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Industry: Technology & Media
Location: Germany
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OEDIV cuts costs and streamlines operations with SUSE

Highlights

  • Private-cloud capacity doubled with no extra resource
  • 40% improvement in technology stack performance
  • 40% higher performance boosts cost-efficiency
  • 50% cut in system operations workload
  • 3,000 instances managed centrally across platforms
  • 30 minutes provisioning time improves service

Products

Oetker Daten- und Informationsverarbei­tung KG (OEDIV) is a private cloud provider specializing in SAP solutions for forward-thinking clients. The company is part of the international Oetker Group, one of the largest family-owned businesses in Europe, employing more than 36,000 people and generating annual revenues of 7.33 billion euros. Oetker Group was an early SAP cus­tomer, and OEDIV is not only a SUSE part­ner but also SAP-certified in SAP HANA Op­erations and Cloud Services, and is an SAP hosting partner.

The company focuses on serving medium-sized businesses that need the highest lev­els of availability for their global operations and that rely on SAP applications (including SAP S/4HANA, SAP ERP, SAP for Retail, SAP Ex­tended Warehouse Management and SAP Business Warehouse).

At-a-Glance

Private cloud provider OEDIV cuts costs and streamlines operations by standardizing on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Manager and SUSE Salt Automation.

Enabling continuous business growth

OEDIV’s customers come from a wide range of industries, and all of them demand the highest levels of availability – for example, to keep checkouts running, ensure sup­ply chains always deliver on time, or mak­ing sure production lines never stop. The company offers premium hosting services, closely tailored to specific customer re­quirements, delivered from two data cen­ters in Germany.

To expand its business and grow its cus­tomer base, OEDIV wanted to capitalize on new business opportunities that required more flexibility. Key to winning new, larger customers was the capability to run mod­ern business applications and mission-critical in-memory databases such as SAP HANA cost-efficiently, at scale.

Martin Stratmann, CEO at OEDIV, says, “As our industry is changing rapidly, we have to constantly reinvent our business. We act as trusted advisers for our customers to find optimized, tailored solutions. Building on our extensive experience with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and especially SLES for SAP Applications, we were looking for ways to leverage our in-depth knowledge to reach new customers.”

Tackling scalability challenges

To provide premium-level service, OEDIV invests significant time, effort and person­nel into system maintenance and opera­tional excellence. As customer systems and data volumes grew in size, it became clear that the company’s existing IT infrastructure for SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA was reach­ing its performance, capacity and reliabil­ity limits, making it difficult to onboard new clients.

Andreas Hingst, head of systems adminis­tration at OEDIV, says, “Our customers are continuing with their digital transforma­tion projects, leading to ever-more com­plex business requirements and larger data volumes. For one exciting business oppor­tunity, we needed to find a way to host an 11 terabyte (TB) SAP HANA database cost-efficiently.”

“By implementing an integrated solution with SUSE Manager and SLES for SAP Applications running on IBM Power Systems with IBM Storage, we improved the performance of the technology stack by 40%.”

Deploying SUSE solutions across platforms

Already running SLES for SAP Applications on 300 virtual machines on x86 servers with centralized management using SUSE Man­ager, OEDIV knew that SUSE solutions could handle its mission-critical customer work­loads.

Building on its experience with IBM Power Systems, OEDIV worked with IBM and SUSE to design an IT architecture that would of­fer improved scalability and streamlined management for even larger SAP HANA databases and SAP S/4HANA applications.

Together with IBM, OEDIV deployed a highly standardized solution based on an IBM ref­erence architecture that could scale up further and be easily extended when need­ed. The team implemented eight IBM Power System E980 servers running SLES for SAP Applications with SUSE Manager, PowerVM virtualization and PowerVC automation. OEDIV deployed IBM Spectrum Virtualize storage virtualization for increased flexibil­ity and reliability, and four IBM FlashSystem 9150 storage systems for maximum stor­age performance. During the second half of 2021, OEDIV will extend its server and stor­age capacity by 50%, driven by growth and new customers using this environment.

