in the knowledge that we have a cutting-edge IT infrastructure behind us.”