The chemical and food group has improved their agility and adaptability thanks to CAPSiDE, who has helped them move their SAP Platform to the Amazon Web Services cloud.
- CAPSiDE migrated Grup Barcelonesa’s SAP Business Suite, including ERP, CRM and BI modules, providing for production and dev/test.
- The architecture features High Availability across Multi-AZ with a SQL Server – AlwaysOn database. In addition, Active Directory has been deployed.
Since 1942, Grup Barcelonesa researches, finds, and distributes the highest quality chemical products in the industry and works actively in developing its own formulations thanks to its strong R&D team.
A key aspect of Grup Barcelonesa’s value chain is the import and distribution of the required raw materials for each of its core activities. With security being of paramount importance, products must be transported and stored in the most suitable environments at all stages of the product lifecycle and regardless of geography.
The Challenge: SAP to AWS
The challenge was that in order to deal effectively with supply and demand, Grup Barcelonesa needed to be able to also scale their ERP platform and underlying infrastructure on-demand. This would have never been possible by retaining the on-premise model that was based on a legacy platform of Oracle Enterprise, Sun SPARC and a Fibre Channel SAN.
In order to implement a new and scalable platform in the Cloud, replacement technologies would be more operational and cost effective and so a transformation to SQL server, cloud storage and x86 architecture was required along with the application migration.
This change would present a significant but justified challenge.
This would be the first and only project ever implemented with these features in Spain; a cloud architecture in multiple data centres (“Availability Zones” in AWS’ nomenclature) with an active-active SQL server database. When proven successful, this solution would be very beneficial to a broad range of medium and large companies.
High availability was mandatory for all SAP’s traditional ERP architecture layers and elements. In addition, an ecosystem of ancillary services such as domain controllers and backup systems was required for proper operation.
After the analysis, learning and audit phases, CAPSiDE proposed the solution: migrate the traditional SAP ERP system, already in operation on client infrastructure, to AWS. In doing so, the most important aspect was to minimise the impact for the users in terms of response time, migration and operation.
The migration to the AWS cloud implied a change of platform for Grup Barcelonesa (from Sun Solaris to Microsoft), and a change of database technology (From Oracle to SQL Server). These changes, deployed on Amazon Web Services, achieve a significant cost reduction in licensing and infrastructure.
One of the most important parts of the project, in order to achieve High Availability, was the SQL Server database. CAPSiDE implemented the deployment using SQL Server AlwaysOn, even though there was no official precedent. In addition, there wasn’t any previous official documentation for a deployment with these requirements. To address this, CAPSiDE built an initial pilot phase deployment for testing which resulted in the faultless execution of migration; fully tested and complete in just one weekend and ensuring 100% business continuity.
Everyone left the office on Friday afternoon. The next Monday they had changed from working on a local SAP platform to experiencing a cloud-based replacement. The difference is that everything runs faster, reduces backup costs, simplifies the operation and improves business continuity.
Jordi Garcia, CIO @ Grup Barcelonesa
Some of the benefits obtained by Grup Barcelonesa in this project:
- Significant savings in licensing and infrastructure costs.
- Migrating the SAP ERP outside working hours (less than 48h on a weekend).
- Increasing resilience of applications, servers and connectivity both in the internal and external network.
- Without downtime, thanks to the use of different datacentres, with both local and geographical redundancy.
A migration and transformation of these kinds of business critical systems can only be executed when all parties have the certainty that all known scenarios have been mapped-out, ensuring business continuity.
CAPSiDE was responsible for architecture design, deployment and migration, service launch and 24/7 operation and maintenance. CAPSiDE was also responsible for the project coordination, working closely both with the client and with Linke, who contributed their SAP migration experience and implemented the functional elements of the ERP.
After the migration, Grupo Barcelonesa trusts CAPSiDE with the operation of their Cloud infrastructures, and in Linke for SAP application maintenance. The migration project ended successfully and without incidents.