Lonza Group solves information and regulatory challenges with SAP and IBM

Published on 13-Jan-2014

"IBM DB2 offers a range of automation capabilities and very close integration with SAP software, especially the SAP NetWeaver DBA Cockpit, and the migration reduced license costs and simplified database administration substantially." - Fredy Zenklusen, SAP Basis Manager, Lonza Group

Lonza Group

Healthcare, Life Sciences

Deployment country:

DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows family, Customer Relationship Management, Data Warehouse, Enterprise Resource Planning, Information Management Foundation

IBM Business Partner:


Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Lonza Group is a leading supplier to the pharmaceuticals, healthcare and life science industries. Lonza operates 45 major sites around the world, employs 11,800 people, and in 2012 achieved sales of CHF 3.925 billion.

Business need:
Global life sciences company Lonza constantly seeks to increase its business efficiency, looking for ways to reduce costs while increasing service capacity. Lonza must also comply with regulatory obligations, reporting both externally and internally.

Lonza highlighted database costs for its SAP® applications as a critical issue, and chose to migrate from Oracle software to IBM® DB2® for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, assisted by IBM Global Technology Services®.

Gained application performance improvements of 10 percent, reduced software license costs by more than 65 percent; cut disk space requirements by 50 percent, lessened database administration workload.

Case Study

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Lonza Group is a leading supplier to the pharmaceuticals, healthcare and life science industries. Lonza operates 45 major sites around the world, employs 11,800 people, and in 2012 achieved sales of CHF 3.925 billion.

The company relies on integrated SAP® ERP applications to help manage its core business processes, including financials, accounting and materials management, with SAP ERP Human Capital Management, SAP Customer Relationship Management, SAP Supplier Relationship Management, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration, SAP Global Trade Services and SAP NetWeaver Portal.

Lonza relies on the SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management application to ensure compliance with regulations for product safety, hazardous substances, dangerous goods and waste management, with SAP NetWeaver® Business Warehouse to analyze performance and related key business data.

Stefan Eggel, Head of IT Project Management EMEA at Lonza Group, explains, “As the company has grown, the business depends more than ever on SAP applications and the underlying database and IT infrastructure.

“With plants and offices around the world, we cannot afford any downtime without compromising product security and customer service. It is crucial for our business to enable quick access to business information, so managers can base decisions on actual data and staff can work efficiently without interruptions.”

Reducing business costs
As total data volumes grew, the costs of storing and analyzing information in Lonza’s Oracle databases increased, and it was clear that a new long-term strategy was required.

Lonza analyzed the potential cost savings that a change to IBM DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows would deliver. Advanced data compression technologies promised to reduce the total data storage capacity required, and, combined with in-memory data compression and other efficiencies, IBM DB2 would cost less to own, administer and operate.

As a result, Lonza worked with IBM Global Technology Services to migrate all databases for its SAP ERP applications to IBM DB2 running on Microsoft Windows servers.

Fredy Zenklusen, SAP Basis Manager at Lonza, explains, “The main reason for selecting IBM DB2 for our SAP applications was the lower operational costs compared to other databases.

“IBM DB2 offers a range of automation capabilities and very close integration with SAP software, especially the SAP NetWeaver DBA Cockpit, and the migration reduced license costs and simplified database administration substantially.”

Exploiting data compression for business advantage
Leveraging the data compression and storage optimization features of IBM DB2 version 9.7, Lonza saved 50 percent in storage space for its production SAP ERP database.

By activating row and index compression, the company reduced the database size of its large SAP ERP database from more than 2 TB to 1 TB.

Fredy Zenklusen says, “Saving up to 50 percent on storage space for our production SAP ERP database with IBM DB2 saves on disk capacity for development and quality management databases, too, multiplying the saving for each database by three. In addition, all our databases are backed up regularly using the embedded snapshot technology.”

Tighter integration with the SAP NetWeaver DBA Cockpit simplifies database management and enables optimized administration processes.

A wide range of database analysis tasks are available from within the Cockpit, reducing the workload for specialist database administration and increasing total productivity.

The integrated features within DB2 enable administrators to shift away routine tasks and focus on forward-looking business activities. Automation features include automatic maintenance functionality that consistently tunes the database for performance; DB2 self-tuning memory manager that dynamically optimizes memory usage; and the DB2 advanced health monitoring features.

Lonza allocates just four administrators to manage 100 servers, including 50 SAP application servers.

Lonza installed new Intel-based HP servers running VMware ESX 5.0 software to provide virtual servers for the DB2 instances, supporting 2,000 concurrent users.

Based on upgraded infrastructure, sophisticated compression algorithms and optimized query execution, Lonza reduced SAP ERP response times by 10 percent.

Part of this acceleration is due to the drop in average database processing time, which previously occupied some 40 percent of the SAP transaction time and has now been cut to 35 percent, a 12.5 percent improvement.

Migration on time and within budget
Lonza and IBM worked closely together to plan and execute this comprehensive database migration project.

A total of 36 SAP instances were migrated to the new environment, with less than one day downtime per system, completed within the scheduled maintenance window.

Functional testing was completed on Sundays to avoid issues when production operation resumed on Monday morning. Stefan Eggel concludes, “Database migration for our entire SAP application landscape was a complex project. Efficient management and professional support from IBM throughout the process made this migration a great success.

“We completed the changeover to IBM DB2 on time and under budget. The result is considerably reduced storage requirements by around 50 percent on average, database licensing costs cut by more than 50 percent, and routine workload reduced for valuable IT staff.

The close integration of SAP NetWeaver DBA Cockpit and DB2 contributes to a very cost-effective solution for Lonza, greatly simplifying system management and increasing IT productivity.

“The SAP solutions and the related IBM DB2 databases run reliably and deliver excellent system response, perfect for helping Lonza to manage its quality, compliance and customer service objectives.”

Products and services used

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

DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows for SAP Applications

GTS Integrated Technology Services, IBM-SAP Alliance

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