ORGA switches its customers to IBM DB2 for efficient service

Published on 26-Feb-2009

Validated on 03 Dec 2013

"DB2 offers ORGA greater flexibility and functionality. The performance of the new IBM Power Systems servers combined with DB2 is clearly significantly greater." - Jürgen Fischer, Head of Department for Hosting Services


Computer Services

Deployment country:

Enterprise Resource Planning, Optimizing IT, Virtualization

IBM Business Partner:


ORGA Gesellschaft für automatische Datenverarbeitung mbH in Karlsruhe and Wiesbaden, Germany, hosts SAP applications for international customers. With revenues of some €28.5 million generated from a very diverse array of customers, ORGA runs a wide range of SAP applications, from R/3 to SAP ERP 6.0 – an exceptionally large array of business software, supported by 150 talented staff.

Business need:
ORGA provides SAP and other application hosting services for businesses throughout Europe. Finding cost-effective infrastructure solutions, for both database and underlying hardware systems, and combining high performance with reliability and flexibility is central to success. With a planned upgrade to the newest versions of SAP ERP 6.0 applications, ORGA needed a new database solution, one which would offer lower operating costs for ORGA and improved service for customers.

ORGA chose to migrate its customers to IBM DB2, on IBM Power Systems and IBM Systems Storage hardware. The former Informix databases were migrated to DB2 using the SAP Heterogeneous System Copy tool, completing the transfer in a single weekend.

ORGA now has a standardized environment with only two database technologies to support, making administration easier and more cost-effective. Data compression techniques included in IBM DB2 have produced storage capacity reductions of up to 70 per cent, helping to avoid the expense of additional storage while offering excellent response times. IBM Power Systems servers offer a high-performance, reliable and scalable infrastructure, able to grow to meet customer demands and business growth.

Case Study

Click here to read a German version of this case study.

ORGA Gesellschaft für automatische Datenverarbeitung mbH in Karlsruhe and Wiesbaden, Germany, hosts SAP applications for international customers. With revenues of some €28.5 million generated from a very diverse array of customers, ORGA runs a wide range of SAP applications, from R/3 to SAP ERP 6.0 – an exceptionally large array of business software, supported by 150 talented staff.

With customers in different business sectors and with varied SAP application requirements, ORGA is able to provide very high service levels for each client by using intelligent workload distribution. ORGA has deployed an infrastructure capable of handling the typical collective peak workload from all its customers, and this shared services model in practice allows each individual customer to benefit from a very powerful, highly scalable, computing resource. Additionally, workflow knowledge gained by the ORGA team can be transferred across all customers, and infrastructure investments shared across the complete customer base.

Many customers were using the Informix database with their SAP and other applications. With the introduction of new SAP ERP applications, the ORGA team needed to migrate its database infrastructure, and reviewed both Oracle and IBM DB2 technologies as the preferred destination for the Informix users.

Jürgen Fischer, Head of Department for Hosting Services, explains, “We needed a new solution rapidly. At that point, we were operating three database solutions, Informix, DB2 and Oracle. We wished to consolidate to just DB2 or Oracle, so the question was whether we should migrate customers to DB2 or Oracle.”

Total migration in one weekend

ORGA chose to migrate all its customers using Informix to IBM DB2, using the SAP Heterogeneous System Copy tool designed for the purpose.

“DB2 offers ORGA greater flexibility and functionality. The performance of the new IBM Power Systems servers combined with DB2 is clearly significantly greater,” says Jürgen Fischer. “For larger tables above 1GB, the data compression functionality within DB2 is delivering up to 70 per cent capacity reductions. At our data growth rates, the compression performance offers a considerable current and future saving.”

“All migrations were completed with SAP Heterogeneous System Copy. The migration time depends almost entirely on the database size, and we were able to complete the entire process for all customers over one weekend. In fact, we encountered no technical problems, and at no stage did we need to roll back, an excellent result.”

The company chose to implement each new DB2 instance on a virtualized server within a new IBM Power Systems server, taking advantage of the “clean install” this offered. This involved a total of some 170 systems and 15TB of data held in Informix databases growing at some 20 per cent yearly, accessed by approximately 28,000 users (of whom 2,500 may be concurrent).

“A huge advantage of this solution is that we standardized our database environment, which makes administration much easier. With only two database systems to manage, we can build up more knowledge, and with DB2 in particular the administration tools are very much easier to use.”

Taking advantage of virtualization

The 170 separate systems are hosted on 17 servers from the IBM Power Systems family, using IBM PowerVM virtualization technology to support multiple independent servers on each physical system. During the migration process, ORGA is also upgrading its servers to IBM POWER6™ processor-based systems.

POWER6 processors are able to run AIX, IBM i®, and Linux® operating systems simultaneously, offering a wide choice of applications. Additional platform capabilities include Live Partition Mobility, and concurrent firmware and operating system updates, POWER6 offers outstanding stability and resilience.

“In many ways these changes are invisible to the customer. The clear advantages are in terms of system performance, and the ability to run new products on the more advanced infrastructure,” says Jürgen Fischer. “The original decision to select IBM servers was based on a comparison of different manufacturers’ systems. IBM infrastructure proved to be the best solution for ORGA regarding SAP performance. We continue to be very happy with that platform choice, which has the advantage of keeping our server landscape consistent.”

An IBM Power Systems server is able to support multiple virtual servers within a single physical system. The total system compute resources available may be allocated to each LPAR according to policies that define, for example, the response time. The IBM virtualization technology enables the automatic, dynamic allocation of system resources to each virtual server containing an application, ensuring that service level commitments for response and related targets are fully met.

Ensuring complete system resilience

For system resilience, ORGA has implemented IBM PowerHA Cluster Manager and redundant hardware. PowerHA helps achieve business continuity that reliable hardware alone cannot provide, with automated monitoring and restart of failed or degraded applications on backup hardware. Should any server or critical application component suffer failure, PowerHA allows continuous production for ORGA clients, an essential part of the service offering.

ORGA deploys a range of IBM System Storage technologies managing a total of around 27TB of both SAP and non-SAP application data for its clients, including IBM DS8000 and DS6000 systems, and two IBM Enterprise Storage Server models. Backup is handled by IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, connected to two IBM tape libraries.

Tivoli Storage Manager provides centralized data protection by automating backup and archive of production data. Intelligent data move-and-store techniques combined with comprehensive policy-based automation help to increase data protection and decrease administration costs.

“We mirror all our data across the two data centre sites in Karlsruhe, 10km apart,” says Jürgen Fischer. “If disaster strikes one of the locations, we can continue uninterrupted. The combination of PowerHA and Tivoli Storage Manager gives us complete confidence in our ability to recover.”

Planning for tomorrow’s world

The ultimate plan is to encourage all new customers to use the DB2 and IBM Power Systems combination. By doing so, they will benefit from the shared infrastructure, the flexibility and power of the IBM Power Systems servers, and the high-performance information management offered by IBM DB2.

Jürgen Fischer concludes, “The IBM Power Systems servers offer significant advantages in the area of virtualization. The lower operational costs we have seen by standardizing on IBM technologies will contribute to ORGA’s success, and ultimately to the success of our clients who use SAP applications.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Storage: DS6000, Storage: DS8000, System p

Tivoli Storage Manager, DB2 Enterprise 9

GTS Integrated Technology Services, IBM-SAP Alliance

Legal Information

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