AdP - Águas de Portugal, SGPS, SA is a publicly-owned limited liability holding company. Through its subsidiaries, it manages the urban water cycle, operating several water supply systems and wastewater treatment facilities.
Founded in 1993, the AdP Group has a wide presence in mainland Portugal. It provides services to municipalities, which are shareholders of the management companies of multi-municipal systems, and directly serves the population through municipal systems’ water supply and sanitation services.
The main activity of the AdP Group is the integrated management of the urban water cycle, comprising all stages, from the sourcing, treatment and distribution of water to its public consumption, collection, transportation, treatment and disposal. The company also manages urban and industrial wastewater, including its recycling and reuse.
Águas de Portugal (AdP Group) relies on its IT infrastructure for a host of business-critical operations, from payroll to HR. As performance became problematic on its ageing infrastructure, the water supplier decided it was time for an upgrade. By migrating its SAP solutions from HP-UX to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications, AdP Group benefits from the close partnership between SAP and SUSE, accelerating several tasks, including monthly salary processing times cut by 67%.
AdP Group’s IT systems are crucial to its water supply and sanitation business, running a host of tasks, including: employee salary tax processing; supplier relationship management; payroll; and human resources operations. However, the company’s ageing infrastructure was struggling to deliver the performance necessary to support its business-critical SAP applications.
António Esteves, SAP & IT systems administrator at AdP Group, says: “Our existing hardware was 10 years old and had limited memory capacity — only 20GB RAM — which was slowing down applications. What’s more, our HP-UX operating system was proprietary software, so we were limited in what we could do with it. In particular, we were concerned that we were missing out on some of the outstanding open source solutions that are now available.
“Given the need to run on approved hardware, the solution was also very costly. Finally, we wanted to take advantage of new in-memory database technology to accelerate operations.”
With tasks taking longer and longer to complete, AdP Group knew it was time to upgrade its IT infrastructure so it could keep pace with the business.
"SUSE and SAP have helped us transform our IT infrastructure — today we have a high-performing, cost-effective and flexible architecture that can keep up with our business."
AdP Group decided to invest in new hardware and move to a flexible, cost-effective, open source operating system. It migrated its SAP applications to SLES for SAP Applications running on Huawei servers, with the project managed by Portugal Telecom. In addition, AdP Group transitioned from its previous Oracle database to SAP HANA, an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system.
“It was an easy choice to select SLES for SAP Applications,” says Esteves. “SAP and SUSE have a close partnership, so it’s purpose-built to support SAP solutions in a way our previous platform wasn’t, and SLES has a first-rate reputation as the leading Linux distribution for enterprise organizations running SAP.”
SLES for SAP Applications is performance-optimized and configured to provide the best possible support for SAP applications, and it is regularly updated with new optimizations as SAP releases new versions of its products.
Esteves says: “As an open source platform, SLES for SAP Applications delivers manageability, cost-effectiveness and flexibility — we have complete freedom to take advantage of emerging technologies.
“The performance is also exceptional, providing the perfect solution for our mission-critical IT applications. We’ve been monitoring the new solution since its implementation and there have been no issues so far — we’re very happy with its stability and reliability.”
Overall, the migration to AdP Group’s new IT environment took around three months. Esteves says: “There was no significant need for training as our team was already used to our previous Unix platform, which shares many features with Linux, so we were soon up and running on the new OS.”
With SLES for SAP Applications supporting its SAP environment, AdP Group’s IT infrastructure is much better equipped to handle business-critical tasks.
“Thanks to the strong partnership between SUSE and SAP, SLES for SAP Applications provides the perfect platform for our SAP HANA landscape, ensuring top performance,” says Esteves. “With SAP HANA hosting the database in memory rather than accessing it from disk, the whole environment is much faster than our previous solution.
“For example, monthly salary processing went from one hour to 20 minutes — a reduction of 67%. Our whole group energy consumption operations have also been cut dramatically, from 10 minutes to 1.1 seconds. These faster operations enable our IT team to focus on other tasks, and ensure the business continues running smoothly.”
Furthermore, SAP HANA has no need for indexes and utilizes efficient compression algorithms, enabling storage savings.
“By migrating from Oracle to SAP HANA, our production database went from 1TB down to 274GB in memory, and our data warehouse from 500GB to 160GB,” says António Esteves.
“SUSE and SAP have helped us transform our IT infrastructure — today we have a high-performing, cost-effective and flexible architecture that can keep up with our business.”