Published on 09-Jan-2012
Validated on 18 Jul 2013
"IBM i on IBM POWER7 technology continues to offer excellent performance, plus enhanced features and functionality, at lower TCO." - Jürgen Dauner, IT Team Leader SAP Basis and System Integration, Multivac GmbH & Co. KG
Multivac GmbH & Co. KG
IT/infrastructure, Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Small & Medium Business, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server, Virtualization - Storage, Information Infrastructure, Optimizing IT
Multivac, based in Wolfertschwenden, Germany, develops, produces and sells packaging machines for foodstuffs, medical equipment and many other products. The company’s claim is that customers package everything better with Multivac machines. Founded as a family business in 1961, Multivac today employs more than 3,400 people in over 60 subsidiaries, and sells industrial thermoformers, traysealers, and vacuum-chamber machines in some 140 countries on every continent.
Customer objectives include: Implementation of Unicode multi-lingual support for Multivac’s worldwide business operations. Safe transition from legacy applications to SAP software in multiple stages over time for Multivac's subsidiaries. Deployment of a high-availability infrastructure to ensure round-the-clock operation. Close integration of the existing Lotus Notes & Domino collaboration solution with the SAP applications. Optimize operating costs and energy consumption with latest technology for best cost-efficiency.
The IBM solution included: Two IBM Power 740 and two IBM Power 720 servers with POWER7 processors; IBM i operating system with integrated DB2 database; PowerVM virtualization for workload flexibility; high availability landscape using native IBM i features including Independent Auxiliary Storage Pools and Cross-Site Mirroring; two IBM Storage System DS5100; IBM SAN Volume Controller; IBM System Storage TS5300 Tape Library; IBM Cognos Business Intelligence; Lotus Notes & Domino integrated with SAP application environment.
Customer benefits include: Delivered long-term total cost of ownership savings of 40 percent. SAP systems operational costs per user per year much lower than comparable installations. Enabled full SAP Basis and IBM Lotus Domino environment management with the equivalent of only one and a half full-time employees. Cut license fee and related processor costs for operational systems and databases by implementing the latest POWER7 technology. Increased flexibility with modern SAN and storage virtualization technology. Enhanced performance and capacity for SAP applications..
About this paper
This paper describes an implementation of the SAP Business Suite on IBM Power Systems server with IBM i at Multivac GmbH & Co. KG, Germany. It details the initial decision criteria, the implementation approach, and the current hardware and software landscape, followed by a decision to upgrade to state-of-the-art storage combined with storage virtualization and the latest POWER7 processor technology.
- Implementation of Unicode multi-lingual support for Multivac’s worldwide business operations.
- Safe transition from legacy applications to SAP software in multiple stages over time for Multivac’s subsidiaries.
- Deployment of a high-availability infrastructure to ensure round-the-clock operation.
- Close integration of the existing Lotus Notes & Domino collaboration solution with the SAP applications.
- Optimize operating costs and energy consumption with latest technology for best cost-efficiency.
- Infrastructure that allows new subsidiaries to be integrated easily without worrying about system performance.
- Two IBM Power 740 and two IBM Power 720 servers with POWER7 processors
- IBM i operating system with integrated DB2 database
- PowerVM virtualization for workload flexibility
- High availability landscape using native IBM i features including Independent Auxiliary Storage Pools and Cross-Site Mirroring
- Two IBM Storage System DS5100
- IBM SAN Volume Controller
- IBM System Storage TS5300 Tape Library
- IBM Cognos Business Intelligence
- Lotus Notes & Domino integrated with SAP application environment
- Delivered long-term total cost of ownership savings of 40 percent.
- SAP systems operational costs per user per year much lower than comparable installations.
- Enabled full SAP Basis and IBM Lotus Domino environment management with the equivalent of only one and a half full-time employees.
- Cut license fee and related processor costs for operational systems and databases by implementing the latest POWER7 technology.
- Migrated to latest server technology without downtime of production systems.
- Increased flexibility with modern SAN and storage virtualization technology.
- Continued to exploit years of expertise in IBM Power Systems, IBM i and DB2 technology.
- Enhanced performance and capacity for SAP applications.
- Continued scalable growth path from three to 24 processors, across different Power processor generations from POWER4 to POWER7.
- Introduced highly reliable, secure backup infrastructure.
