- Xrbia needed a reliable and scalable infrastructure to support its SAP environment
- The company is running its SAP environment on the AWS Cloud
- Avoids loss of SAP data in the event of power outages
- Improves SAP reporting performance by 70%
- Gains scalability to support 300% growth in SAP users
- Increased server capacity—with CPU at 30%—enables continued growth
Xrbia, headquartered in Pune, is a major housing developer in India. Launched in 2012, the company builds affordable housing for people who are not able to afford housing at the current market value. Besides its focus on affordable housing, Xrbia is also known for its promotion of “future-ready” cities, where the emphasis is on sustainability—whether it’s materials used in construction or the recycling services provided to residents. In 2017, Xrbia, which has around 700 employees, was constructing properties at 18 locations across India, including Mumbai, and had completed 40,000 homes in the first 10 months of the year.
The on-premises infrastructure supporting Xrbia’s SAP environment was affected by power cuts—which often happened at night when no IT personnel were around. When outages occurred, the servers supporting the SAP platform—which holds all the company’s financial and sales data—would suddenly go down. Data was occasionally lost. “Once we lost 120 gigabytes of financial and sales data because our systems went down without any warning,” says Thirumoorthy Karpur, head of IT at Xrbia. “It took us nearly a week to recover the loss and get our business back to normal. The situation was unacceptable.”
There were further challenges: the servers supporting the SAP environment were at full capacity and couldn’t handle an increase in their workloads. The servers’ core processing units (CPUs) were around 95 percent utilized, which slowed down reporting in SAP—with some reports taking as long as 10 minutes to generate. Karpur knew action was required because the server workloads were anticipated to grow as Xrbia continued to expand and more people needed access to the SAP infrastructure. “In the space of 12 months, the number of SAP users had grown 300 percent from 50 to 200. I expect the number to continue rising,” he says.
To resolve the issues, Xrbia wanted to migrate its SAP environment to the cloud. As Karpur explains, it was part of a broader cloud strategy. “We thought our on-premises platform would support us for four or five years, but within two it had reached its limits. The cost of expanding our platform that frequently didn’t make business sense—we could avoid that cost by moving all of our IT to the cloud.”
Xrbia engaged Amazon Web Services (AWS) after it evaluated multiple cloud vendors and found that only AWS provided the level of confidence it was looking for. “When we assessed AWS based on its services for SAP and its existing customer base, we were certain that AWS could help us meet our goals,” says Karpur.
AWS connected Xrbia with AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner Progressive Infotech to help plan and deliver the SAP migration. As part of the delivery process, Progressive Infotech also brought in SAP implementation partner Bindroo Software and Consultant (BSC), which has worked with Progressive Infotech on previous SAP migrations. “The communication between all parties was very good, and Progressive Infotech migrated our SAP environment to an AWS infrastructure design that had already proved successful for other AWS customers,” says Karpur.
Within five working days, the SAP environment on the AWS Cloud went live. BSC built and configured the SAP environment while Progressive migrated the SAP data that was on-premises to the AWS Cloud via AWS Direct Connect, which provided a dedicated network connection from Xrbia’s network to AWS. Once data was migrated and the on-premises and AWS infrastructures were synced, Xrbia moved to a cloud-based solution.
Today, the SAP infrastructure features Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances for the environment’s application and database servers. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) provides data storage, and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) Snapshots is used for incremental data backups. “The speed of migration was impressive,” says Karpur, “and shows just what can be achieved when you work with an experienced AWS partner.”
Since migrating its SAP environment to the AWS Cloud, Xrbia hasn’t experienced any SAP data loss as a result of power outages. “Our AWS infrastructure is highly resilient with incremental data backups every two hours, enabling us to withstand any sudden power cuts and to avoid business disruption,” says Karpur.
Xrbia no longer worries about the capacity of the server platform behind its SAP environment. Says Karpur, “After we moved our SAP platform to AWS, we saw the reporting performance increase by 70 percent and server CPU utilization drop to less than 30 percent.” For Xrbia, any improvement in reporting speeds is good for the business. “The goal is reporting in real time, and anything we can do to move in that direction is valuable to us,” says Karpur.
Even if the number of SAP users continues to grow at 300 percent per year, Xrbia can easily scale the AWS infrastructure to meet the increased requirements. “The AWS Cloud is highly scalable, enabling us to expand our SAP environment on demand,” comments Karpur. “We don’t have to worry about the cost of frequently expanding the SAP platform because we’re suddenly reaching full capacity.”
Karpur is also impressed by the management simplicity of the cloud infrastructure, which has given him the opportunity to reallocate IT staff away from administration to higher value tasks. “In the past, we had three IT personnel working almost full-time on the SAP environment, but now they have time to work on the development of new IT services for our staff.”
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