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Industry: Manufacturing & Engineering
Location: United States
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Vishay Intertechnology saves $1 million a year in licensing fees and increases productivity


  • Dozens of sandboxes can now be run at the same time
  • Accelerates evolution of business processes
  • Smooth and relatively stress-free upgrade
  • 50% reduction in licensing costs of SAP environment
  • $1 million saved in licensing fees each year


Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA, Vishay Intertechnology is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors and passive electronic components. Its products are used in virtually all types of electronic devices in the industrial, computing, automotive, telecommunications and medical markets.


As Vishay Intertechnology grew and continued to create new products, the company wanted to boost efficiency and reduce licensing costs for its IT landscape. It implemented SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications 12, along with SUSE Manager, which dramatically increased its sandbox testing capabilities and saved $1 million a year in licensing fees, while ensuring constant system availability.

The Challenge

To manage its complex business and manufacturing processes, Vishay Intertechnology uses SAP ERP software. This solution’s modular architecture demands a relatively large server landscape, creating both a cost and a management challenge for Vishay Intertechnology.

Alexander Reichel, senior director of Global IT Infrastructure at Vishay Intertechnology, explains: “For an operation like ours, flexibility is key. Our existing setup had us tied to proprietary hardware, which came with relatively high costs as well as hardware limitations. We wanted to be able to create all of the sandbox environments required to run several different SAP projects in parallel, but our existing system only allowed us to create one sandbox at a time. That acted as a brake on efficiency improvements, and ultimately profitability; we wanted the flexibility to take on more projects and facilitate business growth.”

Vishay Intertechnology also wanted to smoothly run a series of new SAP projects, while saving on software licensing costs in the long term. “We had recently started a number of new SAP projects to accelerate the harmonization of business processes,” Reichel says. “We knew that the Linux platform would be easiest to find support for, and we knew that we wanted to use a virtualized platform to ensure high availability and minimize downtime. We therefore decided that it would be easiest, and most cost-effective from a licensing point of view, if we moved the entire landscape onto virtual servers running on commodity hardware using the latest version of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications.”

“Since moving to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we estimate we have saved $1 million in hardware and software licensing fees per year. That’s a roughly 50% reduction in hardware and OS licensing costs of our SAP environment.”

SUSE Solution

Vishay Intertechnology deployed SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications 12 with SUSE Manager as a backup, upgrading from its previous SLES for SAP Applications 11 implementation.

“SUSE was the natural choice for us,” says Reichel. “Given our extensive use of SAP applications, the close relationship between SUSE and SAP meant we could rely on top-quality support. Upgrading to SLES for SAP Applications 12 helped secure our systems’ long-term viability and protect the value of our investment.”

Vishay Intertechnology’s virtualized SAP landscape extends across 70 virtualized instances of SLES for SAP Applications 12, with updates and systems configuration coordinated using SUSE Manager.

“This was a smooth and relatively stressfree upgrade,” says Reichel. “When we did experience minor issues with SUSE Manager, we were able to directly contact the SUSE team and quickly resolve the problem. That level of support is very valuable and was a key driver of our decision to remain with SUSE Linux Enterprise as our strategic Linux distribution.”

The Results

Since implementing SLES for SAP Applications 12, Vishay Intertechnology has greatly improved the flexibility of its virtual server landscape.

“The latest upgrade has accelerated all of our projects,” says Reichel. “Before upgrading, we had capacity to run only one development sandbox at a time. Now we can run dozens of sandboxes at a time using the Cobbler Linux provisioning application, which works very smoothly with SUSE Linux Enterprise. This means we can run multiple projects more quickly and efficiently, and we can develop the new business tools we need to maintain and to improve our market position.”

Vishay Intertechnology has also achieved significant cost savings on both hardware and software licensing by virtualizing its SLES for SAP Applications landscape.

“Since deploying SLES for SAP Applications 12 in a virtualized landscape, we estimate we have saved $1 million in hardware and software licensing fees per year,” says Reichel. “That’s a roughly 50% reduction in the hardware and OS licensing costs of our SAP environment. The virtualized landscape also ensures near-constant system availability, driving further savings as we avoid unnecessary downtime.

“The SUSE solution has allowed us to slash operating costs while gaining much-needed flexibility in designing new software for our business users. We expect that flexibility will help us take on even more SAP projects as we continue to develop new innovative products in the future.”