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What to Expect from the Move to Linux

Ease Your Migration with Tools and Training

by Naji Almahmoud, Vice President, Alliances, Solutions and Business Development, SUSE | SAPinsider, Volume 19, Issue 3

September 10, 2018

Companies looking to benefit from SAP HANA need to migrate their operating system to a Linux platform before they can implement the in-memory database. And while this implementation may sound difficult, it doesn’t need to be: By adequately planning and using the proper tools and training, companies can move to a Linux platform with minimal disruption to their existing operations, smoothing their path to SAP HANA.

SAP HANA runs exclusively on Linux, which means that a moment of change is coming for many SAP customers that have not yet adopted SAP HANA. Companies using other platforms, like Microsoft Windows, will need to migrate to Linux — and this is not an insignificant segment of the install base: As many as 68.2% of SAP customers still run on operating systems other than Linux, according to one study.

Companies know the strategic importance and business benefits of SAP HANA, but have been slow to begin this migration to adopt the in-memory database. We’ve heard several common questions and concerns from SAP customers about their migration to Linux, such as whether a Linux migration will disrupt system operations, or whether they will be as comfortable managing the new system as they were with legacy platforms. In this article, we’ll explore how, with the proper technology and management, you can mitigate such concerns and undertake a smooth transition.

A Successful Migration

Technology migrations often disrupt existing business operations, resulting in downtime, data loss, or extra costs. The way to avoid these types of issues is with the appropriate knowledge transfer and tools.

SUSE offers SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, a Linux-based operating system designed for SAP customers that includes a number of features and functionalities intended to help companies migrate smoothly. To ensure stable SAP operations, the platform includes technology for high availability and disaster recovery.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, for example, includes features that enable SAP HANA users to reduce downtime by clustering physical and virtual servers. This clustering capability eliminates single points of failure and lets users implement automated failover. Additionally, SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching facilitates interruption-free SAP HANA operations by allowing companies to install patches on the Linux kernel without having to restart servers or slow down applications. This feature also boosts security and compliance, as the systems are always up to date with the latest security patches.

A successful migration is not solely about the tools that are used, however; it’s also about the skills of the people who implement those tools. SUSE offers special training to prepare SAP system administrators for the operation of SUSE Linux
Enterprise Server for SAP Applications to ease their transition from familiar legacy platforms.

Simplified Deployment and Management

But what about deploying and managing the new Linux platform? Will organizing these tasks be more complicated than on a familiar operating system?

SUSE provides a number of management tools to make the deployment and management of the new platform easier. The standard Installation Wizard is a graphical configuration tool that SAP system administrators can use to walk through an automated workflow to install Linux and the desired SAP applications and SAP HANA in just a few steps.

Additionally, administrators can maintain the availability of their infrastructure with SUSE Manager. Automating Linux server management and monitoring reduces administrative effort, increases productivity, and ensures less downtime. With SUSE Manager, companies can automate their patch and update management, ensuring compliance with guidelines.

Migrating with Confidence

SAP customers and partners alike are working with SUSE on their Linux migrations. "SUSE is a piece of the puzzle for us delivering guaranteed performance for customers who are running production SAP workloads," says Christian Teeft, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Cloud Services at Symmetry, an enterprise cloud services provider that uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications as the operating system for its proprietary SAP HANA cloud solution. Ibrahim Mahmoud, IT Director at Saudi Company for Hardware, adds "Thanks to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we’re getting the proper IT quality and support that our business needs to run smoothly — now and as we expand in the future."

For more information about SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, visit www.suse.com/products/sles-for-sap.

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Naji Almahmoud
Naji Almahmoud

Naji Almahmoud is Vice President, Alliances, Solutions and Business Development at SUSE. Responsible for SUSE’s public cloud program, independent software vendor relations, and strategic alliances, he has more than 28 years of experience in information technology management and development.



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