- Integrated SAP applications and Lotus office collaboration software (email, mobile devices, etc.).
- Creates the ability to consolidate multiple smaller SAP applications on Windows-based systems to cost-efficient IBM i systems for improved reliability and easier administration.
Background, starting point and objectives
Multivac, based in Wolfertschwenden, Germany, develops, produces and sells packaging machines for foodstuffs, medical equipment and many other products. The company’s claim is that customers package everything better with Multivac machines.
Founded as a family business in 1961, Multivac today employs more than 3,400 people in over 60 subsidiaries, and sells industrial thermoformers, traysealers, and vacuum-chamber machines in some 140 countries on every continent. Multivac’s operations cover everything from development and production of machines and parts to world-wide sales, local distribution and service.
Business challenges and project objectives
With long and successful experience of running its business-critical SAP and IBM Domino systems on an IBM Power Systems server running the IBM i operating system, Multivac was very satisfied with the performance, reliability and maintenance workload of the platform, and there was no pressing requirement to expand capacity, with no technical need for an upgrade. Instead, the project was driven by the desire to reduce costs, by optimizing the IT infrastructure and reducing the total cost of ownership and operation for its business-critical applications.
Multivac also wanted to rationalize its storage environment, and take advantage of virtualization technologies to cut costs and increase performance. To do so, the company looked to consolidate its storage to a single SAN solution that would allow the same storage devices to be used for the SAP and Lotus applications as well as general Microsoft Windows-based environments.
Additionally, both the server and storage migrations must be completed without interrupting production or introducing new business risks. On the basis of its successful history with the IBM Power Systems platform, the Multivac team chose to stay on the IBM i platform, confident that it would deliver the availability and performance the company needed for its centralized SAP and IBM Lotus applications.
Replacement of legacy applications by SAP software
In 2003, Multivac had decided to replace its traditional legacy applications and to move to an integrated ERP solution that would cover every aspect of its business process management in a single application.
Multivac chose to implement SAP Business Suite, which offers fully integrated, proven, worldwide industry standard solutions. SAP Business Suite provided the best match for Multivac’s business requirements. The implementation of a uniform ERP system supported by an IBM Cognos Business Intelligence solution for the entire Multivac Group would help support the company’s internationalization and growth, with harmonized global operations, customer-focused business processes, and consolidated, coordinated reporting at all decision levels.
Since the first implementation, Multivac has continuously extended its SAP landscape to take advantage of the latest applications, using the new features in the latest SAP application releases to optimize its business processes and increase operational efficiency.
Selecting the IT infrastructure for SAP software
When the company initially introduced SAP applications, Multivac analyzed alternative IT platforms such as Microsoft Windows based on the Intel x86 processor architecture, IBM i operating system on Power Systems servers (which Multivac used for its legacy, in-house solution), and IBM AIX on IBM Power Systems servers.
The major decision criteria were:
- Stability and resilience
- High availability
- Scalability and flexibility
- Low administration effort
- Usage of in-house skills
The results indicated that the technical benefits of IBM i on IBM Power Systems would clearly outweigh the higher initial cost:
- Power processor technology offers superior SAP application performance and greater capacity than other processor platforms, as has been proven in multiple SAP software benchmarks.
- The IBM i operating system provides a truly integrated IT platform, addressing customer needs for cost-optimized IT operation.
- IBM i enables highly automated system management with autonomic storage administration and flexible adaptability to workload changes via dynamic logical partitioning (LPAR), subsystems, and Capacity on Demand (CoD).
- Leading hardware virtualization functions in IBM i enable very high utilization of available IT equipment, and require less hardware to run a given workload.
The DB2 database is a truly integrated part of the IBM i operating system, providing self-managing features which eliminate most of the usual effort required for database management. Multivac had not needed to dedicate staff to DB2 administration tasks for the legacy application, and intended to capitalize on the substantial cost savings of being able to run the SAP applications without a full-time database administrator.
Seen over the entire length of the project, the total cost of operation on IBM i running on IBM Power Systems would be lower than for Microsoft Windows running on the x86 platform.
