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Industry: Banking & Financial Services
Location: United States
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Fitch Ratings switches from Red Hat to SUSE for its SAP HANA applications in AWS cloud


  • Decreased the time it took to complete process chains from hours to minutes
  • Delivered functional environment in weeks instead of months built on AWS infrastructure
  • SUSE provides an automated SAP HANA Failover Detection for High Availability, support for Enhanced Networking Adapter and other performance benefits on AWS
  • Inherent features include Page Cache Management, Live Patching, Disaster Recovery and High Availability
  • Enables Fitch to replicate databases and applications natively through SAP with the AWS high availability agent


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As part of a cloud-first strategy, the company decided to migrate to SAP HANA on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Fitch Ratings’ partner for the migration, Protera Technologies, advised that the best option for running SAP HANA in AWS was on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications. Fitch Ratings was using Red Hat Linux for its enterprise applications and decided to switch from Red Hat to SUSE for its SAP HANA applications.

The Challenge

Fitch Ratings decided to move from a tra­ditional, capital intensive, on-premises data center environment to a cloud-first strate­gy. This strategy will enable Fitch to improve agility for spinning up instances while re­ducing hardware costs and capital expense.

Fitch was planning on migrating all its SAP ECC, BW and EPM10 applications to the AWS cloud. As a risk-averse organization, Fitch wanted to do a full proof-of-concept in the AWS environment to ensure there would be no surprises when migrating production. While planning the move, Ranjit Prithviraj, who is responsible for Fitch’s global ERP environment, made sure to consult with Protera Technologies, a trusted partner and service provider that offers technical implementation services for SAP and third-party products.

Prithviraj was advised that using SUSE for SAP HANA on AWS was the preferred solution for the task.

“It gives me a lot of comfort that SUSE is one of the early adopters of the SAP HANA platform and have a history of working with SAP HANA. Going with SAP HANA on SUSE mitigates our risk and gives us the best and most optimal platform to run our SAP enterprise applications.”

SUSE Solution

The strong partnership between SUSE and SAP was one of the main reasons Protera advised Fitch Ratings to switch to SLES for SAP Applications. The two companies have collaborated closely to ensure that SUSE is the best Linux provider for SAP HANA on AWS. Their engineering innovation includes: being the first to market with an automated SAP HANA Failover Detection for High Avail­ability on AWS; support for Enhanced Net­working Adapter; and other performance benefits on AWS.

After a meeting with the SUSE team, Prith­viraj was convinced. “SUSE was certainly an important factor in feeling comfortable that the SAP HANA applications would per­form as expected on Amazon,” he says. “If I would have gone with Red Hat, I think there would have been certain challenges with not knowing how well SAP HANA would run on Red Hat. The inherent features that SUSE has running on SAP HANA made me much more comfortable making the move to Am­azon.”

The inherent features Prithviraj refers to include Page Cache Management, Live Patching, Disaster Recovery and High Availability.

Prithviraj was impressed with the page cache management feature because it ensures that the Linux kernel won’t page out important data stored in RAM. The SUSE solution also enables Fitch to replicate da­tabases and applications natively through SAP with the AWS high availability agent.

Once Fitch selected SLES for SAP Applica­tions, it took about four weeks to complete the sandbox migration, moving SAP HANA and the SAP ECC, BW and EPM10 applica­tions to AWS.

The Results

Although the entire migration project has not been completed, Prithviraj has already noticed an extremely helpful benefit in the sandbox: speedier process chains. Before AWS, SAP HANA and SLES, Fitch’s process chains, which move data from SAP ECC to BW and to its consolidation system, took hours to complete. As a result, Fitch was only able to run four loads a day.

Fitch’s new solution has dramatically sped things up: “Moving to SUSE on SAP HANA and AWS, those process chains now run in min­utes,” explains Ranjit. “In theory the business can request ad-hoc loads at any time, and it won’t interfere with the business. That’s a huge benefit, especially during month-end processing and year-end close.”

In September of 2017, Fitch Ratings is ex­pected to complete its full migration of development, QA and production environ­ments and is eager to see what other ben­efits are in store.