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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.

Overview

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.”

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Duas Rodas Testimonial

Overview

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.”

Source: https://www.suse.com/c/success/duas-rodas/​

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Bosch Group Testimonial

Overview

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

EMBRACING A CONNECTED FUTURE

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.”

GETTING READY FOR CLOSER IT INTEGRATION

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

RUNNING SAP HANA ON IBM POWER SYSTEMS

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.”

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A TAILORED OPERATING SYSTEM

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.

DEPLOYING A COMPLETE SOLUTION

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

BENEFITING FROM TOP PERFORMANCE AND SUPPORT

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.”

 

SAVING TIME WITH INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT

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.

GAINING FLEXIBILITY TO OPTIMIZE OPERATIONS

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.”

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OpenStack—The Next Generation Software-defined Infrastructure for Service Providers

Many service providers face the challenge of competing with the pace of innovation and investments made by hypercloud vendors. You constantly need to enable new services (e.g., containers, platform as a service, IoT, etc.) while remaining cost competitive. The proprietary cloud platforms used in the past are expensive and struggle to keep up with emerging technologies. It’s time to start planning your future with an open source solution that enables a software defined infrastructure for rapid innovation.

A growing number of service providers have selected OpenStack due to its low cost and its rapid pace of innovation. Many new technologies are introduced early in their development in OpenStack prior to making their way to proprietary and hyper-cloud platforms. Well known examples include containers, platform as a service and network function virtualization. Why not leverage the work of a growing community of thousands of open source developers to gain a competitive edge?

For those service providers unfamiliar with OpenStack, SUSE recently published a paper entitled, “Service Providers: Future-Proof Your Cloud Infrastructure,”to highlight some of the architectural choices you will need to make when implementing an OpenStack environment. While the concepts are not new, several decisions will need to be made up-front based on the data center footprint you wish to address.

While OpenStack may seem a bit complex at first, the installation and operations of vendor supplied distributions have greatly improved over the years. Support is available from the vendors themselves as well as from a large community of developers. Most service providers start with a relatively small cloud and build from there. Since OpenStack is widely supported by most hardware and software vendors, you can even repurpose your existing investments. The upfront cost to begin your OpenStack journey is low. When you’re ready to get started, SUSE offers a free 60-day evaluation trial of our solution (www.suse.com/cloud).

Now is the time to map out the future of your software-defined infrastructure. Take advantage of the most rapidly evolving cloud platform with no vendor lock-in. Build your offering on some of the best operations automation available today. OpenStack is the best way to control your own destiny. For more information, please visit our site dedicated to cloud service providers at www.suse.com/csp.

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Three Key Best Practices for DevOps Teams to Ensure Compliance

Driving Compliance with Greater Visibility, Monitoring and Audits

Ensuring Compliance in DevOps

DevOps has fundamentally changed the way software developers, QA, and IT operations professionals work. Businesses are increasingly adopting a DevOps approach and culture because of its power to virtually eliminate organizational silos by improving collaboration and communication. The DevOps approach establishes an environment where there is continuous integration and continuous deployment of the latest software with integrated application lifecycle management, leading to more frequent and reliable service delivery. Ultimately, adopting a DevOps model increases agility and enables the business to rapidly respond to changing customer demands and competitive pressures.

While many companies aspire to adopt DevOps, it requires an open and flexible infrastructure. However, many organizations are finding that their IT infrastructure is becoming more complex. Not only are they trying to manage their internal systems, but are now trying to get a handle on the use of public cloud infrastructure, creating additional layers of complexity. This complexity potentially limits the agility that organizations are attempting to achieve when adopting DevOps and significantly complicates compliance efforts.

Ensuring compliance with a complex infrastructure is a difficult endeavor. Furthermore, in today’s digital enterprise, IT innovation is a growing priority. However, many IT organizations still spend great time and money on merely maintaining the existing IT infrastructure. To ensure compliance and enable innovation, this trend must shift.

With a future that requires innovation and an immediate need for compliance today, the question remains: How can IT streamline infrastructure management and reduce complexity to better allocate resources and allow more time for innovation while ensuring strict compliance?

Infrastructure management tools play a vital role in priming the IT organization’s infrastructure for innovation and compliance. By automating management, streamlining operations, and improving visibility, these tools help IT reduce infrastructure complexity and ensure compliance across multiple dimensions— ultimately mitigating risk throughout the enterprise.

Adopting a Three-Dimensional Approach to Compliance

For most IT organizations, the need for compliance goes without saying. Internal corporate policies and external regulations like HIPAA and Sarbanes Oxley require compliance. Businesses in heavily regulated industries like healthcare, financial services, and public service are among those with the greatest need for strong compliance programs.

