Trans Business Testimonial

If key sales systems at Trans Business are unavailable, the company could lose up to US$5 million in potential revenues per day. Dissatisfied with its existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform for SAP ERP, Trans Business opted to migrate to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications with SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension. Since then, the company has enjoyed a perfect availability record, along with substantially improved performance and ease of management.


Trans Business for Trading and Distribution LLC is the distributor of Philip Morris International tobacco products in Egypt. The company distributes some of the country’s top-selling cigarette brands, including L&M Blue and Red, Marlboro Red and Gold, and Merit.

The Challenge

To keep vendors stocked, the Trans Business salesforce works in the field six days a week from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, generating approximately EGP100 million (US$5 million) in cash sales daily. To book sales and generate invoices, employees use handheld terminals connected directly to the company’s SAP ERP applications. With no manual sales systems to fall back on in the event of a technology outage, Trans Business sets a high premium on the reliability and availability of its core systems.

Ahmed Samy, Head of IT at Trans Business, said: “Although we run both a clustered high-availability environment and a separate disaster-recovery landscape for SAP ERP, on two occasions we nevertheless suffered a complete halt in production caused by an operating system outage—once for a couple of hours, and once for a whole day. This represented up to US$8 million in lost revenue.”

Aiming to protect against future unplanned downtime, Trans Business decided to migrate away from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system that supported its SAP ERP landscape.

“A key advantage of the SUSE operating system is that, unlike the Red Hat offering, it did not require us to buy any add-ons from SAP to create the high-availability environment.”

SUSE Solution

Following recommendations from SAP, Trans Business selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications and migrated from Sybase to SAP HANA for the database layer.

“As we are a very high-revenue company, we depend enormously on our IT resources,” said Ahmed Samy. “We make ongoing investments to ensure we stay up to date on the latest technologies that enhance availability, reliability and performance, including the adoption of best-of-breed solutions like SAP HANA and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.”

Trans Business worked with Master Linux, a regional leader in open source technology, to perform the migrations. Master Linux made use of the saptune utility that ships with the SUSE operating system to perform comprehensive tuning and configuration, ensuring that all deployed SAP systems perform well and work together without problems.

“Master Linux completed the work to a very high standard and helped make the migration process seamless and non-disruptive,” said Ahmed Samy.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications ships pre-tuned for the demands of SAP ERP, and includes bundled HA components that competing vendors sell separately.

“A key advantage of the SUSE operating system is that, unlike the Red Hat offering, it did not require us to buy any add-ons from SAP to create the high availability environment,” said Ahmed Samy. “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications comes with all of the required HA components, so it’s simple to buy and deploy.”

Since the migration, Trans Business has extensively tested the SUSE system’s failover functionality, and found it to be completely reliable. “Moving to the HA instance is fully automated, and we have successfully tested going back and forth between production and HA on a number of occasions,” said Ahmed Samy. “In general, it’s much easier and more dependable than it was previously with the Red Hat distribution.”

The Results

Migrating from Red Hat Enterprise Linux to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications produced immediate improvements in system performance and availability for Trans Business. The IT team saw a significant reduction in the number of issues flagged in its weekly SAP EarlyWatch Alert reports, and there have been no incidents of unplanned downtime since the switch.

“By migrating to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we have achieved our primary goal of avoiding costly downtime,” said Ahmed Samy. “We have had zero problems with availability, so our sales teams have been able to work uninterrupted.”

As Trans Business also migrated from a conventional relational database to the columnar, in-memory SAP HANA database, the company achieved substantial performance improvements. For example, a regular business report that previously took two hours to run now completes in a matter of seconds. In other cases, reports that once took six hours to run are now complete in less than one minute.

Ahmed Samy said: “Of course, HANA is a much faster database platform, but I believe the performance improvements we’ve seen are at least 20 percent due to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The environment is easier to manage, and my team is much less dependent on external help to keep the operating system running in optimal condition.”


Duas Rodas Testimonial


In 1925, Duas Rodas opened Brazil’s first ever essential oils factory in Jaraguá do Sul. Today, Duas Rodas is one of the largest flavor’s producers in Latin America, operating seven production units and a further seven centers for research. The company serves more than 10,000 clients in the food and beverage industry with a portfolio of over 3,000 products.

