The successful execution of an organization’s day to day operations depends heavily on the performance and availability of its IT infrastructure. It is for this reason that many enterprise companies are looking to increase the availability and performance of their mission-critical SAP applications. Avid Technology is an example of an organization that was able to improve the availability and performance of its SAP landscape by moving its on-premise IT infrastructure to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The company serves as a strong reference for other organizations considering a move to Azure for the increased performance, availability, flexibility, reliability the cloud platform can provide.
Staying on the Cutting Edge
Avid, a Massachusetts-based global Technology and Multimedia company, provides award winning tools and solutions for the entertainment industry. Over the years, Avid’s solutions have earned the company amazing recognition in the form of two Oscars, a Grammy, and 16 Emmys.
As with nearly every industry leading organization, Avid operates on the cutting edge. To continue operating on the cutting edge however, the company needed to replace its outdated IT infrastructure. Operating with outdated infrastructure caused Avid to experience a continual decrease in the performance and availability of its mission-critical SAP software. The company was also dealing with the increased cost of maintaining its on-premise solution. To address the performance of their SAP instances and eliminate its issues with downtime, Avid turned to Microsoft’s robust cloud platform: Azure.
Avid has been using SAP ERP for its mission critical processes since 1994. To stay on the cutting edge, the company sought to upgrade its SAP software. As the company took the necessary steps to execute the upgrade of its SAP software, it found that its current IT infrastructure could not support its long-term ambitions. This realization coupled with increasing downtime occurrences, maintenance costs, and other challenges motivated Avid toturn to Azure.
“We had a failure that impacted our business operations,”says Rizwan Muhammad, Director, Enterprise Applications at Avid. “That was our turning point. We had a choice---buy new hardware and keep the SAP deploymentsin-house or switch to a reliable cloud provider like Microsoft and move our ERP landscape to a more robust, modern datacenter.”
Priorto the move to Azure, Avid’s SAP instances and other enterprise applications were running on aging hardware and Oracle database. In addition to experiencing a great deal of downtime, the company was dealing with the inability to update its business-critical SAP software and the increasing costs of maintaining its on-premise solution. To improve the performance of that updating their operation and moving its IT the Azure would provide them with the improved performance, flexibility, and cost savings they needed.
The Right Partnership for a Successful Migration
Avid decided to leverage the company’s partnership with Microsoft to facilitate the migration of their SAP landscape to Azure. For the execution of the migration,Microsoft recommended that Avid turn to Wharfedale Technologies. Having completed many Azure migrations in the past, Wharfedale had a clear roadmap and a refined approach to streamline this critical technology initiative.
Microsoft’s recommendation was accepted, however, before handing Wharfedale the project, Avid evaluated Wharfedale and several other vendors. Wharfedale was ultimately selected over the other vendors because Avid felt that Wharfedale had the most experience on Azure and a great team of experts with the track record of completing many successful SAP migrations to Azure. Avid was convinced that Wharfedale had the expertise to migrate its SAP landscape to Azure, change its operating system from Linux to Windows and perform a database conversion from Oracle to SQL. Wharfedale not only convinced Avid that they could get the job done, they also assured Avid that all these activities would be accomplished ina short window to avoid business disruption.
A Proven Approach for SAP on Azure:
Wharfedale worked around the clock to deliver a smooth migration of Avid’s SAP landscape to Azure. As with most migrations, every customer has unique challenges that need to be worked through. In Avid’s case, Wharfedale faced 3 migration challenges. The first was the OS migration from Linux to Windows. The second was DB (database) migration from Oracle to SQL server. The third and final challenge was minimizing the migration downtime of Avid’s SAP production landscape.
Wharfedale started with a proof of concept migration and obtained the initial baseline of the time required for data replication. The team then continued with multiple mock runs in which it performed process optimization, performance tuning, and data archival to minimize the migration downtime. Ultimately Wharfedale was able to further reduce the time required for migration by 55%.
By drastically cutting the migration time, Wharfedale gave Avid’s business adequate time to perform application validation before go-live. In addition to a minimal downtime migration Wharfedale also provided Avid with these key deliverables as part of its Zero Dollar Down solution:
· Implementation of SAP High Availability
· Implementation of Disaster Recovery
· Managed SAP Basis support services
· Rapid support for critical tasks and high priority tickets
· Implementation of proactive SAP monitoring solution
· Support from a dedicated team of senior SAP Basis consultants (onshore and offshore)
After the successful execution of the migration to Azure, Avid realized the following benefits:
· Improved performance of production environment by over 50%
· Azure guaranteed 99.95% uptime
· Accelerated server provisioning to help support business growth
· System refresh timeline reduced from weeks to hours
· Reduced TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for SAP Landscape
· Efficient delivery for system refresh requests
Avid’s move to Microsoft Azure has delivered huge improvements intheir SAP environment, promoted business agility, and enabled operational cost savings. Achieving these objectives, however, required Wharfedale’s expert approach to SAP on Azure migrations. “We noted a significant overall performance improvement after the migration, especially in the database conversion” says, Rizwan Muhammad. “The SQL Server database is much faster and offers better response time.”
This project overall was a big win for all parties involved. Avid is experiencing the benefits of running its SAP landscape on Azure and both Wharfedale and Microsoft, have yet another customer success story to take to the market.