When the existing IBM Power Systems servers approached the end of their lifecycle, Multivac again assessed different hardware and operating system platforms. Multivac chose not to migrate its systems to a different architecture, because it was very satisfied with performance, reliability and cost-efficiency of the IBM Power Systems platform with IBM i, and competing platforms could not offer sufficient advantage, if any, to justify the business risk of migrating to a new environment.
Multivac decided to complete the initial roll-out in two phases. Within three months, SAP ERP financials and controlling applications were implemented, and were live in Germany and Austria. The roll-out of SAP ERP logistics applications, which involved many more users, ran in parallel, and took one year.
With positive feedback from users of the financial and controlling applications right from the very beginning, Multivac initiated a plan to extend implementation across all its major subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The roll-out called for the deployment of a worldwide, integrated SAP system, consisting of a single SAP application instance with multiple accounting units, rather than new systems for each part of the enterprise. Two templates for accounting units are in place: one for subsidiaries with manufacturing operations, and one for those without.
Similarly, Multivac rolled out standardized Lotus Domino Office Collaboration solutions, integrated and interfaced with the SAP applications.
Operating intercontinentally across several time zones and languages, Multivac has strict requirements for round-the-clock (24x7) availability, as well as for worldwide multi-language support. Multivac began its SAP software implementation and roll-out at the beginning of 2005, based on SAP ERP Version 4.6c. Following the successful launch of the logistic modules in Austria and Germany with about 400 users in late 2004, the roll-out was extended in 2005 to additional SAP ERP applications and users in some of the European subsidiaries.
Just five months later, Multivac Export AG in Switzerland completed a successful roll-out, and both The Netherlands and Belgium followed within 2005. The roll-out was extended in 2006 to additional SAP ERP applications, and users in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, the UK, and the Americas.
Early on in the project, Multivac decided to introduce SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse. Unicode was a must from the very beginning, to support multiple languages. Because the whole company would come to depend on SAP applications, and a highly available disaster recovery (DR) infrastructure was put in place for the core SAP ERP systems.
Today, 24 of Multivac’s worldwide SAP application roll-outs have been completed, supporting more than 1,000 users. These roll-outs were managed and supported by eight members of the company’s IT division. The initial program was successfully implemented and executed according to plan, and business expectations were fully met.
Ongoing roll-outs will be continued for the remaining locations. The Multivac IT department, led by CIO Wilfried Grewe, handles all of the roll-outs internally, which allows the company to build up significant in-house skills for running its support operations. The solution includes identity management, collaboration applications based on IBM Lotus Notes, business process and lean management support, as well as middleware.
Business solution landscape, software and hardware
Multivac’s strategic business solutions comprise a landscape of SAP and Lotus Domino applications.
The SAP environment on IBM Power servers comprises:
- SAP ERP version 6.0, Unicode
- Applications: financials (FI), controlling (CO), materials management (MM), production planning ( PP), sales and distribution (SD), customer service (CS), project system (PS) and quality management (QM)
- SAP Human Capital Management (HCM)
- SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse version 7.0 (one production system, one development system)
The SAP solutions running on Intel processor-based servers comprise:
- SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.0
- SAP Process Integration (PI)
- SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO)
- SAP Solution Manager
In total there are more than 1,000 named and more than 750 concurrent SAP users. One production, development and multiple test/QA systems are implemented for each SAP solution.
The IBM Lotus collaboration solution at Multivac includes:
- IBM Lotus® Domino™ Domino release 8.5.2
- IBM Lotus Sametime, Lotus SAP connector
- IBM Lotus® Domino™ cluster solution
Multivac’s SAP project history
Phase 1, 2004, POWER4
- Go-live with SAP ERP 4.6c, financials and controlling applications for ten users
- IBM System i 825, single server with three CPUs, 20GB memory, 600GB internal disk space
- Upgrade to SAP ERP 4.7 with Unicode
- Introduced additional SAP applications: MM, PP, SD, CS, PS, QM
- Central installation with single SAP application instance
- Total of 400 users in a dozen European countries
- Introduction of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse
- Migration of Lotus Domino from a separate server to the central Power Systems server
- Upgrade the IBM i825 server to an IBM i570 8-way,
- Installation of an IBM i570 4-way backup server for high availability
- Total of 172GB memory, 2x 3TB disk space
- Implement SAP ERP Human Capital Management and several other projects (e.g. plant data collection)
- Overall number of SAP users: ~1,000, in 16 countries
- Hardware landscape unchanged: 2x IBM i570, 8-way and 4-way
- Increase number of SAP users to 1,200
- Upgrade IBM i570 servers to 2x 12 CPUs with POWER6 technology
- Perform SAP ERP 6.0 upgrade
- Include Lotus Domino into high availability scenario
- Continue the roll-out to further locations beyond 2008
- Consolidate storage environment with IBM System Storage DS5100 and IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC)
- Replace POWER6 servers with IBM Power 740 and IBM Power 720 servers with POWER7 processors
- Continue the roll-out to further locations
IT hardware infrastructure
Multivac operates its major SAP systems and its entire IBM Lotus Domino environment on IBM Power Systems servers running the IBM i operating system. Including a number of smaller Windows servers, the company’s local and global Infrastructure subdivision of five people manages and operates all servers worldwide.