However, businesses in every industry need to consider compliance, whether maintaining compliance to the latest OS patch levels to avoid the impacts of the latest security virus or compliance for software licensing agreements to avoid contract breaches. Without compliance, the business puts itself at risk for a loss of customer trust, financial penalties, and even jail time for those involved.

When examining potential vulnerabilities in IT, there are three dimensions that guide an effective compliance program: security compliance, system standards, and licensing or subscription management.

Security compliance typically involves a dedicated department that performs audits to monitor and detect security vulnerabilities. Whether a threat is noted in the press or identified through network monitoring software, it must be quickly remediated. With new threats cropping up daily, protecting the business and its sensitive data is critical.

For system standards compliance, most IT departments define an optimal standard for how systems should operate (e.g., operating system level, patch level, network settings, etc.). In the normal course of business, systems often move away from this standard due to systems updates, software patches, and other changes. The IT organization must identify which systems no longer meet the defined standards and bring them back into compliance.

The third dimension of compliance involves licensing or subscription management which reduces software license compliance concerns and unexpected licensing costs. Compliance in this area involves gaining better visibility into licensing agreements to manage all subscriptions and ensure control across the enterprise.

To mitigate risk across the business in all three dimensions of compliance, the IT organization needs infrastructure management tools that offer greater visibility, automation, and monitoring. According to Gartner’s Neil MacDonald, vice president and distinguished analyst, “Information security teams and infrastructure must adapt to support emerging digital business requirements, and simultaneously deal with the increasingly advanced threat environment. Security and risk leaders need to fully engage with the latest technology trends if they are to define, achieve, and maintain effective security and risk management programs that simultaneously enable digital business opportunities and manage risk.”

Best Practice #1:

Optimize Operations and Infrastructure to Limit Shadow IT

With so many facets to an effective compliance program, the complexity of the IT infrastructure makes compliance a difficult endeavor. One of the most significant implications of a complex infrastructure is the delay and lack of agility from IT in meeting the needs of business users, ultimately driving an increase in risky shadow IT activities.

As business users feel pressure to quickly exceed customer expectations and respond to competitive pressures, they will circumvent the internal IT organization altogether to access services they need. They see that they can quickly provision an instance in the public cloud with the simple swipe of a credit card.

These activities pose a threat to the organization’s security protections, wreaks havoc on subscription management, and takes system standard compliance out of the purview of IT.

Optimizing IT operations and reducing infrastructure complexity go a long way toward reducing this shadow IT. With an efficient server, VM, and container infrastructure, the IT organization can improve speed and agility in service delivery for its business users. An infrastructure management solution offers the tools IT needs to drive greater infrastructure simplicity. It enables IT to optimize operations with a single tool that automates and manages container images across development, test, and production environments, ensuring streamlined management across all DevOps activities. Automated server provisioning, patching, and configuration enables faster, consistent, and repeatable server deployments. In addition, an infrastructure management solution enables IT to quickly build and deliver container images based on repositories and improve configuration management with parameter-driven updates. Altogether, these activities support a continuous integration/continuous deployment model that is a hallmark of DevOps environments.

When DevOps runs like a well-oiled machine in this way, IT provisions and delivers cloud resources and services to business users with speed and agility, making business users less likely to engage in shadow IT behaviors that pose risks to the business. As a result, compliance in all three dimensions—security, licensing, and system standards—is naturally improved.

Best Practice #2:

Closely Monitor Deployments for Internal Compliance

In addition to optimizing operations, improving compliance requires the ability to easily monitor deployments and ensure internal requirements are met. With a single infrastructure management tool, IT can easily track compliance to ensure the infrastructure complies with defined subscription and system standards.

License tracking capabilities enable IT to simplify, organize, and automate software licenses to maintain long-term compliance and enforce software usage policies that guarantee security. With global monitoring, licensing can be based on actual data usage which creates opportunities for cost improvements.

Monitoring compliance with defined system standards is also important to meeting internal requirements and mitigating risk across the business. By automating infrastructure management and improving monitoring, the IT organization can ensure system compliance through automated patch management and daily notifications of systems that are not compliant with the current patch level.

Easy and efficient monitoring enables oversight into container and cloud VM compliance across DevOps environments. With greater visibility into workloads in hybrid cloud and container infrastructures, IT can ensure compliance with expanded management capabilities and internal system standards. By managing configuration changes with a single tool, the IT organization can increase control and validate compliance across the infrastructure and DevOps environments.

Best Practice #3:

Closely Monitor Deployments for Internal Compliance

The fundamental goal of any IT compliance effort is to remedy any security vulnerabilities that pose a risk to the business. Before that can be done, however, IT must audit deployments and gain visibility into those vulnerabilities.