The Challenge

After nearly a century of natural oil production, Duas Rodas is one of the most recognized names in the Latin American food industry. With an international network including seven production sites and another seven research centers, keeping track of resources can pose a real challenge.

Willian Rios, Database Administrator at Duas Rodas, explained: “We work primarily in the B2B space, using natural oils to create flavors for the food and beverage industry. Some of our best-selling products are flavors for ice cream and soft drinks, but we have a portfolio of around 3,000 tastes, which we sell to over 10,000 businesses. Keeping track of all that is a daunting task, so it’s crucial we maintain a robust IT infrastructure.”

Rafael Dall’Anese, IT Manager at Duas Rodas, elaborated: “Five years ago, we decided to invest in a new enterprise resource planning system, and selected SAP ERP. We have historically run our enterprise systems on AIX, but we decided that the move to SAP necessitated a change of operating system. We cannot afford any downtime as a company, but we also needed a platform scalable enough to support the business as we continue to grow.”

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the best possible foundation for our SAP environment. We have seen 100% availability following implementation, and SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension has made IT management easier than ever before.” – WILLIAN RIOS | DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR | DUAS RODAS

SUSE Solution

After evaluating the market for enterprise systems, Duas Rodas decided to implement SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, which includes SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, running on HPE hardware.

“The SUSE solution simply made sense to us,” said Rafael Dall’Anese. “Given the strong alliance between SUSE and SAP, SUSE Linux Enterprise felt like the natural foundation for our new SAP system, unlike our previous AIX solution, and we could benefit from the strength of that partnership.”

“On top of that, SUSE was able to guarantee stability,” added Willian Rios. “With SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, we knew we could avoid system downtime. The SUSE solution integrated very well with our existing VMware environment, enabling us to seamlessly rotate between servers, and allowing automatic fail-over in the unlikely event of an outage.”

The company had previously been unfamiliar with SUSE technologies, but gained confidence after receiving training from S-SYS Sistemas e Soluções Tecnológicas, SUSE’s official partner for training in Brazil, and the first SUSE solution partner in Latin America.

“We completed S-SYS’s SUSE training course, covering the basics of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the High Availability Extension,” said Rafael Dall’Anese. “We learned that SUSE’s solution was far more flexible than our legacy AIX system, and the transition was much smoother than we had imagined. The SUSE team also provided excellent support during the implementation process, alongside their hardware partner, Sercompe, and their workload partners, HPE, Integrity, LUME, and Pin Point.

“The 25-year strategic partnership between SUSE and HPE, with both of them collaborating across their product portfolios, gave us confidence in our joint investment in their technologies. They helped assure us that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was the right choice for Duas Rodas.”

The Results

Since adopting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, Duas Rodas has experienced consistent system uptime, enabling greater business agility for future commercial expansion.

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the best possible foundation for our SAP environment,” said Willian Rios. “We have seen 100% availability following implementation, and SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension has made IT management easier than ever before.”

The company was also impressed with the clarity and user-friendliness of SUSE’s graphical user interface (GUI).

“SUSE’s GUI has improved system visibility across the board,” said Rafael Dall’Anese. “The stability and flexibility of the SUSE solution gives us room to scale up our IT infrastructure as business expands, making it a sound long-term investment.”

With SUSE technology a dependable part of its IT infrastructure, Duas Rodas is looking deploy further SUSE solutions going forward.

Willian Rios concludes: “We are currently preparing a proof of concept for SUSE Manager, which we expect to begin implementing next year. Overall, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications has proven a rock-solid foundation for business operations.”



Bosch Group Testimonial


Bosch Group (Robert Bosch GmbH) is a leading global supplier of technology and services headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. The company offers solutions in four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. Bosch employs more than 400,000 people in 60 countries and reports annual sales of EUR 78.1 billion.

To keep delivering innovative products for an increasingly connected world, Bosch focuses on the Internet of Things (IoT) and develops IoT solutions for smart homes, cities, connected mobility and Industry 4.0.

