Repsol delivers services throughout the energy value chain, employing 24,000 people and distributing its products to 24 million customers in nearly 100 countries. A global multi-energy company, Repsol is leading the energy transition by setting a goal for net-zero emissions by 2050. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, Repsol is committed to a model that integrates all technologies for decarbonization, based on: efficiency improvements; increased capacity to generate low-emission electricity; the production of low-carbon-footprint fuels; the development of new solutions for customers; the circular economy; and the promotion of cutting-edge projects to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.
Global multi-energy company Repsol is adopting a zero-emissions model and reinventing itself as a digital trailblazer. To power this transformation, the company is eliminating legacy hardware and adopting a cloud-first approach, choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications as its strategic platform for running SAP HANA applications.
Out with the old, in with the new
Technology is playing a pivotal role in Repsol’s journey to a net-zero business. As the company innovates in areas such as biofuels, synthetic fuels and renewable energy sources, its business strategy and processes are changing significantly. By extension, the systems supporting those processes also need to change if the company is to continue driving both innovation and operational efficiency.
For Repsol, one of the first steps was to migrate from a large and complex on-premises infrastructure to embrace a cloud-first strategy based on a multicloud strategy. This approach would also have the advantage of reducing its energy consumption for IT. Why move to the cloud? Repsol knew this would give its data and applications the scale, agility and power to help the company navigate toward a more sustainable future. Among these applications is an extensive SAP ERP landscape, which has underpinned key business activities at Repsol for years.
Migrating to the cloud wasn’t the only change that Repsol had planned. The company also took the opportunity to refresh the wider infrastructure supporting its SAP environment. There were two key drivers for this: to avoid lifting-and-shifting the legacy infrastructure and applications to the cloud; and to adopt the SAP HANA real-time data platform for greater business agility during the coming years of business transformation.
“With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications keeping our mission-critical applications running reliably and efficiently, Repsol can focus on what we do best: supporting communities with multiple energy solutions, while innovating to shape a more sustainable future.”
Gaining stability and speed with SUSE
Previously, Repsol used on-premises servers to run SAP applications and Oracle databases on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. When the company kicked off its cloud journey in 2018, it decided to standardize on the SAP HANA database and to adopt SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications in support of this move.
Virginia Molina Jiménez, SAP Basis service manager at Repsol, explains: “Moving our SAP environment to SLES on the cloud offered clear cost and performance advantages. What really cemented our decision was the fact that SUSE and SAP are very closely aligned in terms of technology. For instance, every new release of SAP is put out first on SLES. We felt that we could benefit from this close partnership, and we were confident that SLES for SAP Applications offered an ideal environment for our SAP landscape. In short, we felt that SUSE offered the best future-proof platform for our mission-critical ERP solution.”
Repsol put together a thorough plan for migrating its SAP applications to SLES in the cloud. The project team started with the company’s existing SAP HANA databases, completing this initial migration over a period of nine months.
“The SAP HANA migration went quickly and smoothly,” notes Jiménez. “SLES for SAP Applications definitely helped streamline the implementation process. As it comes preconfigured with SAP requirements, we avoided extra work and were able to deploy in the cloud, fast. It used to take days or even weeks to deploy a new or upgraded SAP component; now it takes just a matter of hours.”
Steadily and surely, Repsol continues to move more of its SAP software stack — both databases and applications — to SLES for SAP Applications in the cloud. Today, every new application is deployed on SAP S/4HANA with SAP HANA databases, all on SLES for SAP Applications in the cloud.
Importantly, the SUSE operating system enables the automation of SAP software stack deployments, helping to accelerate the ongoing management of the SAP environment and reduce long-term administrative costs and complexity. It also provides embedded best practices to accelerate the provisioning of new cloud instances — reducing ongoing complexity and risk on Repsol’s journey to the cloud. Another beneficial factor is that SUSE and cloud providers continue to work closely together to ensure full compatibility.
Jiménez says: “We are now working to automate our SAP HANA deployments as far as possible. The plan is to establish defined and automated templates for deploying both the SAP HANA instance and the SLES server in order to ensure consistency across the migration and reduce workload for our teams.
Maximizing the value of cloud
Repsol has already come a long way from its legacy approach, with SLES for SAP Applications serving as a stable pillar of the company’s cloud-centric strategy. Specially tuned for SAP software, the SUSE operating system offers the assurance of SAP certification covering on-premises and cloud hardware, software and thirdparty support. What this means in practice is that Repsol can change cloud providers with the confidence that everything will run smoothly — and with the full support of key suppliers — both during the transition and beyond.
SLES for SAP Applications also offers a suite of tools and embedded best practices to help ensure easy and low-risk implementation, avoiding configuration issues and thereby reducing operational risk. The SUSE operating system provides exceptionally high availability and resilience, which will help Repsol to avoid costly downtime for its business-critical SAP systems.
“We’ve made a lot of changes at once: moving from on-premises to multi-cloud; standardizing on SAP HANA as our database layer; and introducing an entirely new operating system,” remarks Jiménez. “Choosing SLES for SAP Applications has helped to remove considerable uncertainty and risk from our transformation. We’ve found it very easy to adapt to the new operating system, and we’re incredibly pleased with its performance. In more than two years of operation, we’ve had zero issues with SLES for SAP Applications. Everything just works, and that’s one of the best things to get from such a critical piece of our infrastructure.”
More broadly, moving to the cloud makes it possible for Repsol to eliminate on-premises hardware, systems and infrastructure, driving down operating costs and paving the way for significant energy and carbon reductions. It has also paved the way to new avenues of innovation, making it quicker and easier for the business to deploy new technologies and enable more agile ways of working. “We are well on our way to building a more agile and sustainable business,” says Jiménez. “The deployment of SLES for SAP Applications is an important step on this journey, helping us shape a technology infrastructure that can respond faster to changing needs and support our transition to a net zero emissions company.”
Fueling future growth
Repsol continues to streamline core business processes and drive innovation with SLES for SAP Applications in the cloud. The company also plans to add further cloud platforms to increase flexibility and gain the ability to deploy workloads wherever they will run most efficiently. Jiménez concludes: “Looking to our multicloud future, with SLES for SAP Applications keeping our mission-critical applications running reliably and efficiently, Repsol can focus on what we do best: supporting communities with multiple energy solutions.”