Tomago Aluminium, Australia’s largest aluminum smelter, requires a stable, reliable infrastructure and high visibility into IT performance to support 24x7 availability for its production systems. To maintain availability at scale while improving development efficiency, the company migrated its SAP HANA® environment to Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions, supported by Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, and IBM hardware. With improved control and insight, Tomago Aluminium has improved development efficiency, consolidated its server footprint, and enhanced system and data security.
- Maintained 24x7 availability and optimized processes at scale
- Improved development efficiency with automation
- Reduced infrastructure costs with consolidated server footprint
- Enhanced security with faster issue resolution and greater control
Supporting innovation at the speed of business
Operating continuously since 1983, Tomago Aluminium is Australia’s largest aluminum smelter. It contributes more than AUD$1.5 billion annually to the country’s economy and exporting 90% of its products to global markets.
To maintain 24x7 operations, Tomago Aluminium’s IT systems must be reliable and highly available. Its IT team works to refine processes and improve data access to help the company respond faster to issues affecting production. Tomago Aluminium uses SAP HANA to support its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business warehouse systems, including a variety of processes from project management and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking to health and safety and human resources.
“For instance, we have a large warehouse of spare parts that are critical for our plant. If something breaks or wears out, we need to find parts and get the system running again quickly,” said Dennis.
Previously, the company ran its SAP HANA workloads in a managed public cloud environment, but this solution lacked visibility into performance or effective notification when systems approached capacity. Additionally, the vendor’s service contract limited development to business hours, hindering innovation and rapid response to changing business needs. When the service contract was due for renewal, Tomago Aluminium decided to find a new partner for its hybrid cloud infrastructure to improve agility and complexity while maintaining availability.
“Our partner was very risk-averse, which limited progress and made it hard to innovate,” said Dennis Moncrieff, IT Superintendent, Tomago Aluminium. “Without visibility of how things were running, we couldn’t even identify opportunities for improvement. We finally realized how restricted we were.”
Standardizing SAP operations with a hybrid cloud solution from Red Hat and IBM
Based at a single site with no expansion plans, Tomago Aluminium decided to migrate its SAP HANA architecture from public cloud to a private, on-premise solution based on Red Hat software running on IBM server and storage hardware.
The company consolidated multiple operating systems onto Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions, a single, consistent foundation for SAP workloads that includes:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability Add-On for increased uptime.
- Red Hat Smart Management for life-cycle management.
- Red Hat Insights for proactive issue identification and remediation.
- Update Services for SAP Solutions.
- In-place upgrades and live patching for critical and important security issues.
Additionally, Tomago Aluminium adopted Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to automate provisioning and operational processes, such as virtual machine (VM) creation for testing.
“We had a mix of Red Hat and SUSE Linux environments, but we lacked in-house SUSE expertise and Red Hat offers stronger support,” said Dennis. “Building on Red Hat’s technology would help us grow our existing in-house skills to fix issues and better support innovation.”
Red Hat partners Advent One and SAPWORKS supported the deployment. Advent One inspected for certification issues, then implemented the new hardware and software solutions in just six days. SAPWORKS completed a parallel migration of Tomago’s SAP environment and related testing.
“The partnership is seamless, and the solutions fit together perfectly. We’re confident that we have a resilient, stable system and would recommend it to anyone,” said Dennis. “Our collaboration with Advent One helped us get our IT environment how we want it.”
Optimizing processes and security with integrated, efficient infrastructure
Maintained critical production availability at greater scale
By standardizing its SAP HANA environment on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions, running on IBM Power servers, Tomago Aluminium can keep its critical business and production processes running 24x7—even at larger scale.
Red Hat Insights provides greater transparency into performance and efficiency through a single, user-friendly dashboard, helping the company improve operational efficiency while maintaining availability.
“Previously, we could only view monthly reports, but with Red Hat Insights we have real-time visibility that helps us make smarter decisions about processes,” said Dennis. “For example, for five years we ran a certain transaction only once a week, because it was so slow. Now, we have the information we need to look for ways to make that process faster.”
Improved development efficiency with automation
By integrating Ansible Automation Platform with IBM PowerVM server virtualization, Tomago can use standardized playbooks to speed provisioning and other manual, repeatable processes.
“Automating processes such as SAP HANA deployments using Ansible Automation Platform helps us automate VM provisioning for testing environments and accelerates development of new, innovative features,” said Dennis.
Reduced infrastructure costs
Compared to its previous managed cloud solution, running Red Hat software on IBM POWER hardware has helped Tomago Aluminium improve server density. As a result, the company has consolidated its server footprint from 32 CPUs to just 8, reducing related operational and power costs.
“Our goal is to improve effectiveness and efficiency while keeping infrastructure costs down. With Red Hat, we get a better return on our investment,” said Dennis.