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Migration of SAP Systems to the Google Cloud Platform

From an initial attempt to work with Google Cloud, this project developed into a highly complex undertaking, as the entire SAP system landscape of fenaco IT's customer Ernst Sutter AG was migrated to the Google Cloud Platform with the help of itesys.

Ernst Sutter AG

The challenge

Initially planned as a simple hardware replacement scenario, the undertaking evolved into a flagship project and proof of concept for fenaco IT’s future course. Originally, fenaco IT was only looking for an alternative to an expensive new hardware purchase for its customer Ernst Sutter AG (ERSAG). From an initial attempt to work with Google Cloud, this project developed into a highly complex undertaking, as the entire SAP system landscape of Ernst Sutter AG was migrated to the Google Cloud Platform with the help of itesys. Almost as an afterthought, the 10-terabyte DB2 database was migrated to HANA and the entire operating system was changed.

In the past, ERSAG’s classic SAP 3 system landscape was run on an IBM AS/400 system with a DB2 database. Thomas Aeschlimann, Head of the SAP department at fenaco Informatik, said, ‘The hardware was at the end of its lifecycle and we wanted to switch over to HANA. We had to decide whether to invest again in on-premise systems or move our deeply integrated SPA landscape to the cloud. That alone was a very ambitious project, but we also wanted to migrate our 10-terabyte DB2 database to HANA and switch to the Linux operating system.’

The company already had contacts at Google in connection with another infrastructure project, which is why Google was also selected as the supplier for the SAP project. fenaco IT asked itesys, its longtime partner for SAP infrastructure, for support. From consultation to migration, implementation and operational support, the project was realised by our experienced SAP Basis and Google Cloud certified consultants.

The solution

Rolf Rindlisbacher, the project manager responsible for implementing the cloud project at fenaco IT, recounts its progress, ‘Together with itesys and Google, our first task was to create a sustainable foundation in order to operate SAP and other systems from the cloud, which included defining the Google Landing Zone, setting up and sizing the VMs, clustering, network connections, backup and disaster recovery scenarios, security and compliance...

The Google Cloud architects at itesys provided us with considerable support in planning and implementing all this groundwork and in setting up the Google Cloud Platform’s infrastructure. Google was extremely flexible in the process. Dedicated HANA-certified servers were installed in Zurich solely for this project.’ The actual migration was preceded by multiple tests in which the exporting processes were optimised. Transferring the ERSAG SAP landscape into the cloud took place in five iterations during around twelve hours.

The client is raving about…

Thomas Aeschlimann summed up the project’s extremely positive results, ‘Based on several factors, the SAP project evolved into a flagship cloud project for fenaco IT. We managed two great technological feats at once: Switching from AS/400 to the cloud and from DB2 to HANA. The hosted SAP systems are high-performance and operate reliably. Our initial worries regarding latency proved to be unfounded.’

As part of the project, important groundwork was laid in order to transfer other systems to the cloud or to quickly make IT resources available for development projects or tests in future. The Head of the SAP department showered his partner itesys with laurels, saying, ‘The itesys cloud experts’ personal commitment went far beyond the defined performance agreement. itesys’ comprehensive cloud know-how, combined with an in-depth knowledge of our SAP landscape, was absolutely decisive. The hosted SAP systems are constantly monitored by itesys as part of the 24/7 Expert Desk service and via its SAP monitoring solution Scansor, resulting in their high performance.

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  • Consulting and migration concept

  • Coordination with Google

  • Expansion and adjustment of the GCP Landing Zone

  • Setting up VMs in the GCP

  • Conducting migration tests

  • Migration of the SAP landscape to GCP with a database switch from DB2 to HANA

  • Configuration of clustering and HANA replication for the productive system

  • 24/7 monitoring of the SAP system landscape

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Results

  • SAP migration of the deeply integrated SAP system landscape to GCP

  • No impairment of day-to-day business

  • High-performance and reliable SAP operation

  • Data management in Switzerland (disaster recovery in a second European region)

  • Improved performance thanks to new HANA database technology

  • Minimal latencies ensure reliable production processes

  • Established a technical foundation and know-how for future cloud projects

  • High flexibility and scalability of cloud-based infrastructure

  • Reliable SAP operation thanks to 24/7 monitoring

The itesys staff’s personal commitment went far beyond the defined performance agreement. Thanks to the managed services and real-time monitoring, the systems are high-performance and operate reliably.
Thomas Aeschlimann, Head of SAP department, fenaco Informatik

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