Published on 21-Dec-2011
"Now we have 100 percent system backup inclusion and we can be 100 percent sure that we can recover from any kind of catastrophe." - —Joe Carleo, Information Technology Architect, Service Delivery, Global Technology Services, IBM
IBM CIO Office
Automation, Service Management
IBM improves backup frequency and backup completeness of its SAP environment with Tivoli Workload Scheduler for distributed and mainframe platforms.
As part of IBM’s work to simplify order, billing and invoicing, purchasing and financial management processes, the IT team is migrating legacy applications for manufacturing, finance, and procurement, among others, to SAP applications. The SAP applications run across both IBM® AIX® and IBM z/OS® platforms, making the coordination of backups across both environments complex.
Tivoli Workload Automation coordinates the backup process across both platforms, shutting down the SAP component, launching file system and database backups, and instructing Tivoli Storage Manager to execute backup files. It also automates related batch processes, enabling the team to address its needs with just one software tool. Tivoli Monitoring alerts operators of any interruptions to workloads.
Increase the number of SAP systems backed up from 2 to 40 and the backup frequency from once a month to daily for production systems without adding administrators; Increases business continuity with 100 percent inclusion of systems in backup; Enables operators to receive alerts four times faster and reduce mean-time-to-repair by more than 50 percent
Three years ago, IBM’s Office of the CIO set out to simplify business processes centered on orders, billing and invoicing, purchasing and financial management. The project, called “Blue Harmony” is one of the largest transformation projects in IBM’s 100 year history and is a key element in helping IBM sales teams and business partners to combine hardware, software and services orders into an integrated solution for customers.
According to Joe Carleo, an information technology architect with IBM’s Global Technology Services Group, as part of this work, the company is migrating its legacy applications for manufacturing, finance, and procurement, among others, to what will eventually be one of the largest installations of SAP applications worldwide.
One of the challenges in maintaining business continuity of this new environment is the complexity of the backup process, with multiple processes that must occur in specific sequences across both IBM® AIX® and z/OS® environments.
“Our SAP application servers are run on IBM System p® servers while the supporting DB2® for z/OS databases run on IBM System z® servers,” says Carleo. “For a consistent backup, we needed to execute compound and sequential processes across both platforms. Initially, we had four or five people on a conference call, with each bringing up or down their piece, and then creating their backup. But these were the same people doing the application builds, so whatever percentage of time they spent doing backups, they couldn’t build the systems. As we expanded our SAP implementation, this manual process was not supportable. Backing up the systems would have taken all our time.”
Using IBM Tivoli® Workload Scheduler, IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler for Applications and Tivoli Workload Scheduler for z/OS enabled the team to automate this previously time-consuming process. The software coordinates each step, from shutting down the appropriate SAP components to launching the file system and database backups, to restarting the SAP components, and instructing Tivoli Storage Manager to execute the file backups.
“Without Tivoli Workload Automation, we would be unable to guarantee a useable, consistent backup for restore,” says Carleo. “We can now coordinate backups across both the AIX and z/OS platforms and sequence the workflow based on various dependencies. We currently back up about 40 SAP systems that span both platforms and we would never be able to do as many backups if we continued to use manual processes.”
Tivoli Workload Scheduler software also automates workload management and monitoring for a variety of related batch processes, enabling the team to use just one software tool for all its workload management needs. Integration with IBM Tivoli Monitoring software alerts operators of any interruptions to workloads. The Tivoli Workload Scheduler infrastructure is deployed in a highly available architecture.
“Tivoli Workload Scheduler provides a consistent interface for managing both backups and batch processes across all the disparate SAP applications,” says Carleo. “It doesn’t take a lot of care and feeding. We need less than one FTE (full-time equivalent) assigned to manage it and we haven’t had any outages since we implemented almost two years ago.”
Using Tivoli Workload Scheduler software has enabled the team to increase the number of SAP systems backed up by 2,000 percent (from two to forty applications) and increase the frequency of backups from once a month to daily for production systems and from once a month to once a week for non-production systems—without adding staff.
“When we were doing it manually, we were only backing up the most critical systems,” says Carleo. “Now we have 100 percent system backup inclusion and we can be 100 percent sure that we can recover from any kind of catastrophe.”
Additionally, integration with Tivoli Monitoring for automated batch monitoring enables operators to receive alerts more than four times faster and reduce mean-time-to-repair problems by more than 50 percent.
For more information
To learn more about IBM Tivoli Workload Automation, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/workloadautomation
You can get even more out of Tivoli software by participating in independently run Tivoli User Groups around the world. Learn about opportunities near you at: http://www.tivoli-ug.org
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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