The Challenge


Taking advantage of the digital transformation happening across all industries, Bosch wants to build on its high-quality solutions and expand its offerings with new, digital services. Dr. Elmar Pritsch, CIO at Bosch Group says: “The importance of IT solutions in the connected world continues to grow, because they are becoming an essential part of the products and their related services. This is why we have systematically realigned our in-house IT division over the past several months. We used to primarily ensure efficient in-house IT infrastructure, but today, we are focusing more on advancing digital business models created by Bosch.”


With IT playing an ever more important role in Bosch’s business strategy around new digital services, the IT division needed to adapt to new challenges and to gain the ability to offer cutting-edge technology solutions more flexibly. The new online services must be integrated with core business processes and master data stored in ERP systems. To enable this, the IT division had to create the foundations that would allow the company to offer connected solutions that can interact quickly and seamlessly with business applications.

Volker Fischer, Senior Manager Server Services AIX and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications at Bosch Group says: “To support all of our business sectors in developing innovative business models for the future, in integrating their new offerings into existing ERP systems easily and in leveraging advanced new data analytics tools, we needed to refresh our infrastructure with the latest technologies such as the SAP HANA in-memory database. And in preparation for our broader transformation initiative at Bosch, we also needed to improve the scalability of our infrastructure.”

“The SUSE support is second to none—thanks to the close collaboration between SUSE, SAP and IBM, we get quick and comprehensive responses from the support team and can keep our systems running reliably.” – VOLKER FISCHER | SENIOR MANAGER SERVER SERVICES | BOSCH GROUP

SUSE Solution


To streamline IT operations around its core business systems, Bosch runs all SAP applications centrally. This also means that all subsidiaries around the world rely on the availability of the central SAP applications to do their business. Given the growing importance of IT, the company requires reliable processes to ensure business continuity for all systems, including its new SAP HANA databases.

Bosch had already gained practical experience with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications from running 100 such systems for the SAP Business Warehouse Accelerator. When business sectors started asking for SAP HANA, the team decided that it wanted to use IBM Power Systems as a reliable infrastructure platform, which would also align the SAP HANA instances with its main SAP ERP application servers on a common platform. The company looked at the available options and quickly selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems.

Volker Fischer explains: “With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications being the leading operating system for SAP HANA, especially on IBM Power Systems, it was not difficult to get all of our internal clients on board. And since we had been using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on x86 servers for many years, we were convinced that the outstanding stability and reliability of this operating system—specifically optimized for SAP software—would help us to expand our service portfolio while keeping the administration workload low.”


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is an operating system created through joint development by SAP and SUSE; validated and certified by SAP across different platforms, including IBM Power Systems. A dedicated SUSE update channel ensures that all patches, fixes and updates have been thoroughly tested to work smoothly with SAP applications to deliver the best possible performance and reliability. In particular, the dedicated update channel helps to eliminate any potential disruptions in service, enabling enterprises to apply patches without concerns about impacting the stability of their most mission-critical systems.

In addition, SUSE has worked with SAP to include a range of optimizations specifically for SAP software. For example, SUSE has developed the Page Cache Management for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications to give users full control of page caching. The page cache limit kernel parameter helps Bosch to run a performance-optimized operating system and keep mission-critical SAP applications fast at all times.

During the simple installation routine, the operating system also applies best-practice performance configurations for SAP HANA systems automatically. SUSE also continuously works to further increase security, including in-memory system security hardening techniques. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications includes a comprehensive security package to protect SAP HANA systems from all kinds of security incidents.


It highlights the capability of SUSE solutions, that although the majority of Bosch’s more than 1,000 SAP systems currently use other operating systems and databases, the company’s 80 SAP HANA databases run exclusively on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems. To meet the performance requirements of new services enabled by IoT solutions as well as the growing interest in real-time data processing, more and more divisions at Bosch are starting to look at the SAP HANA in-memory database. Volker Fischer confirms: “At the moment, we have 16 large IBM Power Systems E880 servers running SAP HANA. Using IBM PowerVM virtualization, we run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications and the IBM AIX operating system side by side on the same platform to leverage our management infrastructure and platform knowledge, and to use our resources efficiently.

