SAP upgrade for UK baker slashes response times for customers

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Matching IT infrastructure needs with rapid expansion in the business, UK baker Warburtons teamed up with data management firm NetApp to develop storage and backup for SAP implementation.

Using a centralised data centre and nearby disaster recovery facility, the family-owned baker that produces over two million bakery products a day, found the firm's "tremendous growth" had had an impact on the storage requirements for the baker, and a knock-on effect on its disaster recovery.

"The organisation is experiencing double-digit growth and for a number of years has been spreading geographically,"​ said Martin Ogden, infrastructure manager at the UK baker.

The rapid growth also meant that the baker was "outgrowing some of its enterprise systems and was look to extend its SAP capabilities," ​explained US firm NetApp.

Since the upgrade Warburtons, claims NetApp, has seen an improvement in SAP performance, with response times "cut in half". The centralised storage platform has made it "far easier" for the firm's IT staff to service their customers.

"Our disaster recovery replication is no longer an issue for us, and we're not doing catch-up and repairs to the mirrored systems,"​ commented Ogden.

24/7 business demanded smooth upgrade

A 24 hour, seven days a week business, any changes to the Warburtons IT system had to make without disrupting the firm's 1300 SAP users or its customers, continues the company.

According to NetApp, on the hardware side, Warburtons put two FAS3050 clusters and one FAS3020 cluster in place at the baker's headquarters in Bolton and a FAS3050 in the nearby disaster recovery centre.

"But it was NetApp's data management tools, SnapMirror, Snapshot and FlexClone that proved invaluable during the upgrade process,"​ claims NetApp.

The US data management firm adds that the baker's SAP upgrade went "so smoothly" that customers were unaware it had gone live. The final upgrade took 15 hours, with "no production system downtime".

"NetApp FlexClone technology allows instant replication of data volumes and data sets without requiring additional storage space,"​ commented the technology company.

In addition, they add, the Snapshot and FlexClone technology gave the baker the ability to use "near-live" test environments.

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