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Success story

Bayer Business Services lowers cost, achieves performance

Bayer Business Services, the Bayer Group's global competence center for IT and business services, was looking for a way to reduce costs while maintaining the quality of its mission critical SAP infrastructure. Bayer chose to migrate from AIX, a proprietary UNIX operating system, to Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® and substituted IBM servers running on proprietary software with standards-based x86-servers. With this dual solution approach, Bayer Business Services improved performance at a much lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

Customer Since

2006

Leverkusen, Germany

Technology Industry

Objective

Update aging IT infrastructure, cut costs, and give innovative IT solutions to Bayer Group subsidiaries worldwide.

Hardware

  • 50 HP rack servers of various levels of performance

The solution as a whole is what we're looking at, but the operating system is a very important factor in its overall success. Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers the stability, flexibility, and performance necessary to power the next generation of computing applications.

Sven Meissner, Linux operation manager at Bayer Business Services in Leverkusen, Germany

Growing need for IT efficiency

Paying a premium for proprietary hardware and software licenses once seemed necessary to achieve a superior level of performance. Years have passed now since IT departments enjoyed unquestioned access to extensive resources. Today IT departments and IT service providers look closely at their bottom line and comb their data centers for potential ways to save money.

Infrastructure was aging

Bayer Business Services, the Bayer Group's global competence center for IT and business services, has undergone a similar journey. The center began enacting efficiencies and saved money through consolidation and virtualization a few years ago. Bayer's IT center wanted next to realign existing infrastructure, which had been in use for a decade. Critical SAP applications were running on proprietary servers with the UNIX operating system, AIX, reaching the end of its life cycle.

Bayer IT moves from legacy systems to the future

Not only did Bayer Business Services need to reduce costs, it also wanted to continue delivering innovative solutions to Bayer's subsidiaries. So, after more than a decade using SAP applications on a proprietary operating system (AIX on IBM servers), Bayer decided to implement a future-proof solution. That meant choosing x86-servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Manager looks to maintain quality

"There are two central requirements of the migration project," said Sven Meissner, Linux operation manager at Bayer Business Services in Leverkusen. "The first is maintaining the quality of the infrastructure and solutions, and-whenever possible-increasing reliability, availability and performance. The second is cost reduction. These goals are achieved by replacing IBM AIX UNIX servers with x86-servers and by migrating all SAP systems from AIX to Red Hat Enterprise Linux."

Chance to move from proprietary technology

"When the UNIX system from IBM reached the end of its life cycle, the opportunity presented itself to turn away from proprietary technologies altogether," explains Meissner. "The main consideration here is cost reduction, which affects two major categories of activity: procurement costs and recurring maintenance expenditures. X86 servers running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux offered significant cost savings."

Bayer gets reliable partner in Red Hat

Bayer Business Services had been using open source solutions on about 300 servers to support e-business applications. That enabled the IT center to draw on in-house experience when it opted for Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the server operating system. "The operating system proved to be incredibly stable and reliable for years on end, and Red Hat has always been a very reliable, professional, and cooperative partner," said Meissner.

Bayer gets power for next generation

The migration began in October 2009, and the team migrated less critical systems first. Once this initial phase was completed, the series of SAP systems requiring six-core or ten-core processors was introduced to achieve the same SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS) performance as the previous AIX servers.

The performance was measured with SAPS. That's an indicator derived from the SD Benchmark (sales and distribution), which executes a series of processing steps in the SD module of the SAP system. A value of 100 SAPS is defined as 2,000 fully processed order line items per hour in a given configuration.

Computing power is maintained

One of the higher performing systems is an HP-DL580-G7 server. This rack system is equipped with four CPUs (each with ten processor cores), 1 TB RAM, and is running on VMware vSphere 5 as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With all this power, the system can achieve about 42,000 SAPS. This indicator is of central importance in calculating the available functions, as the business units of the Bayer Group continue to purchase SAPS as the unit of measurement for the required computing power.

Stability and flexibility delivered

"The solution as a whole is what we're looking at, but the operating system is a very important factor in its overall success. Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers the stability, flexibility, and performance necessary to power the next generation of computing applications," said Meissner.

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