Thanks to this flexible virtualization solution, Bosch has complete freedom of choice about where to run its SAP HANA databases and can maximize resource utilization. The company can also avoid downtime by moving systems from one physical server to another easily if necessary—for example, during planned server maintenance or hardware infrastructure component upgrades.

Another reason for Bosch’s selection of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was its seamless integration with SUSE Manager—an IT infrastructure management solution that helps Bosch to keep its servers up to date by streamlining and automating system administration tasks.

To be able to offer its internal clients maximum business continuity when necessary and minimize unplanned downtime, the team also installed SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, which is included with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. Based on mature, industry-leading, open-source high-availability clustering technologies, SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension offers easy and fast setup of SAP HANA clusters. It simplifies cluster management and offers a graphical user interface for user-friendly monitoring of the clustered environment. Should a business sector request it, Bosch can now easily deploy a complete high-availability solution for SAP HANA.

The Results


By choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications to run SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems, Bosch is taking advantage of a successful partnership between three major IT vendors. Volker Fischer remarks: “The SUSE support is second to none—thanks to the close collaboration between SUSE, SAP and IBM, we get quick and comprehensive responses from the support team and can keep our systems running reliably. Furthermore, the inclusion of SUSE Extended Support Pack Overlay Support gives us additional security against critical vulnerabilities and helps us facilitate long-term IT infrastructure planning to increase the stability of our deployments.”

To streamline its server operations, Bosch wanted to deploy SUSE Manager on IBM Power Systems too. Volker Fischer confirms: “It was important for us to run the management solution on the same platform as our SAP HANA databases. SUSE was very flexible and made SUSE Manager available on IBM Power Systems rapidly, helping us to leverage our existing infrastructure.”



Thanks to the simple user interface and comprehensive set of features, Bosch can automate many routine system administration tasks with SUSE Manager.

Volker Fischer elaborates: “SUSE Manager has had a significant impact on the workload of our administration team. When we started using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we did not immediately use SUSE Manager. The manual workload to keep our 100 instances updated was immense: one member of our team was almost exclusively working on routine administration and patching tasks. With our move towards SAP HANA, we also implemented SUSE Manager with a single installation that integrates both our physical servers on x86 and our virtualized systems running in logical partitions on IBM Power Systems. Today with SUSE Manager, we have doubled the number of instances but substantially reduced the time needed for the management of the systems, freeing up resources we can use to create additional value for our internal clients and expand our services, instead of just keeping operations running.”

Automating systems management for SAP HANA allows Bosch to decide about the future of its 1,000 SAP systems without limitations, since the existing IT team can easily scale up the operational processes to include many more SAP HANA systems.


Running SAP HANA with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems gives Bosch the flexibility to combine scale-up and scale-out configurations based on the individual business needs. The company runs scaleup environments with up to 8 TB and scale-out solutions with up to five nodes and 5 TB per node.

Bosch has also already evaluated SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching for IBM Power Systems and plans to put it into production soon. Volker Fischer notes: “SUSE were the first to bring Linux live patching to IBM Power Systems. We have tested it with the goal of maximizing availability further and improving business continuity, and we’re planning to start using this brand new, cutting-edge feature in production. It will allow us to apply patches to the Linux kernel without rebooting our systems and keep our applications running smoothly to get even closer to zero-downtime deployments.”

By deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems, Bosch has created a stable platform for the future. Volker Fischer concludes: “SUSE has become a very valuable partner to us. Thanks to the close collaboration between SUSE, SAP and IBM, we can now respond quickly to new requirements from the business. Since our strategy is to add more and more digital services and integrate our products with IoT solutions, it is essential that with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems, we are ready for these real-time analytics and growth challenges.”

Looking at the broader picture, Dr. Elmar Pritsch states: “IT is an essential part of the products and services of tomorrow. Digital business models require an IT infrastructure that is powerful, scalable, open, and secure at the same time.”


Why Artificial Intelligence Will Make Work More Human

What does the rise of artificial intelligence mean for the world of work?

First, it’s clear that it’s a huge opportunity for increased productivity. Gartner believes that this year alone, half a billion users will save two hours a day using artificial intelligence—that’s up to half a million years of improved efficiency!