An infrastructure management tool offers graphical visualization of systems and their relationship to each other. This enables quick identification of systems deployed in hybrid cloud and container infrastructures that are out of compliance.

This visibility also offers detailed compliance auditing and reporting with the ability to track all hardware and software changes made to the infrastructure. In this way, IT can gain an additional understanding of infrastructure dependencies and reduce any complexities associated with those dependencies. Ultimately, IT regains control of assets by drilling down into system details to quickly identify and resolve any health or patch issues.

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5 Steps to Getting Started with Open Source Software Defined Storage and Why you should take them

Executive Summary

Back in 2013, analyst group IDC calculated that the total amount of data created and replicated in the world had edged beyond 4.4 zettabytes – a staggering number. The statement made the headlines and was widely repeated across media websites dealing with Big Data and the related storage issues. At the time, IDC attributed the enormous growth to approximately 11bn connected devices, – all generating and transmitting data, many containing sensors which also generate data.

IDC also predicted that the number of connected devices would triple to 30bn by 2020, before near tripling again to 80bn a few years later. If you’ve ever wondered what analysts mean by ‘exponential’ data growth this is what they are talking about, and the growth keeps on coming, even the forecasts for data growth are growing: three years later in 2016, IDC revised their predictions upwards, forecasting that by 2025 the total volume of data stored globally would hit 180 zettabytes. Divide 180 by 4.4 and you have a staggering growth rate of 40 x in just nine years.

Of course not all of that data is made by enterprises, but IDC say they are responsible for 85% of it at some point in its lifecycle. So, whilst enterprises might not make all the data, and might not drive all its growth, they still have to architect and manage storage systems that can cope with the multiple challenges it brings. OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES: VOLUME GROWTH, DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND ANALYTICS

Storage costs may have come down a lot in recent years, but the operational issues associated with managing it keep on pilling up. Systems reach capacity and must be replaced. The surrounding architecture is shifting as organisations undergo digital transformation and migrate to hybrid and public cloud environments. Decisions must be made about what data should be kept and what should be deleted -decisions which must be kept on the right side of the law, and which revolve not only around data itself, but on the value of that data to the enterprise; a bigger challenge than some might think as the financial potential in data is not always clear to the IT team, who are after all better placed to understand volume than value: a shortcoming which can lead to the enterprise equivalent of assessing the complete works of Shakespeare based on the number of pages in the book.

There are also substantial problems that come from moving large data sets over limited cabling: the backup routines that have decreasing windows, the challenges with replication and recovery that increase with the related increase in disk failure, the volume of unstructured data that comes with data like video, the security and compliance challenges, making data available for analytics, and for many, the ongoing cost of skilled technical staff for management.
These challenges aren’t going away: like your data, they are only going to get bigger. Unsurprisingly, enterprises are turning to software defined storage as the solution, indeed IT Brand Pulse predict that not only will SDS overtake traditional storage by 2020, but that 70 to 80% of storage will be managed on less expensive or commodity hardware managed by software in the same timeframe. If software defined is the answer to this challenge, why SUSE?

SEVEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE OPEN SOURCE SDS from SUSE.

Open source software defined storage on Ceph platform offers several key advantages:

• Cost reduction through elimination of proprietary software licensing costs
• Avoidance of proprietary vendor software lock-down
• Reduction of hardware costs by moving to commodity hardware
• Support for Object, Block and File and key protocols on a single platform
• Scale out infrastructure – simply add new servers and nodes as capacity increases
• Service, support and management to mitigate risks and control operational cost
• Consistent innovation and first-to-market roadmap improvements

GETTING STARTED WITH OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE DEFINED STORAGE

1. Start small. Storage administrators are rightly risk averse – so choose your first deployment where you can prove the value in terms of cost reduction without putting mission critical data or processes at risk.

2. Find the right use cases. Good applications for Ceph Jewell include unstructured data like video footage, where sheer volume of data presents challenges in costs, volumes, back-up and retention – simply being able to keep video files into the mid-term. Another good example is the cold store – where Ceph can be cheaper than services like Amazon Glacier in terms of dollars per GB, yet remain on premise and avoid hidden costs for retrieval should you need your data back quickly.

3. Scale your usage with your skillset. As with any new technology, it takes time to become familiar with Ceph and build skills and confidence – both your own and your organisations’. Up your deployment in line with your knowledge and capability.

4. Align your strategy for storage with your strategy for the data centre – its not only storage that is moving to software defined. Consider what your infrastructure will look in the future as enterprises moved towards software defined everything. How will your data centre look in five years’ time?

5. Seek expert help when and where you need it. As you more from the periphery to the centre, complexity and risk increase – manage that risk and maximise the benefits by working with skilled third parties.