Working with IBM Business Partner FRITZ & MACZIOL, Multivac migrated its systems to the latest POWER7 processor-based IBM Power servers. The most important SAP applications run on two IBM Power 740 servers, each with nine POWER7 processors and 256 GB main memory, and two IBM Power 720 servers, configured with 4 POWER7 processors and 64 GB main memory. These servers run the IBM i operating system with integrated DB2 for i database. The IBM Power 740 systems are configured with an IBM Hardware Management Console (HMC) and the IBM Capacity Backup (CBU) option.
Multivac uses IBM PowerVM technology to create multiple logical partitions (LPARs) or virtual servers on each server, fully described later in this document.
The four servers hosting the company’s SAP solutions are attached to a storage area network (SAN) comprised of two IBM System Storage DS5100 disk systems, providing fast, reliable and redundant access to the company’s mission-critical application data.
To connect its other servers seamlessly to the new storage systems, Multivac implemented IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC), which virtualizes the storage capacity. Various dedicated and virtualized Windows servers running on hardware powered by Intel processors connect to the SVC solution, and benefit from the advanced storage virtualization features.
IBM SAN Volume Controller consolidates existing storage volumes into a single virtual pool that can be allocated without the need to make configuration changes at the device level. SVC improves storage scalability by allowing new devices to be joined to the pool without service interruption. SVC includes features such as mirroring and data snapshots, to increase data security and enhance backup, archive and restore capabilities.
The Power 720 system located at the primary data center hosts Multivac’s SAP HCM and SAP NetWeaver BW solutions. All of the company’s development and testing systems are hosted on the IBM Power 720 server located at the secondary data center. For greater flexibility and increased reliability, the IBM i team at Multivac also connected the secondary IBM Power 720 system to the IBM SAN Volume controller. This step improved the systems’ availability and also streamlined the disaster recovery process for these SAP applications.
For data backup, Multivac uses the Backup Recovery and Media Services (BRMS) that are an integrated feature of the IBM i operating system. Backups are created while the systems are online and then written to tape, using an IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library with fast LTO5 tape drives for best data protection and backup speed.
Power Systems and IBM i architecture
Multivac makes full use of native IBM Power Systems and IBM i functions for hardware virtualization and high availability, namely:
- Virtualization with IBM PowerVM to operate dynamic LPARs for flexible workload balancing.
- Independent Auxiliary Storage Pools (IASP) for redundant data storage.
- Cross-Site Mirroring (XSM) for real-time remote data mirroring between the Independent Auxiliary Storage Pools.
These features provide a number of valuable benefits:
- Dynamic Logical Partitioning: Logical partitioning (LPAR) technology with IBM PowerVM enables a single IBM Power Systems server to act as multiple virtual servers, handling the work of multiple separate physical servers.
- LPARs offer Power Systems customers both the power and flexibility to define and operate multiple separate workload environments on a single Power Systems server. It even allows multiple independent operating system environments (IBM i, AIX and Linux) to run simultaneously, allowing multiple SAP applications and other solutions to run in parallel on a single Power Systems server.
- Dynamic LPARs also enable Power Systems machines to act as a consolidation server, to unify different business applications, a mix of production and test environments, and integrated clusters. Based on its excellent sharing of available hardware resources, it also achieves extremely high utilization levels.
