Pakistani engineering and construction company Descon Engineering Limited wanted to maintain its leading position in the market. To achieve this, the company implemented SAP ERP on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications—gaining a highly available platform to deliver the full benefits of its ERP software.
Established in 1977 in Lahore, Pakistan, Descon Engineering provides engineering services to process plants. Today, Descon is a major player in the region, serving the oil and gas, chemical, cement and petrochemical sectors throughout the Middle East.
Descon Engineering Limited (Descon) wanted to bolster its leading position in the engineering and construction services industry. To achieve this, the company decided to migrate from its legacy process management applications to an integrated solution based on SAP ERP software.
Syed Aftab Afzal, CIO at Descon, said: “Our success as a business depends on our ability to quickly react to customer orders. We determined that an SAP ERP solution would enable us to maintain agility as our business grows.”
To ensure high availability for its new SAP ERP applications, the company conducted a full review of its infrastructure.
Amir Iqbal, Basis Administrator at Descon, said: “In the past, we ran Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on a distributed server landscape. However, we realised this platform would not offer sufficient stability to meet our end-to-end SAP ERP uptime goal of 98%. We decided to search for an operating system with proven reliability for SAP ERP workloads.”
“Our success as a business depends on our ability to quickly react to customer orders. We determined that an SAP ERP solution would enable us to maintain agility as our business grows.”
Descon decided to implement SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on its Dell server platform.
Bilal Hussain, ERP Architect at Descon, said: “Ultimately, we chose SUSE Linux because of the option to have a version fully optimised for all of our SAP ERP applications. In addition, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server includes built-in high-availability components, so we were confident that we could easily build and maintain a cluster environment by leveraging our existing in-house competencies.”
Working with trusted business partner NDS Technologies, the Descon IT team configured a number of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server instances to create a high-availability cluster. Today, the company’s Oracle database and SAP ERP applications both run in the SUSE Linux environment.
“Working with NDS was a very positive experience,” said Mr. Hussain. “Thanks to the help we received from their experienced team, we were able to complete the SUSE Linux implementation in just 3 months. They also transferred the required know how to our SUSE Linux team so that they could manage the high-availability cluster.”
Today, all of Descon’s business processes are supported by SAP ERP applications running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
“We run a variety of SAP ERP applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server,” said Mr. Hussain. “In the 2 years since the initial implementation, we have experienced no major difficulties with the SUSE Linux environment. Whenever minor issues have arisen, the support from SUSE has been excellent—if we open a support ticket, we are always confident that we will receive a timely solution from the helpdesk.”
Since implementing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, Descon has achieved its goal of building a stable SAP ERP platform with 98% uptime.
Muhammad Mazhar, Basis Administrator at Descon, said: “In the past, registry corruption in Microsoft Windows was an ever-present business risk. When it occurred, we would have had to take our production systems offline for an extended period while we tracked down and repaired the problem."
“In contrast, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is simple, resilient and user-friendly. Because of this, we have been able to reduce our risk of unplanned downtime significantly and cut the daily administration workload from 8 hours a day to just 3 hours—an improvement of 63%.”
Configured with the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server High Availability Extension, Descon’s SUSE Linux landscape provides a stable platform for its essential SAP ERP applications.
“In our legacy environment, a server failure could disable our production systems for up to 5 hours—reducing our ability to keep the tight delivery deadlines,” said Mr. Hussain. “Today, if 1 of our servers goes down, SUSE Linux automatically transfers the workload to a secondary system—meaning that we can restore affected production services within an hour.”
Following the success of its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server solution, Descon plans to implement VMware vCenter. “Working with NDS and deploying SUSE Linux technologies, we have gained the highly reliable SAP ERP platform we needed to drive business growth,” said Mr. Afzal. “By continuing our close collaboration, we aim to further reduce the cost and complexity of our SAP ERP environment by virtualising it using VMware.”