Alinean Analysis: Lowering TCO by Migrating to SUSE Linux*
Historically, SAP has provided mission critical, bet-your-business, enterprise software. During the 1980s ,SAP R2 relied on the performance and reliability of powerful mainframe systems for its integrated ERP solution. In the 1990s ,RISC/UNIX-based server hardware vendors demonstrated that they could deliver sufficient levels of scalability and availability to support mission critical workloads, and SAP introduced R3 to leverage the greater economies and flexibility that these open systems offered. Now, servers with Intel x86-based processors running highly reliable Linux software are again reshaping the infrastructure choices for the most demanding enterprise applications. Over the past few years, the performance of multi-core Intel Xeon processors has caught up with and even surpassed most RISC-based processors. During this same period, Linux has matured from a special purpose operating system to a reliable standard for mission critical applications in the data center.
This paper examines the economic business case an international manufacturing company recently put together to select the most appropriate server hardware and software infrastructure for its SAP Applications suite. At the time of the analysis, the organization was supporting approximately 20,000 SAP users on a cluster of 10 Sun Enterprise SPARC servers. The organization had recently acquired two smaller competitors that would enable it to expand manufacturing and distribution operations into Latin America and Asia, and it needed to expand its SAP system to accommodate these new subsidiaries. Additionally, the organization had been planning on implementing the SAP Unicode support for international operations, which would also require increased processing capacity. Overall, the organization was looking to double the processing capacity of its original servers.
For its upgrade, the organization considered two alternative approaches. It looked at replacing its current Sun Solaris/SPARC servers with the latest generation of Sun/Oracle SPARC servers, and it investigated migrating its SAP Applications suite to IBM System x eX5 servers with Intel® Xeon® 7500 series processors running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell. This paper presents the highlights of the comparison of these two options and discusses the benefits the organization hoped to achieve through the upgrade.
Read the full Alinean Case Study.