Turners & Growers Ltd Logo
Industry: Utility
Location: New Zealand
Download Full Story

Turners & Growers Ltd


  • Increased performance of business-critical SAP applications by around 15 percent
  • Significantly reduced the company’s SAP license fees
  • Cut 60 percent from OS licensing costs
  • Cut time spent applying security patches by 60 percent


Fresh produce wholesaler Turners & Growers decided to migrate its business-critical SAP applications from Windows with Oracle database to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and IBM DB2, enabling the company to drastically reduce its SAP license fees. In addition, moving to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server boosted SAP application performance by around 15 percent, and reduced the time spent on applying security patches by 60 percent.


Turners & Growers is New Zealand’s leading distributor, marketer and exporter of premium fresh agricultural produce. The company was founded in 1897 and has operations all over the world.

The Challenge

Turners & Growers uses SAP applications to manage core business processes with the following modules: FI/CO, Sales and Distribution, PI, BI, HCM and Portal. For many years, the SAP software had been running on Windows with Oracle database, virtualized on VMWare.

The firm realized that migrating its SAP applications to IBM DB2 database running on Linux would enable it to significantly reduce its SAP licensing costs, and deliver valuable performance improvements for its SAP software.

In addition, Turners & Growers’ IT team was having to spend a significant amount of time applying patches and service packs to its Windows systems to protect them from the latest security threats, each time incurring downtime for the company’s SAP applications. The firm anticipated that moving to Linux would reduce the burden of system administration for the IT team without compromising on security.

“Migrating our SAP applications to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and IBM DB2 database has roughly halved our SAP license fees.”

SUSE Solution

Turners & Growers decided to migrate its SAP applications to IBM DB2 on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and at the same time to complete the Unicode conversion required to ensure that its SAP applications could properly support its global business.

The firm selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in order to leverage the platform’s high levels of security and outstanding performance for its business-critical SAP applications. Equally, Turners & Growers knew that SAP and SUSE work together in a close alliance to optimize the joint performance of their solutions, reducing the likelihood of future technical problems.

In addition, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server offers support for large workloads—a particularly important factor for Turners & Growers, which anticipated that the Unicode conversion would increase disk and memory consumption by up to 30 percent.

“We saw SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as a true enterprise-class platform for SAP,” said Rodolfo Gandionco, IS Operations Manager at Turners & Growers. “The kernel parameters and packages are pre-tested by SAP, which gives us peace of mind that the software will run optimally in terms of performance and availability on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.”

Turners & Growers now runs its SAP production environment on a cluster of four VMware ESX Server hosts running virtualized instances of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. This environment runs a total of 37 SAP database instances, using VMware High Availability and VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager for business continuity and disaster recovery.

“As a company specializing in fresh produce, we have to cope with huge seasonal fluctuations in demand,” said Gandionco. “Virtualization enables us to scale our IT resources up and down in line with demand and avoid over-investing in our IT environment, helping us keep operational costs low.”

The Results

Migrating its SAP systems from Windows and Oracle database to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and IBM DB2 has unlocked substantial savings in SAP licensing costs for Turners & Growers.

“Migrating our SAP applications to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the IBM DB2 database has greatly reduced our SAP license fees,” said Gandionco.

Switching to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and IBM DB2 has also delivered valuable performance improvements of around 15 percent for Turners & Growers’ business critical SAP applications—an unexpected benefit, given that the Unicode conversion was expected to increase memory and disk consumption by around 30 percent.

In addition, the tight integration between SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SAP helps Turners & Growers’ IT staff reduce the amount of time they spend on system administration and boost availability.

“Switching from Windows to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has dramatically reduced the number of patches and service packs that we need to apply to our systems, and allowed us to synchronize operating system patches with the SAP patching cycle, for less overall scheduled downtime,” said Gandionco. “This also helps us maintain high availability for SAP and other business-critical applications.”

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server provides a highly-reliable platform for our business critical SAP applications,” said Gandionco. “Switching to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has enabled us to slash our SAP licensing costs, and reduce the amount of time our IT team spends on system administration.”