Galata Chemicals is a global producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) additives. Originally, a division of a large, global chemical company, Galata became an independent company in 2010. Under new ownership, Galata acquired a PVC additives business that has been in operation since the 1960s. The purchase gave Galata an established line of products and a global sales and manufacturing presence. Galata is headquartered in Southbury, Connecticut and has manufacturing operations in Hahnville, Louisiana and Lampertheim, Germany.
Galata’s SAP ERP system supports more than 80 percent of Galata’s business processes. The system is the source of reporting and master data for employees, contractors, partners and mobile workers worldwide. When Galata became an independent entity after divestiture from Chemtura, the company worked with Protera Technologies, a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN), to deploy a fully outsourced IT environment to support SAP operations and network processes in the United States, Germany, and other countries.
After its SAP production systems went live in 2010, Galata wanted to continue to lower IT costs and increase operational efficiency. The company’s tape back-up solution was proving to be cumbersome and expensive. Galata’s SAP environment is large and complex; it would take Protera as long as four months to replicate a secondary environment for disaster recovery (DR) tests, which limited testing to twice a year. If Galata made a change in the production environment, Protera would have to update the test environment.
“When SAP AG certified Amazon Web Services (AWS) to run SAP production instances, using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) became a natural choice to deploy a disaster recovery (DR) solution for SAP systems,” says Patrick Osterhaus, President of Protera Technologies. “By selecting Protera’s cloud-based business continuity services, Galata adopted a DR solution based on AWS that would be more cost-effective and easier to operate than similar solutions based on traditional tape technologies.”
“Galata benefits from increased DR scalability, flexibility and reduced complexity; decreasing recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). In addition, DR systems running on AWS are easy to test and provide increased operational resilience,” continues Osterhaus. “Amazon VPC provides a secure network and an extremely scalable compute cloud solution. AWS is a more sound and cost-effective approach to building SAP-certified DR solutions than traditional data centers.”
After connecting Galata’s on-premises infrastructure to its hosted environment, Protera imported a copy of Galata’s production SAP system to AWS. Protera used a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection with a VPN Gateway to establish a secure, private network. Once the import was complete, Protera built an SAP system in Amazon VPC dedicated to Galata. Galata’s production SAP solution was replicated to create a secondary environment for disaster recovery. As demonstrated in Figure 1, Galata’s SAP application instances and databases are stored using Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). Amazon EBS also provides snapshots that are kept in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Galata’s production database stores more than 500 GB.
By migrating from a tape solution to the AWS Cloud, Galata has continuous data synchronization between its primary SAP production environment and the secondary DR landscape (“Pilot Light”). The Pilot Light landscape is a very small SAP instance capable of synchronization while keeping DR costs to a minimum. Protera is able to spin up additional instances for Galata in a matter of minutes, and DR testing procedures take hours instead of days.
The previous tape backup solution limited the number of times that Galata was able to conduct DR tests in a year. Now the company can test DR procedures on demand without disrupting the synchronization process, and without the need to rebuild the DR environment after completing the test. Osterhaus explains, “The Pilot Light environment is live during DR testing. Traditional DR solutions can present a risk window during the testing phase. However, Galata’s DR solution on AWS is live and ready to take over production if needed during DR testing. Additionally, by running its DR solution on AWS, Galata has reduced its operational costs by an estimated 70%.”
During normal operations, Galata’s DR systems are continuously synchronized with the main production systems, which means that the SAP system is always in recovery mode and available online, significantly reducing the RTO and RPO in case of a disaster. Additional SAP instances can be added in minutes to fully duplicate the processing power of the production SAP environment. Joe Salsbury, CFO for Galata comments, “The DR solution that Protera developed on AWS meets our requirements for a robust disaster recovery solution with minimal cost and complexity.”