IBM’s LPAR technology is ideal for SAP customers who want to run different kinds of applications or workloads (SAP and non-SAP) on a single Power Systems server. Dynamic LPARs offer the ability to adapt flexibly to changing workload situations “on the fly” during operation. CPU and memory resources can be dynamically allocated and re-allocated in a self-adaptive way between partitions without interruption.
To help reduce operating costs, Multivac uses dynamic LPARs for all its core applications (SAP Business Suite and IBM Lotus Notes) on four physical servers – three for production and one for development and testing systems. Each Power 740 servers runs four LPARs. In two LPARs, Multivac runs IBM Virtual I/O Servers, to ensure redundancy for the virtualization layers; one LPAR hosts the company’s mission-critical SAP ERP and SAP CRM applications. The final LPAR is configured to run Multivac’s comprehensive IBM Notes and Domino environment.
The deployment takes the ‘shared LPAR’ approach, where a number of LPARs share a given hardware environment of CPU and memory. Instead of a fixed assignment of CPU and memory resources, each shared LPAR is assigned a floating min/max entitlement and a priority rating. As long as sufficient hardware resources are available, all LPARs receive their maximum entitlement. In case of a shortage of resources, CPU and memory are automatically re-assigned, increased or reduced according to set priorities and minimum entitlements.
Multivac’s disaster recovery strategy is also based on LPAR technology. To ensure quick switchover from the production server (System A) to the disaster-recovery server (System B), idling SAP ERP and SAP CRM applications run on the second server in permanent stand-by mode, using only one CPU resource. In case the production server becomes unavailable, the SAP ERP and SAP CRM backup systems take over.
Multivac has further optimized system operations and monitoring by taking advantage of the system automation and scripting capabilities of IBM i. The IT team created a central status management interface that supports the IT team in system monitoring and maintenance. Instead of four hours checking the all the systems’ status reports, the company can complete the task in just half an hour, boosting efficiency and enabling Multivac to operate this extensive system landscape with five staff.
LPAR concept for the POWER7 server landscape
The business-critical SAP and Lotus Domino applications are distributed across the two Power 740 servers, to enable mutual backup. The SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) and SAP ERP Human Capital Management (HCM) systems run on the IBM Power 720 server at the primary data center. To improve business continuity, a high-availability solution based on the IBM SAN Volume Controller will be established in the near future.
Multivac decided to run its SAP ERP and SAP CRM applications in a single LPAR using a shared pool of resources. This configuration improves performance and allows the company to exploit processing and memory capacities most efficiently.
High availability and disaster recovery
The high availability solution has been extended over time to include all the critical components of the company’s IT landscape. Role-swap switchover of the production and backup servers are performed monthly, for scheduled maintenance, as well as for recovery practice and emergency drills.
Complex environments require the highest possible protection against outages and failures. Multivac has long appreciated the legendary native reliability of the IBM i platform. IBM Power Systems hardware, IBM i operating system and the built-in DB2 database form a single piece of integrated IT infrastructure, optimized to run largely as a self-managing system, based on very high levels of native reliability. The IBM i platform also offers advanced high-availability solutions, offering near-100 percent system uptime.
Multivac chose to implement a high-availability solution based on the IASP and XSM functionalities built into IBM i. The IBM PowerHA component High Availability Solutions Manager (HASM) allows the company to configure, monitor and manage its high availability clustering solution with an easy-use graphical user interface.
The high availability features provide duplicate protection against server outages via redundant server and storage hardware. Duplicated storage volumes on IBM DS5100 storage systems connected to two separate IBM Power Systems servers in two locations are kept in permanent synchronization via the XSM function, performing permanent remote mirroring.
Cross-Site Mirroring (XSM) allows mirroring of data on disks at sites separated by a significant geographic distance. This technology can be used to extend the functionality of a device cluster resource group (CRG) beyond the limits of direct physical component connection.
Geographic mirroring provides the ability to replicate changes made to the production copy of an independent storage volume to a mirror copy of that independent storage volume. As data is written to the production copy of an independent storage volume, the operating system mirrors that data to a second system. This process keeps multiple identical copies of the data. Through the device CRG, should a failover or switchover occur, the backup node can seamlessly take on the role of the primary node. The server or servers that act as backups are defined in the recovery domain.
To further increase overall system availability to nearly 100 percent, the storage volumes can be switched from a failing storage system to a system server, so that productive operation can be resumed from the point of failure. The backup nodes can be at the same or a different physical location as the primary.
