To gain deeper business insights, many enterprises are moving to the SAP HANA data platform. How could managed service provider Bulutistan help clients exploit the power of SAP HANA cost-effectively?
Bulutistan built a private cloud platform based on IBM Power Systems servers and IBM Storage, offering managed SAP S/4HANA services that give clients a fast route to in-memory analytics in the cloud.
100%performance boost compared to equivalent x86 server platform
100%availability to date ensures mission-critical SAP solutions are always online
100%client satisfaction helps to attract new business and drive growth
Business challenge story
Demand for cloud soars
Corporations in Turkey are in the midst of digital transformation, seeking to grow both locally and internationally. To support their ambitions, enterprises are modernizing their infrastructure, deploying new solutions, and moving to the cloud. In response, the managed cloud market is growing by an estimated 29 percent a year.
Bulutistan is one of Turkey’s leading cloud system integrators and managed service providers, supporting many of its clients with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions for SAP software.
Begim Başlıgil, Co-Founder of Bulutistan, comments, “From our conversations with clients, we knew that cost wasn’t the only factor behind the rising interest in SAP in the cloud. For today’s enterprises, data is the new natural resource. Many of our clients recognized that switching to managed services would enable them to transition more quickly and cost-effectively to cutting-edge analytics solutions based on the SAP HANA data platform.
“At the time, there was no premium, private-cloud option for clients interested in managed SAP S/4HANA solutions in Turkey. If we could be the first to deliver a private cloud offering for SAP S/4HANA, we were confident we could capture a significant share of that emerging market.
“Sensing an untapped opportunity in the market, how could we build out the infrastructure that would enable us to start small, scale fast, and offer exceptionally high levels of performance and reliability as cost-effectively as possible?”
Selecting a high-performance platform
Bulutistan realized that to comply with data security and protection legislation in Turkey, creating a private cloud platform could offer the ideal solution.
Begim Başlıgil explains, “When selecting a new server platform, we wanted to be sure we could deliver extremely high levels of performance from a compact and cost-effective footprint. Because we were targeting leadership in a brand-new market, it was absolutely critical that we chose a platform that could deliver on our clients’ expectations for timely, reliable analytics services. Failure was simply not an option, and we wanted a server platform we could depend on.
“When we saw a benchmark showing that the IBM POWER processor architecture beat the equivalent x86 platform by a convincing margin of 100 percent, we were extremely impressed. Through extensive proof-of-concept testing with IBM, we saw that the combination of IBM Power Systems servers and the IBM PowerHA® disaster recovery solution offered us the high levels of availability we needed to achieve our goals.”
Engaging an expert partner
Working together with IBM Systems Lab Services, Bulutistan deployed IBM Power S850, IBM Power S922 and IBM Power E950 servers at two of its data centers in Turkey, connected to IBM Storwize V7000 and IBM Storwize V5000 (now known as IBM FlashSystem® 5000) storage solutions.
Virtualized with IBM PowerVM® and running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, the company configured IBM PowerHA to deliver high-availability capabilities in the event that one of the company’s data centers experiences unplanned downtime.
Begim Başlıgil comments: “The added value for Bulutistan was that IBM had some of the most extensive experience with SAP HANA deployments in the industry at that time. IBM could also deliver the entire solution—including compute, storage, networking and middleware—within a single contract, which substantially reduced the project management complexity.”
Launching into cloud
With its high-performance private cloud platform open for business, Bulutistan is now hosting a wide range of managed SAP solutions based on the SAP HANA data platform.
Bulutistan’s clients run SAP S/4HANA as well as SAP BusinessObjects™, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Contract Lifecycle Management, SAP Event Management, SAP Process Orchestration, SAP Solution Manager, and SAP Supply Chain Management, powered by the SAP Fiori® user experience. The company also hosts other demanding, data-driven solutions for clients on the IBM platform, including SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud.
“We are running almost every flavor of SAP HANA in our new private cloud, driven by IBM Power Systems servers,” explains Begim Başlıgil. “With logical partitions [LPARs] and IBM PowerVM, we can keep our clients’ environments secure and separate from one another while ensuring each has the resources required to meet our rigorous service-level agreements for availability and end-user application performance."