McKinsey has estimated the percentage of various work tasks and sectors that could now be automated using new technology. After predictable physical work (which can increasingly be done by robots) the biggest opportunities are in mainstream business tasks such as data collection and data processing. McKinsey believes that over 60% of these tasks could now be automated.

Given these efficiencies, it’s only natural that some worry about the effects on employment. The good news is that, so far at least, these technologies have been displacing work rather than replacing workers.

In other words, machine learning excels at replacing the more boring and repetitive aspects of knowledge work—freeing workers to spend time on more rewarding and empowering tasks.

The Payoffs of Machine Learning for Workers Made Simple

An analogy can help illustrate the point. Remember when you were a child, and you had to spend months learning to do long division? After a while, to your relief, you were allowed to use a calculator. Far from slowing your ability to do mathematics, it freed you to move on to more complex and challenging tasks. Machine learning is doing the same for daily work in enterprises worldwide.

For example, machine learning has proved successful at automating repetitive finance tasks such as the automatic matching of invoices and payments, increasing rates from 70% to 94% in just a few weeks—resulting in massive savings in time and effort.

Machine learning also helps augmented human intelligence. For example, a sales person can now receive more intelligent lists of potential prospects—based on historic patterns, algorithms can automatically provide information about which prospects are most likely to buy, what products they are most likely to purchase, how long the deal is likely to take, etc. The end result is that every sales person gets closer to the best in the organization.

Indeed, we may be at the dawn of a new golden age for knowledge workers. Just as the invention of tractors multiplied physical labor, allowing a single farmer to plough many fields in a fraction of the time, these new technologies will do the same thing for knowledge workers, allowing them to multiply efforts in ways it is hard for us to currently imagine.

A Net Increase in Jobs—for Everyone?

But what about non-knowledge workers? Since the dawn of time, new technologies have been greeted with skepticism (Socrates famously feared that books were a bad idea because students would no longer have to use their memory). But the result has consistently been richer societies. For example, thanks to mechanization, the number of farm workers in the US has gone from 83% in 1800 to less than 2% today—but few of us would like to return to that era.

Clearly, some workers and jobs will be affected. But there’s reason to believe that we shouldn’t be too pessimistic. Generally, we’re very good at thinking about jobs that will be lost to automation, but it’s much harder for us to imagine the new jobs that will be created thanks to the new opportunities.

A study by Gartner shows that machine learning will result in a net increase in jobs from the year 2020. And in fact, it may be earlier: another study shows that in companies using AI today, 26% report job increases, compared to just 16% saying that it has reduced jobs.

There’s a tendency to think that the new jobs created will inevitably only go to the highly-skilled — for example, increased use of machine learning has led to increased demands for data scientists.

But history gives a rosier view. New technology also enables people to do jobs that they wouldn’t previously have been qualified for. For example, to work in a general store a century ago, you would have had to be able to do fast mental arithmetic, in order to calculate the amount of the bill. The advent of cash registers meant that stores could hire people for their customer service skills, rather than their mathematics prowess.

Machine learning is making computers easier to use in many different ways. For example, new enterprise digital assistants let us access the information we need to do our jobs faster and easier than ever before (think of how Jarvis in Iron Man” helps Tony Stark do his job faster). This will enable workers to do more with less effort and resources than in the past.

This process has happened many times in the past. For example, the spinning jenny was introduced in the UK in 1760. It automated the process of spinning, drawing, and twisting cotton. But the lower costs and higher demands for cloth meant that far from reducing employment, the number of workers exploded from around 8,000 skilled artisans to more than 300,000 less-skilled workers a few decades later.

In the End…

Ultimately, the rise of artificial intelligence will raise the premium on tasks that only humans can do. Because repetitive intellectual tasks can increasingly be automated, skills like leadership, adaptability, creativity, and caring will become relatively more scarce and more important.

Instead of forcing people to spend time and effort on tasks that we find hard but computers find easy (such as mental arithmetic), we will be rewarded for doing what humans do best—and artificial intelligence help make us all more human.

Posted By Timo Elliott, November 1, 2018