At SAP Labs-IT, we were asked to identify cost saving initiatives in 2013. This is one of the topics we have seen as a potential to save cost.

INTRODUCTION

This article relates to our group identifying other viable alternatives in virtual environment by moving development systems within SAP on Solaris to XEN platform.

1.  

Sit  Situation and Critical Issues

Labs IT within Global IT IS, supports Development landscapes within SAP. Most of the systems were on virtual infrastructure consisting of Solaris Zones and VMware’s VMs. Maintaining the landscape was found to be increasing expensive. This situation became especially critical since SAP was trying to optimize its internal costs. This necessitated thinking about viable alternative options to reduce the cost of ownership with respect to these systems.

2.     

        Reason

High cost with respective to Solaris zones infrastructure especially for Solaris x86_64 servers caused high cost of ownership for maintaining these systems. Here, Solaris x86_64 software license costs, based on the number of server CPUs, was a major cost driver that we wanted to save. Labs IT had a total of 381 systems on Solaris Zones.

3.     What we did

We decided to move the systems on Solaris to XEN infrastructure. After making initial planning, we decide to migrate the systems to the new platform this year. The challenge was to get a downtime for these systems and keep the downtime for them as less as possible.

For the move from Solaris x86 to Linux(x86), where the storage on both platforms would be netapp filers, after trying out different methods for moves(such as back/restore for example), we finally found unmounts of Netapp drive from Solaris and mounting it onto XEN VM followed by some post installations, the fastest. A typical move using this method would take 3-4 hours.

For move from Solaris on Sparc to Linux on XEN we had to use the OS/DB migration(since there is change CPU architecture). We used the tuning methods to keep the downtime to a minimum (sometimes within one working day).

We migrated 316 systems over the year using the above methodologies. Other 65 systems were not required anymore and were deleted.

4.   

       Where we are

After the migration to XEN we would be saving 235k Euros a year.

5.     What’s next?

We would be looking at new opportunities to save cost, wherever possible.

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