Driving rapid growth
Today, more than 30 enterprises rely on Bulutistan’s private cloud for SAP S/4HANA to extract actionable insights from their business data. The company’s clients include well-known brands in Turkey, such as Alkim Kağıt, Anex, Gama Energie, Acacia Maden, Telateks, Ankutsan and more.
“One of the most attractive aspects for businesses using SAP ERP solutions on-premises is the ability to move to the leading-edge SAP HANA data platform easily, quickly and reliably,” says Begim Başlıgil. “With IBM Power Systems, IBM Storage, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications at the foundation of our private cloud offering for SAP S/4HANA, we’re making the promise of cloud a reality for our clients.”
When a new client requests an SAP environment on Bulutistan’s private cloud platform, the private cloud solution based on IBM Power makes it easy to provision the resources rapidly. Typically, the company can complete the entire process—including examining the client’s network topology, sizing and configuring the IBM Power Systems severs, and installing the SAP S/4HANA services—within just three working days.
Offering true flexibility
By providing a straightforward route to the latest analytics capabilities of SAP HANA, Bulutistan is helping its clients to sharpen their competitive edge. And because the IBM solution enables elastic flexibility, clients can choose to scale up their resources to accommodate periods of increased demand—for example, peaks in the shopping calendar for a retailer, or end-of-year closing for a financial services business.
Begim Başlıgil comments, “Thanks to the flexibility of our IBM Power Systems servers, we can scale our clients’ environments up and down whenever they need it: helping to ensure they can always harness analytics to deliver superior services to their end customers. Crucially, we can offer them an easy migration to the latest SAP HANA solutions, with no service interruption.”
Since bringing its new cloud offering to market, Bulutistan has achieved a significant increase in customer satisfaction.
“The feedback from our clients on the new private cloud is positive across the board: 100 percent of businesses using the IBM and SAP platform have told us they’re very happy with the quality of service we’re delivering. Our cloud solution is helping our clients do more with less, save time and money on maintenance, and nurture customer satisfaction through seamless, always-on services. Our data center team loves the platform, too: it requires almost no manual work to manage, which gives them more time to focus on delivering an outstanding service to our clients.”
As Bulutistan attracts new clients to its private cloud for SAP S/4HANA, it continues to deploy additional IBM POWER9-processor-based servers.
“Our IBM Power Systems solutions have met all the performance expectations we had from the initial benchmark,” comments Begim Başlıgil. “From the start, we were clear that we wanted the most reliable, trustworthy and effective infrastructure partner in the market, and that’s precisely what IBM brought to the table. Our IBM Power Systems solutions deliver true value for our investment: greater Input/Output Operations Per Second [IOPS], more SAP Application Performance Standard [SAPS] and a far better price-performance ratio than equivalent x86-based systems.
“In the two years since we deployed our first IBM Power Systems server, we’ve never experienced a single second of unplanned downtime, which makes continuing to invest in the platform an easy choice for Bulutistan.”
Planning for the future
Building on its success in Turkey, Bulutistan is now targeting international growth. The company is preparing to deliver managed SAP S/4HANA services from offices in the UK, UAE and Germany, and has already signed up 10 international clients.
“We’ve achieved so much by working with IBM, and we’re excited to continue our partnership as we grow our managed service offering for SAP S/4HANA into new markets,” continues Begim Başlıgil. “Automation is crucial for delivering high-quality managed services at scale, and we see great promise in IBM technologies for artificial intelligence.
“In the nearer term, we are very interested in adding a multicloud offering to our portfolio, which would enable burst-out scalability to public-cloud platforms, flexible migration of cloud workloads between public and private clouds, and more tailored IaaS and platform-as-a-service [PaaS] offerings for our clients. IBM solutions for IaaS, PaaS and multicloud management, such as Red Hat Cloud Suite, could dramatically reduce the complexity of managing a multicloud environment, and we’re keen to explore them.”
Begim Başlıgil concludes: “IBM is a trusted partner for Bulutistan, and has made a significant contribution to our success in carving out a new market for SAP S/4HANA services in the cloud. We see that IBM will continue to be an asset to our business, and we look forward to continuing our growth journey together.”
Headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, Bulutistan is a leading cloud system integrator. With deep expertise in SAP solutions, Bulutistan offers high-performance, high-availability managed SAP services to enterprises across Turkey and Europe.