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Industry: Utility
Location: Germany
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  • Provides excellent performance for business-critical SAP systems and Oracle databases
  • Significantly cut operational costs by reducing the number of physical servers needed
  • Saves time on routine IT management tasks


Seeking to reduce operational costs, German electricity provider EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG decided to migrate its business-critical SAP applications from its existing Sun SPARC and Solaris platform to Fujitsu PRIMERGY x86 servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The new platform provides outstanding performance and reliability for the company’s mission-critical systems, offers significantly lower costs, and can scale to support ENBW’s growing business.


EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG is one of the largest electricity providers in Germany, serving 5.5 million customers and employing around 20,000 people. The company is headquartered in Karlsruhe and has an additional office in Stuttgart.

The Challenge

To sharpen its competitive edge, EnBW is constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce operational costs. At the same time, its ability to keep the lights on hinges on the reliability of its business-critical systems, many of which run SAP applications, Oracle databases, or both.

In the past, EnBW had been running its 350 SAP instances on Solaris servers. The company wanted to investigate whether it could achieve greater functionality, reliability and performance at lower cost, and decided to re-evaluate its IT strategy.

“The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system and the Fujitsu server platform provide solid performance and reliability for our mission-critical SAP applications and Oracle databases.”

SUSE Solution

EnBW examined solutions from a range of providers, and ultimately decided to migrate its mission-critical systems to the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system.

Thomas Schlindwein, Professional Systems Engineer at EnBW, said, “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is SAP’s own preferred platform for application development, and we realized that migrating to the SUSE operating system would offer us fast access to the most advanced SAP application functionalities, which may only be released later for other platforms.

“Next, we began looking for a rock-solid platform for our mission-critical SAP systems, and decided to replace our existing SPARC infrastructure with state-of-the-art Fujitsu servers.”

Working with Fujitsu, EnBW deployed six Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX600 S6 servers plus ten Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX300 S7 servers featuring Intel processors. Most of the company’s business-critical systems run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, while its productivity software runs on Microsoft Windows. To meet demands for data storage, EnBW also deployed high-performance NetApp devices.

EnBW uses VMware vSphere 5 technology on the Fujitsu servers to run more than 900 virtual instances.

“We asked our partner, B1 Systems, to help us find a tool for central system and configuration management,” said Thomas Schlindwein. “On the B1 Systems team’s recommendation and with support from SUSE, we decided to deploy SUSE Manager software to help our IT team manage the huge number of servers efficiently.”

SUSE Manager provides management, provisioning and monitoring capabilities for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server systems. Using the software enabled EnBW to automate much of the work involved in the migration, saving time and reducing the risk of human error. Once the migration was complete, EnBW began using the tool to automate other tasks such as patch and package management, in order to accelerate its IT administration processes.

The Results

EnBW is already reaping the benefits of the migration to a highly efficient platform. “The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system and the Fujitsu server platform provide good performance for our mission-critical SAP applications and Oracle databases,” said Thomas Schlindwein. “In fact, some of the employees who use the SAP and Oracle systems contacted us to provide positive feedback—something that does not happen often in IT. “Moreover, we have dramatically shrunk our physical server footprint, reducing power and cooling requirements and cutting our data center costs.”

The new platform is extremely reliable, meaning that EnBW is experiencing less unplanned downtime for the systems.

Deploying the SUSE solution with SUSE Manager has also streamlined IT management processes at EnBW, enabling personnel to focus on higher-value development initiatives. In the future, the solution will scale to meet the needs of EnBW’s growing business.

“We were impressed by the offering from SUSE and Fujitsu, who worked quickly to deliver an advanced solution that meets our business needs,” said Thomas Schlindwein. “The new solution delivers a real value add for our business, and we were extremely impressed by the competent service we received from SUSE, Fujitsu and B1 Systems.”