University's Linux migration cuts costs and boosts SAP performance


University's Linux migration cuts costs and boosts SAP performance

Lindsay Clark

Stirling University has improved performance three-fold and lowered project costs by moving its SAP human resources and payroll system over to Linux.

The university decided to migrate to a two-tier system, with the SAP application tier on HP Proliant Servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux after the performance of its system had slowed following two upgrades. 

The database tier was migrated to HP Integrity Servers based on Intel's 1.3GHz Itanium 2 processors. 

"The Integity systems offered better price/performance than comparable Risc-based systems, with the added bonus that we will maintain flexibility in choosing any operating system in the future," said Martyn Peggie, HR IS manager at Stirling University.  

“We can choose HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Windows. This will allow us to adapt to changing requirements over the years to come," he added.  "We believe that with the current configuration of the IT systems, the servers will pay for themselves over the next three years just by savings in support costs."

Since 1990, campus computing has been built on HP technology. When Stirling University decided to deploy SAP for HR and payroll, it did so on HP9000 servers running HP-UX 11.0. However, performance began to suffer after several upgrades. At certain times of the month, when heavy reporting was taking place, the system ran very slowly, causing significant inconvenience to users.

After the migration to Red Hat Linux the payroll run-time was reduced from 80 minutes to 12 minutes, and users were able to work normally during the run. The use of commodity application servers meant the project costs were much lower, according to Peggie.  

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