SAP AG slashes energy costs and boosts performance

Published on 17-Apr-2012

Validated on 01 Oct 2013

Customer:
SAP AG

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Optimizing IT, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

Overview

SAP AG is a global market leader in enterprise application software. Headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, the company was founded in 1972 and has a rich history of innovation and growth. With over 109,000 clients worldwide, SAP AG helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. The diverse range of SAP solutions cover operations from back office to boardroom and warehouse to storefront, ultimately helping clients use business insight more effectively.

Business need:
In order to achieve the cross-platform compatibility that marks out SAP solutions, SAP’s Value Prototyping / CoE (SAP VP), a unit of Global Customer Organization, continually carries out rigorous testing. This involves proof-of-concept, infrastructure specification and sizing exercises. To support this testing program, the company needs to balance a number of conflicting needs: ensuring that it closely replicates the hardware found at customers' datacenters, maximizing performance and flexibility to carry out testing in the most efficient way possible, and keeping a sharp eye on costs.

Solution:
Designed for virtualized consolidation of business-critical workloads, the IBM Power 780 server represented the ideal choice for SAP VP. SAP AG uses IBM PowerVM technology to run simulations in separate virtualized partitions (LPARs), enabling the company to maximize use of resources.

Benefits:
SAP VP estimates that the IBM Power 780 server uses 77 percent less energy than the IBM Power 595 server it had in place before. This is achieved in spite of a doubling of resources and approximately 25 percent increase in performance, offering a highly attractive price-performance ratio. The innovative, compact design helps SAP VP make the most of its data center floorspace, which when combined with the server’s in-built dynamic resource deployment features, maximizes resource utilization.

Case Study

SAP AG is a global market leader in enterprise application software. Headquartered in Walldorf, Germany, the company was founded in 1972 and has a rich history of innovation and growth. With over 109,000 clients worldwide, SAP AG helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. The diverse range of SAP solutions cover operations from back office to boardroom and warehouse to storefront, ultimately helping clients use business insight more effectively. A key part of this is ensuring availability of SAP solutions across all hardware platforms and environments – including both traditional and virtualized landscapes.

In order to achieve the cross-platform compatibility that marks out SAP solutions, SAP’s Value Prototyping / CoE (SAP VP), a unit of Global Customer Organization, continually carries out rigorous testing. This involves proof-of-concept, infrastructure specification, benchmarking, value prototyping and sizing exercises. To support this testing program, the company needs to balance a number of conflicting needs: ensuring that it closely replicates the hardware found at customers' datacenters, maximizing performance and flexibility to carry out testing in the most efficient way possible, and keeping a sharp eye on costs.

SAP VP needed to find a solution that could deliver the processing power required to run increasingly complex simulations at a reasonable total cost of ownership. At the time, SAP VP found itself running over 350 customer projects in parallel – some involving 20-30TB of data to mimic customers’ production environments – which increased the pressure to boost performance and capacity as soon as possible.

The superb availability demonstrated by the company’s existing IBM Power 595 server led SAP VP to consider adding to its IBM hardware landscape. Moreover, an increasing number of the company's customers were running the IBM AIX operating system, boosting demand for simulations and sizing on an IBM platform.

Designed for virtualized consolidation of business-critical workloads, the IBM Power 780 server represented the ideal choice for SAP VP. By selecting the IBM Power 780, the company could benefit from an impressive 77 percent improvement in energy efficiency and 25 percent improvement in performance compared to its existing IBM POWER6 processor-based server.

Offering double the system resources of SAP VP’s existing IBM environment, the IBM Power 780 enables the company to run more projects in parallel. This makes it possible to serve more clients and deliver test results to them faster, boosting customer satisfaction. SAP AG uses IBM PowerVM technology to run simulations in separate virtualized partitions (LPARs), enabling the company to maximize use of resources. Rather than provisioning new servers from scratch each time, SAP VP’s employees are able to duplicate existing servers, saving time and effort. In-built dynamic resource deployment capabilities allow testing teams to increase the simulated number of users on the fly by adjusting the amount of RAM and CPU assigned to each project. This makes it much easier for SAP VP to undertake thorough testing across different scenarios.

SAP VP estimates that the IBM Power 780 server uses 77 percent less energy than the IBM Power 595 server it had in place before. This is achieved in spite of a doubling of resources and approximately 25 percent increase in performance, offering a highly attractive price-performance ratio. The innovative, compact design helps SAP VP make the most of its data center floorspace, which, when combined with the server’s in-built dynamic resource deployment features, maximizes resource utilization. The extra horsepower makes the infrastructure ideal for supporting large-scale simulations. This allows SAP VP to run some simulations in-house for which the company previously would have had to schedule time at external facilities. The Power 780 server has proved just as reliable as the existing IBM Power 595 platform, with a perfect record of zero hardware failures since installation.

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Power 780, Power Systems, Power Systems running AIX 6

Software:
AIX, PowerVM

Operating system:
AIX

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Deutschland GmbH 71137 Ehningen Deutschland ibm.com/de IBM Österreich Obere Donaustrasse 951020 Wien ibm.com/at IBM Schweiz Vulkanstrasse 1068010 Zürich ibm.com/ch Produced in Germany April 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, Power, Power Systems and PowerVM are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. IBM and Infosys are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Infosys makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.

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