How could UMB offer its clients a smooth journey to real-time analytics for decision-making to help them compete in an increasingly data-driven world?
UMB created a managed SAP HANA cloud service based on IBM Power Systems technology, freeing up time and resources for clients to focus on their business.
25%lower TCO compared to an equivalent architecture on other platforms
50%lower training and operational effort compared to other platforms
Boostscompetitiveness with innovative SAP HANA cloud services
Business challenge story
Responding to new requirements
With more than 40 years of experience in the IT industry, innovation is in UMB’s DNA. The company is one of the top managed services providers in Switzerland, and constantly seeks to provide the very best service to existing clients, attract new prospects, and maintain its leading position.
Gérard Lüchinger remarks: “When SAP introduced the HANA platform, we knew right away that it would be a total game-changer for businesses. But the cost and complexity of running a dedicated on-premises infrastructure for SAP HANA discouraged many companies from taking up the new technology, particularly small and mid-sized enterprises.”
Marco Reichmuth, Team Leader Solution Architecture at UMB, adds: “We saw a perfect opportunity to provide a cloud-based delivery model, giving clients all the benefits of SAP HANA without any of the worries. We would host the SAP HANA instances in our data centers and take care of all the back-end IT infrastructure maintenance and management, freeing up precious time and resources for clients to concentrate on their actual business.”
To offer its clients a high-quality service, UMB evaluated the market to find the right tools to support the UMB SAP HANA Cloud. As an IBM Platinum Business Partner, UMB knew precisely where to look.
Building a robust cloud solution
UMB carried out a comprehensive evaluation, looking into different processor architectures and virtualization technologies, before selecting IBM Power Systems.
Marco Reichmuth explains: “We know from experience just how performant and reliable IBM Power Systems technology is. As an IBM Platinum Business Partner, we have an excellent relationship with IBM, and we could think of no better partner to support our new venture.”
UMB leverages two IBM Power S924 servers for a Tailored Data Center Integration configuration to run SAP HANA. The IBM Power Systems servers at UMB are fully virtualized, using IBM PowerVM® technology. UMB hosts multiple SAP instances within each server, and as demand grows can scale up capacity of individual instances without having to acquire and set up new physical servers. Should UMB outgrow the existing infrastructure footprint, it can add new physical servers—without impacting production—and provide a seamless growth path without limits.
Using advanced virtualization features built into the IBM Power Systems platform, UMB implemented a high-availability cluster across two separate data centers to ensure seamless failover of data and workloads in the event of disaster. As another level of protection, data is also mirrored to a high-security bunker in the Swiss alps.
Gérard Lüchinger comments: “IBM Power Systems is the ideal foundation for our new SAP HANA Cloud offering, as it offers enterprise-class availability, flexibility, reliability and performance in a single easy-to-manage platform. We know we can rely on IBM Power technology to support Switzerland’s most powerful SAP HANA cloud service.”
Complementing the UMB SAP HANA Cloud, UMB operates logical partitions for other applications with IBM AIX® and IBM i operating systems on the same IBM Power Systems infrastructure. By consolidating workloads on its available server resources, UMB can gain the same rewards in terms of performance and availability for many different application environments while reducing time and effort spent on infrastructure maintenance.
Gérard Lüchinger says: “Running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems with Linux was a perfect fit, not only on a technical level but also from an organizational point of view. We estimate that by building on existing knowledge, our training and operations effort is 50 percent lower than with the other options we considered.”
Marco Reichmuth adds: “According to our evaluation and day-to-day experience, the IBM Power Systems platform out-performs other architectures in terms of speed, scalability, availability and cost-effectiveness. We completed an extensive total cost of ownership [TCO] exercise and found that the IBM Power servers were 25 percent less expensive to run over a five-year period than alternatives, including appliance configurations.”
Delivering SAP HANA on demand
The new UMB SAP HANA Cloud solution gives clients the ability to streamline IT operations and gain an easy upgrade path to SAP HANA.
Gérard Lüchinger, CTO at UMB, says: “IBM Power Systems is the ideal foundation for our new cloud offering. The IBM POWER9™ processor-based servers deliver the high levels of performance, reliability and scalability that we need to accommodate large SAP HANA databases for different clients, even as their data volumes grow.
“Running the UMB SAP HANA Cloud on a shared IBM Power Systems infrastructure is highly cost-efficient, giving us a 25 percent lower TCO over five years compared to other platforms. We can then pass on this saving to clients, to make our services even more compelling.”
Since UMB launched its new cloud service, the company has seen a surge of interest from clients eager to make the move to SAP HANA.
Enterprises that would once have been held back by the prospect of having to build and manage their own infrastructure, or perhaps by security concerns posed by running SAP HANA in the public cloud, can rest easy: the UMB SAP HANA Cloud offering is designed to deliver reliable, secure SAP HANA services hosted in Switzerland.
UMB works with clients across many industries, from financial services to manufacturing, and anticipates demand for its cloud service to soar as more enterprises move their SAP applications to the HANA database platform. As these enterprises grow, change strategic direction, introduce new business models and acquire companies, fixed sizing of SAP HANA systems can often become an issue as workload exceeds system capacity.
Using the UMB SAP HANA Cloud, enterprises can avoid capacity risks, and remove the disruption and expense of deploying new IT landscapes by growing dynamically, on demand.
Gérard Lüchinger says: “With the UMB SAP HANA Cloud built on IBM Power Systems technology, we’re offering clients a fast-track way to future-proof their IT, creating more time for their business and helping them to take the next step on their digital transformation journeys.”
UMB AG is one of Switzerland’s leading IT services providers and the country’s most highly certified IBM Platinum Business Partner. As an Advanced SAP-Certified Provider of Hosting Services and SAP-Certified Provider of SAP HANA Operations, the company provides best-in-class outsourcing, cloud, engineering and consulting services. Headquartered in Cham, UMB operates eight locations nationwide and employs 370 people. UMB has been recognized by the Great Place to Work Institute as the best employer in Switzerland four years in a row.
Take the next step
To learn more about the IBM SAP Alliance, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/sap
To learn more about IBM Power Systems, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/it-infrastructure/power