Informing the IBM Community

German giant upgrades global SAP-on-i operations to Flex


IBM Flex System

Packaging equipment manufacturer Multivac has switched its SAP operations from traditional Power i servers to an IBM Flex System.

The large German firm’s new setup consists of four modular p460 nodes, two with Power 7 processors and two with Power7+. The company has also consolidated assorted Windows apps to three Intel-based x240 nodes within its Flex unit.

Multivac‘s new hardware migration is the latest step in a decade-long global SAP-on-i rollout.

After looking at Microsoft and AIX and then deciding to stick with IBM i, Multivac embarked on a migration to SAP in 2004. It started with SAP ERP 4.6c on an i825 for ten users. By 2007, it was running two i570s with SAP add-ons such Human Capital Management and NetWeaver Business Warehouse for around 1,000 users in 16 countries.

In 2012, PowerWire reported that the firm had installed two new Power 740s plus a pair of 720s. At the time, we noted that, unlike many upgrade projects, Multivac had implemented pretty much the same processing capacity but with cheaper licensing models. For its 740s, the company selected CPU-based licensing, while for the Power 720 machines it opted for user-based licensing.

Now, Multivac’s IBM Flex System runs 15 SAP apps for 1,700 users and as part of this latest upgrade it moved to IBM Storwize V7000 with two FlashSystem 820 units.

Frank Niehaus, the company’s head of control, says: “Since deploying the IBM FlashSystem and Flex System, we have seen time-savings of up to 75 per cent for material-cost estimates in SAP ERP.

“In materials management, we noticed approximately 50 per cent faster processing for certain reports. Some month-end reports run up to ten times quicker than before. With the ability to run reports more flexibly as required without affecting business operations, we can complete month-end reporting about 30 per cent faster than previously.”

Gone are the days when the company would run batch processes overnight to avoid performance issues for its users. According to a new IBM report on the installation, it can now can run them whenever it wants.

IT manager Jürgen Dauner says: “Our users benefit from consistently short response times due to the combination of faster processors, storage and networking within Flex System. SAP ERP runs three times quicker than before and SAP ERP batch processes can be completed twice as fast, helping us to ensure all data is processed on time, and does not clash with daily operations.”

Based in Wolfertschwenden, Bavaria, Multivac develops, produces and sells packaging machines and employs around 4,000 people worldwide.

The company serves the food, medical equipment and related industries with thermoformers, tray sealers and vacuum-chamber machines in 140 countries. Its latest migration came courtesy of Ulm-headquartered Power Systems specialist Fritz & Macziol.

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