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Industry: Retail
Location: Germany
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  • Reduced licensing costs and improved compatibility
  • Supported high-availability strategy by minimizing downtime
  • Facilitated automation with powerful scripting environment


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Pneuhage Group plans to extend its online shops and partnership programs in order to continue its business growth. The company looked for a scalable and powerful platform to replace its aging, costly Tru64 UNIX solution. By deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on both IBM POWER and x86 architectures, Pneuhage has a single operating system on which it can run most workloads. In addition, the company has substantially reduced its licensing costs, improved flexibility and streamlined server management.


Pneuhage Group is a tire services company, headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany. The company operates plants, logistics centers and 88 tire service shops across Germany. In addition, Pneuhage cooperates with more than 220 local sales partners. Employing approximately 1,250 people, the company achieves annual sales revenues of about EUR 400 million.

The Challenge

Pneuhage continuously extends its use of enterprise software to optimize its business operations. The company expects its enterprise-wide deployment of SAP, an increase in online trading plus the consolidation and virtualization of the entire server infrastructure to cause substantial data growth. It needed a reliable and cost- efficient operating system to support this corporate strategy.

Ralf Brauer, Head of ICT at Pneuhage, said, “As a private company, we have a long-term perspective for our business. We wanted a stable, scalable and future-proof foundation that would allow us to standardize systems and applications across different hardware platforms. Our objective was to increase productivity and reduce costs to stay on top of our expanding IT landscape.”

“For us, the investment into SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on IBM POWER clearly paid off. We are extremely satisfied with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as an operating system—our virtual servers are fast and stable, with no requirement for extensive performance tuning or reboots.”

SUSE Solution

Pneuhage runs a comprehensive set of SAP ERP applications to help ensure standardized business processes throughout the entire group. The company selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as its strategic operating system to simplify server management.

It evaluated various platforms and chose IBM POWER to run its mission-critical SUSE Linux Enterprise Server workloads, mainly because of the unmatched reliability and performance as well as the long-term vendor support and the superior cost-efficiency of this combination. Jürgen Hiegle, Head of System Administration at Pneuhage, said: “The flexible, powerful and scalable solution with Linux on POWER supports our strategy to move all group operations to SAP ERP software. Migrating from Tru64 UNIX to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was a very easy and smooth transition. We have never had problems running software we used on Tru64 UNIX in the new Linux environment.”

By running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server also on top of VMware vSphere virtualization software on commodity x86-processor based servers, Pneuhage takes full advantage of the interoperability SUSE offers. The company relies on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for a broad range of applications, including its continuously expanding SAP ERP application landscape, various web servers and a central archive system.

Ralf Brauer said, “SAP software is becoming increasingly important throughout our company. For example, the SAP sales cockpit Cormeta TradeSprint, which was developed by Pneuhage and Cormeta, is essential for staff in our shops. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server helps keep these mission-critical IT systems running without downtime.

“Standardizing servers running on different processor architectures to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is an important step towards creating a homogeneous server landscape that will simplify management and administration.”

The Results

Pneuhage hardly ever needs to reboot its SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers, ensuring high availability without disruptive downtime.

Jürgen Hiegle said, “We reboot some of our Microsoft Windows Server systems once a week to maintain consistent performance. This is simply not required for the applications we run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, making it easier for us to provide IT services without interruption.”

The company uses the Subscription Management Tool for SUSE Linux Enterprise to centrally manage software updates on a per-system basis, get a quick overview of its servers and benefit from easy-to-use patch management—all within the firewall to guarantee secure and reliable system operations.

By using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Pneuhage can take advantage of the integrated and simple yet powerful scripting environment, allowing for quick and efficient automation of administration tasks such as system backups and health checks.

Jürgen Hiegle said, “It is easier to automate repetitive tasks on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server than on some other operating systems.

And we can quickly deploy these portable scripts across our server landscape, enabling continuous improvement of management processes, as well as optimizing availability and data protection.” Pneuhage substantially reduced its licensing costs when it migrated from Tru64 UNIX to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The company also cut its total cost of ownership for IT, while gaining certified compatibility with many more applications, supporting its consolidation efforts to simplify IT operations further. To date, Pneuhage has not seen any application it wants to run that is not supported on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Ralf Brauer said, “For us, the investment into SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on IBM Power clearly paid off. Our cost-efficient and compact blade server implementation saves a lot of space in the data center and we are extremely satisfied with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as an operating system— our virtual servers are fast and stable, with no requirement for extensive performance tuning or reboots required.”