The company uses SAP HANA system rep­lication to mirror business data across two locations, and manages backup and re­covery using IBM Spectrum Protect.

OEDIV takes advantage of the integrated IBM SAP HANA Total Solution Support to have a single point of contact for the entire solution stack, including server infrastruc­ture, storage systems, virtualization and SUSE Linux operating systems.

The server and storage infrastructure is evenly split across two data centers for the highest possible reliability. To maximize overall system utilization and minimize costs across all physical servers, the team dynamically optimizes system sizes and moves SUSE Linux workloads to the most capable host servers using IBM Live Parti­tion Mobility. By adopting this methodology, OEDIV is ensuring its customers receive the best possible performance.

Hingst adds, “By standardizing on SUSE Linux across x86 and IBM Power Systems, we benefit from our extensive knowledge of the SUSE ecosystem. We use the integrated tooling of SUSE Manager (such as the Salt configuration engine) in combination with IBM PowerVC and Ansible to create a seam­less user experience. Coupled with a self-service portal for our systems engineers, this dramatically speeds up provisioning of new SAP HANA databases and accelerates our customer’s digital transformation initia­tives.”

Standardized operations and management boost productivity

Today, OEDIV can run the largest and most-demanding SAP HANA databases – in this example, 11 TB – very cost-efficiently. Work­ing with IBM and SUSE technologies, the company has managed to reduce the number of business departments required for system operations by 50%.

Stratmann says, “By implementing an in­tegrated solution with SUSE Manager and SLES for SAP Applications running on IBM Power Systems with IBM Storage, we im­proved the performance of the technology stack by 40%. The built-in redundancy and reliability features of the IBM solutions en­able scheduled maintenance without cus­tomer impact. We have not experienced any unplanned downtime in 24 months.

“SUSE, IBM and SAP enable us to grow be­yond capacity and performance limita­tions. By using these technologies we can double our private-cloud capacity without adding more people to the team — a mas­sive success that unlocks new business op­portunities.”

The company already runs 400 instanc­es of SLES for SAP Applications on the new IBM Power Systems servers. Thanks to SUSE Manager, OEDIV has streamlined processes across the IBM POWER and x86 architec­tures.

This helps the company to automate sys­tem provisioning and routine administra­tion tasks, such as patching and upgrades across both platforms, helping the team to focus more on value-added, forward-look­ing consulting and optimization projects. Hingst adds, “Combining SUSE and IBM so­lutions with advanced automation capabil­ities has transformed our SAP HANA hosting business. We can provision new systems in just 30 minutes, and we can focus on cus­tomers’ business challenges instead of get­ting consumed with routine tasks and trou­bleshooting.”

Stratmann adds, “By creating a highly stan­dardized solution for 3,000 Linux instances across x86 and IBM Power Systems plat­forms based on SUSE Linux and SUSE Man­ager, we benefit from the advantages of both architectures. We have integrated our SUSE Manager automation workflows with IBM PowerVC and have minimized frag­mentation by managing all SUSE Linux in­stances centrally, which increased our op­erational efficiency and profitability.”

Running SAP HANA with SLES for SAP Appli­cations on IBM Power Systems allows OEDIV to massively consolidate its IT infrastruc­ture, as 11 x86 servers can be replaced by a single IBM Power Systems server. More flex­ible resource allocations help the team to maximize the capacity utilization across all IBM Power Systems servers to increase the cost-efficiency of its IT services.

Furthermore, thanks to advanced reliabil­ity and redundancy features available on IBM Power Systems, OEDIV has cut mainte­nance downtime significantly, greatly en­hancing service availability for customers.

Stratmann concludes, “Thanks to SUSE and IBM solutions, OEDIV benefits from scalabil­ity that just works, and from exceptionally low operating costs. We no longer have to worry about the underlying infrastructure and can focus our efforts on outstanding customer service that adds value and win­ning new clients.”