IASPs and switched disk storage subsystems provide the ability to access data from a second system. When the primary (production) system currently using an IASP experiences an outage, a secondary (backup) server can take over, improving availability in the face of planned and unplanned outages. Operations can continue even when a storage system fails without data loss after minimal downtime. Data availability is improved with IASPs and switched clustering.
If a cluster node suffers an outage, users can be switched to an alternate node in the cluster on another Power Systems server. Integrated file system (IFS) data and operating system library objects residing in an IASP can be switched to another IBM i LPAR without requiring an initial program load (IPL). This enables one Power System LPAR to take over data from a volume originally assigned to another Power Systems LPAR.
In the event of failure, the entire workload will need to be processed by just one remaining server. To make this possible by providing enough resources for flexible and economic business continuity operations, Multivac leases its IBM Power 740 servers with the IBM Power Systems Capacity BackUp (CBU) option. This offering is specifically designed to support disaster recovery and high-availability needs in environment where more than one Power Systems server is deployed.
Seamless migration to POWER7 and SAN and tape technology
To prepare the server upgrade, Multivac upgraded from internal disk systems supported by an IBM Enterprise Storage Server 6000 to a modern SAN solution with IBM System Storage DS5100 disk systems and IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC).
At the end of the leases, Multivac was obliged to return its servers and storage devices on a specified date. This introduced significant logistics challenges, as Jürgen Dauner, IT Team Leader SAP Basis and System Integration at Multivac reports: “A big part of the upgrade to the POWER7 technology was about logistics. We needed to store our old systems temporarily. Because we are talking about six tonnes of server, storage and backup hardware, this was quite a challenge.”
To replace its old POWER6 servers, Multivac decided to set up a new IBM Power 740 system in parallel, integrate it into the cluster solution and then transfer the workloads to the new POWER7 system. “We migrated our main SAP systems to the new POWER7 servers without interruption of the production applications,” says Jürgen Dauner. “And half an hour later, all systems were back in normal operation on the new hardware.”
Besides its storage and server infrastructure, the company also replaced its backup system. Multivac deployed an IBM System Storage TS5300 Tape Library and upgraded from LTO4 tape drives to faster LTO5 tape drives, connected to the servers via 8 Gbps connections.
Prior to the tape upgrade, Multivac required two or three tapes for a full backup, producing a significant manual workload to ensure tape sets were correctly managed. Not only has the new tape solution improved backup performance by approximately 50 percent, but only one tape is needed for each backup set.
Reducing operating costs
In 2011, Multivac upgraded its Power Systems environment to benefit from the latest technology and reduce operating costs of its SAP applications. Unlike many upgrade projects, Multivac decided to implement exactly the same processing capacity, and use POWER7 processor-based 740 and 720 servers, Multivac to implement new licensing models that would cut its costs.
For its Power 740 servers, the company selected CPU-based licensing, while for the IBM Power 720 machines, Multivac opted for user-based licensing.
The new IT landscape offers multiple benefits:
- Reduced operating costs with optimized server configuration and integrated IBM solution.
- Increased flexibility with storage consolidation and storage virtualization.
- Reduced power consumption by replacing old hardware with modern and energy-efficient systems, resulting in additional cost savings for the data center operations.
- Optimized protection against system outages.
- Higher level of application availability.
- Worry-free management of the entire IT infrastructure.
Global office collaboration with Lotus Notes and Domino
Multivac’s solution of choice for its company-wide office collaboration is IBM Lotus Domino. A single IBM Lotus network domain connects all Multivac’s office users and provides support for company-wide email, time and calendar management and business travel.
Multiple project-based IBM Lotus Notes applications have been developed in-house. One central IBM Power Systems server handles the worldwide email traffic. All IBM Domino servers on both IBM Power Systems with IBM i and on Windows servers powered by Intel processors with local data storage provide on-site office support in Multivac’s locations.
The Lotus Domino infrastructure includes:
- Lotus Notes Domino Release 8.5.2, running in an LPAR environment on IBM i
- A Lotus Sametime Server 8.0.1,and a Blackberry Server with BES 5.0.1., both implemented in Microsoft Windows environments.
The worldwide Lotus Notes domain supports all Notes users, including more than 700 Lotus Sametime instant messaging users and mobile email users, and numerous customer-written Lotus Notes applications.
