“Running our SAP Applications on SUSE in the AWS Cloud gives us the flexibility to rapidly adapt to changing market conditions and meet our IT operation excellence objectives.”
Yoram Borodaty IT Director, Pacific Drilling

Founded in 2008, Houston-based Pacific Drilling is committed to be the world’s preferred ultra-deepwater drilling contractor.

With one of the newest and most technologically advanced fleets in the world, Pacific Drilling has grown into a successful premium drilling contractor. Like most companies in the oil and natural gas industry, Pacific Drilling is exposed to the price fluctuations of crude oil. Spurred by the latest dip in prices, Pacific Drilling sought to reduce overall expenses by focusing on IT costs related to its SAP HANA infrastructure and Support services.

“When we started the business, we committed to SAP, because we didn’t want to have to change business systems as we grew. But SAP tends to be a heavy IT environment, requiring expert support and maintenance resources,” explains Yoram Borodaty, IT director at Pacific Drilling. The company relies on a wide variety of SAP applications to smoothly run the business, from SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, to SAP Mobile Platform and SAP NetWeaver Process Integration.

“We had been in a traditional hosting situation,” says Borodaty. “But we felt the AWS Cloud would be a better, more economical move for us.” After reviewing proposals and getting recommendations from colleagues at SAP’s Sapphire event, Pacific Drilling asked APN Partner Protera to migrate Pacific Drilling’s entire SAP implementation to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP on Amazon Web Services (AWS). SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP is well known for supporting a number of SAP HANA scenarios in production on AWS, including SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) and Business One for SAP HANA. It also supports prebuilt images on AWS. In addition, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP on AWS offers:

• Built-in SUSE high availability (HA) across AWS zones and regions
• Support for SAP HA and disaster recovery standards for HANA
• Collaborative SUSE, AWS, and SAP support

Pacific Drilling chose AWS based on its reputation and recommendations from others in the industry, and because AWS offers a complete selection of certified infrastructure and instance sizes for SAP HANA environments. The company teamed with Protera Technologies to implement their new SAP solution running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP in the AWS Cloud.

Protera migrated Pacific Drilling from a legacy environment to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP, further simplifying and reducing the cost of Pacific Drilling’s SAP implementation. Protera Technologies will continue to provide around-the-clock application management services through its Protera AppCare Platform, specifically designed for managing SAP applications in production. The platform minimizes cost and optimizes ongoing SAP support and maintenance activities.

“Running on SUSE and AWS, our SAP applications are robust, secure, and flexible enough to accommodate our needs and meet our IT operational standards, even as market conditions expand and contract,” says Borodaty.

SAP HANA was designed so that the entire SAP environment runs in memory rather than on disk. Borodaty explains, “You have significant server requirements in terms of server sizing and performance when you run HANA. So we were pleased to be one of the first customers to use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud X1 for our SAP HANA databases.” Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) X1 is designed for cost-effectively running large-scale, in-memory applications and high-performance databases. Other AWS components used in the solution include:

Amazon EC2 for SAP applications servers
Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) for production storage
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for backups
Virtual Private Cloud, AWS CloudFormation, and Amazon CloudWatch

Pacific drilling SAP architecture

Protera also provided its AppCare Platform, which includes tools and processes for running all SAP Business Suite systems on HANA and includes:

• Systems monitoring
• Backups
• Help desk
• Ticketing system
• Incident resolution procedures
• Performance reporting
• Proactive capacity planning

By running SAP HANA on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP on AWS, Pacific Drilling saves on compute, storage, and maintenance operations and reduces maintenance downtime for SAP applications in production. This will cut the company’s TCO for SAP applications in half while doubling the HANA capacity. “For Pacific Drilling, it really reduces the cost of operation. Not just cost of operation for one day or one week, but when you look at the TCO over three years, this is where you see the significant savings,” notes Borodaty.

Pacific Drilling projects that the entire solution will save the company about $1 million over three years. These savings are realized through a mixture of the AWS native sizing and consumption efficiencies and SLES’s built-in efficiencies. As Borodaty puts it, “The move to SUSE on AWS was straightforward from a financial standpoint. Total cost of ownership is half the price with twice the HANA capacity.”

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Formed in 1998 Protera Technologies Inc. is an IT services organization specializing in On-Demand SAP Hosting, full IT outsourcing and remote managed services. Our flexible usage based Service Level Agreements offer midsized and global organizations pragmatic cloud computing solutions that increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of operation of IT infrastructure.

For more information about how Protera can help your company build and manage your AWS environment, see Protera’s listing in the AWS Partner Directory.

To learn more about how SAP on AWS can hep your ERP initiative, visit our SAP and Amazon Web Services page: