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EnBW migrates to PRIMERGY systems

"PRIMERGY RX600 servers are high-performance systems that do their job very well. Thanks to the excellent support by the Fujitsu experts, our migration from a Solaris environment to x86 servers, running on SUSE Linux couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Fujitsu also impressed us with their SAP expertise"

Norbert Poesch, Head of IT Infrastructure Management, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG

The customer

EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, is one of the largest energy companies in Germany and Europe. EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG generates, trades in, transports and sells energy, and operates in the fields of electricity and gas as well as energy and environmental services. In addition to the use of conventional energies, the increase in energy efficiency and expansion of renewable energies play an important role. EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG’s home market is Baden-Württemberg and Germany. The company is headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The challenge

EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG had originally been running its 350 SAP instances on Solaris platforms. Prompted by a reinvestment project, however, the Group had to decide whether it wanted to continue to use SPARC servers or to migrate to x86 systems. The decision was finally taken to opt for the highly virtualized Intel standard servers. The energy company’s IT department soon realized that to implement a migration project of this magnitude as quickly and efficiently as possible, it needed an expert solution partner on board.

The solution

An expert team, comprising employees from EnBW, Fujitsu and NetApp, was responsible for planning and sizing the complex landscape, which included six PRIMERGY RX600 S6 quad socket servers, ten PRIMERGY RX300 S7 dual socket servers. The storage infrastructure was built up with three NetApp filers. The team was also responsible for the installation, migration and commissioning of the systems, including the SAP systems, and for implementing the new SUSE Linux server operating system.

Products and Services

  • Servers: 6 x Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX600 S6, 10 x Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX300 S7
  • Storage systems: 1 x NetApp FAS6240MC, 2 x NetApp FAS3270
  • Virtualization: VMware vSphere 5
  • Operating system: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)
  • Services: Fujitsu Integration Services

The benefit

  • Significant reduction in IT costs through the use of industry standards, such as the x86 servers
  • Swifter, more flexible provision of resources
  • More efficient data center management as a result of a more homogeneous IT infrastructure
  • High scalability
  • Significantly lower energy costs

As an energy utility company, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG also uses its IT systems to monitor its power plants. These operation management systems rely on fail-safe servers and storage systems. The consequences of downtime or even a fault in operations would be disastrous. It is little surprise then, that the IT department at EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG took the utmost care in selecting their new IT systems and the partner who would be responsible for implementing the migration project.

As the prime contractor for this SAP Utilities (IS-U) project, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG commissioned Fujitsu. Fujitsu was responsible for supplying the PRIMERGY servers and NetApp filers as well as all attendant services. “There are major benefits to working with a strong partner who is able to take responsibility for both the services and implementation of the solution,” explains Norbert Poesch, Head of IT Infrastructure Management at EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG.

A particular challenge lay in migrating one of the largest SAP IS-U systems from the SPARC systems over to the new Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX600 S6 server systems within the required time frame whilst ensuring that all the required processes for day-to-day operation were designed redundantly. “We started by migrating only the smaller SAP systems over to SUSE Linux in order to gain initial experience,” Poesch explains. “We left the more complex systems until the end. Thanks to Fujitsu’s support, it all worked perfectly. We are very proud of this because we were breaking new ground, so therefore had no experiences of other companies to draw on as a reference.”

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a business critical operating system which performs equally well for high-end SAP applications, as Norbert Poesch affirms: “We were very meticulous in our research into all the different system environments. We were therefore confident that SUSE Linux offered everything we were looking for. It was still a very positive surprise though to see how smoothly it all went.”

Since implementing the new environment, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG has achieved a drastic reduction in data center costs. This is partly down to the fact that there are now significantly fewer physical servers at the company’s Karlsruhe data centers, meaning that less cooling is required. In addition, the homogeneous server landscape is much easier to manage and, thanks to virtualization from VMware vSphere 5, offers greater flexibility in the provision of resources. “The system environment has become much more flexible. This has of course helped to cut management costs, especially in respect of SAP system operation. Troubleshooting is also much easier now,” says Poesch.

Conclusion

Fujitsu succeeded in completing its part of the EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG migration project, including the implementation of all hardware components, in just 40 man-days. To achieve this, the Fujitsu experts worked closely with EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG‘s IT team and the NetApp consultants. For Norbert Poesch, the joint effort was an out and out success:

“We were impressed by the whole package; the performance of the hardware, the services and also the individual service of the on-site consultants. Fujitsu’s knowledge and expertise in standardization and automation made a significant contribution to this migration project. We simply wouldn’t have managed the project without it. The Fujitsu experts were on hand at our premises throughout every stage of the project to provide precisely the level of support required.”