Tenure Helps Global Manufacturer Boost SAP Performance 3x
Solution Area: SAP Infrastructure Upgrade utilizing Oracle Real Application Clusters
Who: A Publicly Held Global Manufacturing Company
Problem: The Company had a mission critical, SAP implementation on a monolithic, Itanium legacy infrastructure, consolidated from multiple acquisitions, near end of life, running at 100% capacity, 24 hours a day. The Company needed to consolidate systems from a new acquisition which would result in another 600 concurrent users by the end of May in 2013. If the infrastructure was not upgraded, this addition of new users would result in a negative impact on already strained service levels.
Business Impact: The SAP system was already performing below acceptable service levels. With the consolidation of the newly acquired business unit and the addition of 600 concurrent users by May of 2013, further degradation of service levels would be inevitable, with the potential of interrupting production schedules and increasing the risk of outages. This performance degradation and the monolithic, single point of failure posed unacceptable levels of risk to the business.
- Larger, monolithic server: this solution would improve performance and term solution for the consolidation of new acquisitions, but it was cost prohibitive, and did not alleviate the single point of failure.
- Cluster of pre-configured, database appliances: this solution would improve performance, was horizontally scalable and addressed the single point of failure, however it would require a cross-platform migration, was initially cost prohibitive, future upgrades were restrictive and cost prohibitive and ongoing support costs were inflexible and prohibitive.
- Cluster of low-cost, Linux, Intel Xeon servers with Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC)**: this solution would improve performance, was horizontally scalable, eliminated the single point of failure, and was initially cost effective and ongoing support costs were minimized, however it would require a cross platform migration.
Solution: The Company chose to implement a cluster of 3 low cost Intel Xeon servers with quad-core CPU’s for a total of 8 cores per server, running Red Hat Linux OS, version 6 cluster utilizing Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) with the Intel QLogic Infiniband interconnect. The Tenure consultant developed the detailed specifications for the architecture, designed the project plan and performed the implementation. As part of the project, the Tenure consultant restructured the database for the cross-platform migration, upgraded the database from Oracle 10G to Oracle 11G and implemented Oracle RAC, moving from a single instance to a multi-instance database environment. By choosing Red Hat Linux, Tenure was able to eliminate multiple software dependencies which simplified & clarified the infrastructure, reduced system complexity and simplified system administration for day to day operations and future software upgrades. The entire project was completed and in production seven weeks ahead of schedule and Tenure was able to switch over to the new production environment over a two day weekend during normal, scheduled maintenance time with no production outages. The “go live” was transparent to the business users, other than the significant gains in performance.
- A highly-available environment with Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), which created a true, grid computing environment eliminating the single point of failure and providing automatic workload management for unmatched fault tolerance, performance and horizontal scalability.
- Immediate performance gains across the environment by a factor of 3 with some processes performing 10 times faster than the legacy environment; the new acquisition and 600 concurrent users were added with no degradation of performance.
- Virtual elimination of the risk of production schedule delays and complete system outages due to system overload and a single point of failure.
*The Company carefully evaluated the possibility of migrating the underlying database to SAP Hana, but determined that upgrading to Oracle 11G and implementing Real Application Clusters was a higher performing, lower risk solution.
**The entire cost of hardware, software and implementation was less than the hardware costs alone of the other two solutions considered.