The Lotus Notes applications include a wide range of employee self-service applications, such as:
- Travel management, travel planning and approval, expense claims, and more
- Time, calendar and meeting management
- Company-wide telephone and email directory
- Secure instant messaging via Lotus Sametime
IBM Lotus Domino for IBM i
IBM i offers an excellent platform for IBM Lotus Domino, which runs natively in the IBM i operating system. The IBM i platform delivers the reliability, manageability, and low cost of ownership required in an enterprise environment. Wherever email and electronic collaboration require the same availability and security requirements as line of business applications, IBM i is the right choice.
The Lotus Notes Domino product suite offers office productivity tools such as:
- Word processing, spreadsheet and presentation capabilities
- Email and calendar, collaboration, conversation, instant messaging, contact lists
- A streamlined, customizable interface to access day-at-a-glance views, instant messaging and contact lists
- Support for Web services and composite applications
- Support for Web 2.0 technologies, such as mashups, blogs, RSS feeds and executive dashboards
- Eclipse technology-based platform, tools and plug-ins for an integrated development environment
High availability functions are offered by the IBM Lotus Domino cluster solution, which is implemented on a group of two or more servers. The Domino server cluster maintains replicas of databases and provides the Domino users with constant data access. It also balances and optimizes workload and performance between servers.
There are also individual project-based applications, such as:
- Worldwide mobile communication with Blackberry clients for two-way email traffic, date and time management, and access to the employee directory.
- Remote IT monitoring and management via forwarding of critical messages from SAP applications and the IBM i environment via SAP Connect and IBM Domino Mail to mobile Blackberry clients, informing IT staff of system status and out-of-line situations.
- Internal wiki system based on IBM Domino technology supports the IT team to document routines and develop standard procedures.
Central email management is performed via a central domain mail hub and SMTP servers. The system also supports a data interface between the SAP applications and Lotus Notes, using both a Java interface and IBM Lotus Domino Web Access.
To ensure high availability for their business-critical Lotus Domino environment, Multivac decided to use the IBM Lotus Domino cluster solution, implemented on Power Systems hardware in two different LPARs for maximum availability and work load balancing.
Multivac’s initial objectives for the implementation of IBM Power Systems with IBM i as an SAP application platform were completely met.
Over many years now, the IBM Power Systems servers running IBM i have ‘kept their promises,’ and delivered excellent performance, reliability and cost savings that have fully justified the decision for the platform:
- Smooth transition from legacy applications to SAP software
- Excellent performance and capacity for SAP and Lotus Domino applications
- Consolidation and integration of SAP applications and Lotus office collaboration application (email, mobile devices and others)
- Scalable growth path
- Highly reliable server infrastructure, with cross-wise mutual backup for disaster recovery for the most important systems
- Total availability near 100 per cent (less than two hours downtime per year)
- Extreme CPU utilization of almost 100 per cent through efficient hardware virtualization
- Worry-free system management through autonomic computing features in IBM i and self-managing DB2 for i
- IBM i “ease of use” characteristics allow long-term savings in total costs of operation (TCO)
- Substantial cost reductions by 40 percent with upgrading to latest POWER7 hardware and storage technology
- Improved performance and capacity utilization by running SAP ERP and SAP CRM systems with IBM i in one LPAR with a shared resource pool
- Substantial savings in energy consumption and waste heat allowed the company to turn off one cooling device
Multivac plans to expand its centralized SAP applications to three more locations. With the new and scalable server and storage infrastructure, the company can add capacity as it adds users to provide its systems cost-efficiently with the best performance and reliability. To further exploit the more features of the new POWER7 technology, the IT team at Multivac also plans to upgrade its IBM i operating system including the integrated DB2 for i database system.
The reduced operating costs for running SAP applications on the IBM i operating system platform has lead the IT team to consider migrating SAP NetWeaver systems from its Windows environment to the POWER-processor based servers.
Consolidating multiple smaller SAP application landscapes to the IBM Power server platform would help Multivac reduce costs by eliminating physical servers and associated software maintenance and license fees. The highly reliable and easy to manage IBM i platform offers an attractive foundation for centralizing SAP landscapes, as it offers enormous scalability and combined with low operational costs
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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