Mike Harding, the systems architect for EMC’s IT department, discussed his firm’s internal SAP deployment (Project Propel) in a recent interview with Wikibon co-founder and chief analyst Dave Vellante at the recently concluded SAP Week.
Before Project Propel went live in July 2012, EMC employees were dependent on an Oracle-based platform that was collapsing under the weight of two million lines of Java code. The fact that the software ran on an aging UNIX system didn’t make things any easier.
The vendor opted to replace this crumbling setup with a Vblock-based deployment that leverages a combination of VSPEX and speedy flash. The system uses Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and powers a fully virtualized, heterogeneous SAP application stack. According to Harding, it currently supports between 10,000 and 12,000 end users.
Harding notes that his team is in the process of migrating functionality from the old solution to the application suite that is in use today, and says that the upgrade enabled his company to incorporate data analytics capabilities into the environment. He goes on to elaborate on EMC’s implementation of HANA, SAP’s increasingly popular in-memory database.
EMC leverages HANA to produce financial reports and streamline day to day operations. According to Harding data that once took 3-4 hour to release can be churned out in less 10 minutes, and sales transactions that used to take 20-30 minutes to get through are executed in just a couple. He adds that the environment delivers a one second dialogue response time across all applications, which is what you would expect to find in any well-performing SAP shop.
Harding’s advice to CTOs with daunting SAP projects on their plates is to make the most out of the in-house talent. He credits the success Project Propel to the EMC engineers who drew upon their experience with Oracle databases to deploy a large-scale SAP environment.
See the entire segment below.