Geberit migrated its complete SAP landscape to Intel Xeon-based blade servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, virtualised using VMware, improving SAP performance by 60%.
Geberit wanted to standardise its IT server landscape to reduce the cost and complexity of its IT operations. The company also aimed to increase the flexibility of its SAP ERP solution by migrating from Intel Itanium-based servers to blade servers based on Intel Xeon processors.
Geberit relies on SAP applications for many of its business processes, including sales, materials management, and invoicing. The company’s 50 SAP servers (SAP ERP, with Business Warehouse, LES, TRM, Solution Manager, portal, webshop, test, development, and others) serve a total of 2,970 users in 25 countries. Up to 1,300 users work concurrently on the SAP systems, and the largest SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse system has a database size of 1.6TB.
Given the importance of the SAP landscape, it was vital to ensure high availability and reliable performance for business processes. For increased flexibility and reduced costs, Geberit decided to migrate its SAP landscape to virtualised servers running on VMware.
“Together with SUSE Gold Partner FRITZ & MACZIOL, we selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications as it offered high performance for SAP software combined with extremely responsive and professional support from SUSE and SAP,” said Manfred Bantle, Head of SAP Services at Geberit.
Geberit sized its new blade-server landscape to provide 24,000 SAPs (SAP Application Performance Standard units). Each production system runs on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on a dedicated blade server. Additional blade servers run VMware vSphere and host multiple SUSE Linux Enterprise Server virtual machines running the SAP test, development and QA environments.
The migration from HP-UX to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was completed within one year. The Geberit team started the migration project by developing a standard configuration for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for its SAP systems. Each migration was completed over a weekend, avoiding disruptions to business operations.
For maximum flexibility, Geberit set up SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications to boot directly from the storage area network. To improve security, Geberit created a new virtual LAN for all of its SAP systems. The company mirrors all production SAP systems using the data replication features of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications.
“SUSE Linux Enterprise offers the same or better performance and reliability for SAP applications as HP-UX, but at lower cost and with greater flexibility,” said Daniel Rothmund, SAP System Administrator at Geberit. “The ability to resize file systems online helps us to avoid downtime and improve business continuity.”
In addition to migrating to the new server hardware and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, the company upgraded its Oracle databases to the latest version.
Geberit also deployed SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator, a business analytics appliance that is built on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
Migrating its SAP systems from Itanium-based servers running HP-UX to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on Xeon-based blade servers has produced significant cost savings for Geberit. The company has cut its hardware costs by around 50%, and has seen a similar reduction in its operating system software licensing costs.
The company has also achieved performance improvements of 22% for SAP ERP, 60% for the warehouse control system and up to 30% for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse.
“The combination of the new hardware and the migration to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications has increased the performance of our SAP systems substantially,” said Mr Bantle. “Equally, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is the preferred development platform for SAP itself, which enables us to be among the first companies to test and deploy new SAP functionality.”
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications provides integrated priority support and maintenance from both SUSE and SAP via the SAP Solution Manager component. This seamless and highly responsive service provides a single point of entry for all support queries relating to the entire software stack—reducing administration and accelerating the resolution of issues.
“The Priority Support from SUSE and SAP has been excellent,” said Mr Bantle. “The combined support team is highly competent, and always provides timely solutions to any issues raised. This adds to our conviction that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is an optimal platform for SAP.”