we know                                                                                         they knowAmerican Crystal ...
“The XIV gives                               the cold winters to store the beets,          complete extraction in the time...
At the same time, United Sugars           Technical Team, maintaining a                 “The SAP applications,Corporation ...
migrating the systems and data from          “The XIV appealed toolder SAN systems to the XIV, using                      ...
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American Crystal Sugar beats out costs with SAP and IBM


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American Crystal Sugar implemented IBM XIV Storage System with 27 TB capacity, enabling older storage systems to move into backup and recovery roles. Upgraded to IBM Power 770 servers featuring IBM POWER7 processor technology running IBM AIX 6.1 and IBM PowerVM.

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American Crystal Sugar beats out costs with SAP and IBM

  1. 1. we know they knowAmerican Crystal Sugar beats out costs withSAP and IBM American Crystal Sugar, based in Overview Moorhead, MN, specializes in the production of sugar from sugar The Challenge has been cut to minutes with beets. Formed as a co-operative, the American Crystal Sugar competes the additional capacity and XIV company is owned by almost 2,800 in the US sugar market, where storage provisioning. IBM XIV offers shareholders, who raise approximately marketing volumes are set by increased total storage capacity at 420,000 acres in the Red River Valley regulation, leaving cost-efficiency a lower absolute cost and lower per- of Minnesota and North Dakota. as a primary route to improved gigabyte cost than previous storage In 2010, American Crystal Sugar margins and profits. With processor systems. IBM Power 770 server has purchased approximately 9.9 million workload and data volumes higher processing capacity at lower tons of sugar beets, producing more growing, American Crystal Sugar costs than the systems it replaced. than 27 million hundredweight of wanted to cut IT operations Using IBM PowerVM, American sugar. costs while improving business Crystal Sugar can fulfill requests throughput. At a technical level, to provide new SAP application The US market for sugar is controlled older systems were running to landscapes within a matter of days, by regulated producer marketing the end of their support lifecycle, reducing administrative expenses. allocations. For American Crystal and requests to provide new SAP Sugar, the consequence is that instances could take several  Key Solution Components the only way to improve profits and months to fulfill. Industry: Agriculture margins for its shareholders (beet Applications: SAP® ERP, including producers themselves), is to increase The Solution finance, controlling, sales and productivity by reducing operational Implemented IBM XIV Storage distribution, costing, materials costs through efficiencies and straight System with 27 TB capacity, management, plant maintenance, dollar savings. enabling older storage systems production planning and quality to move into backup and recovery management components, with The agricultural cycle of sugar beets roles. Upgraded to IBM Power 770 SAP BusinessObjects BI Package. starts with spring planting and ends servers featuring IBM POWER7 Hardware: IBM ® Power Systems™ with fall harvest, when extraction processor technology running IBM 770, IBM XIV® Storage System, IBM plants start to work their way through AIX 6.1 and IBM PowerVM. System x3950 M2 the millions of tons, brought by truck Software: IBM AIX® 6.1, IBM from thousands of farms. Using The Benefits PowerVM™, VMware vMotion refrigeration techniques allowed by Increasing storage capacity that Services: IBM Premier Business could previously take months Partner Evolving Solutions
  2. 2. “The XIV gives the cold winters to store the beets, complete extraction in the time the crop is processed over course available even as the beet tonnage American Crystal Sugar of 9 months, with a short window for rises. SAP gives us the tools to the ability to store all maintenance and administration become more cost-efficient, which its critical business data before the cycle starts again. is essential in our marketplace.” in one easily managed location. Once again, Marty Erbes, Systems Manager at Shared services, shared challenges American Crystal Sugar, explains American Crystal Sugar was the disk cost per the business pressures, “Recently, using a combination of IBM Power gigabyte for the XIV is many American food companies Systems servers and IBM System considerably lower than have switched from corn-derived Storage, running a wide range of the previous systems, sweeteners to sugar beet-derived SAP ERP applications for 900 users, delivering immediate sweeteners, fueling demand. With supported by Oracle databases. larger crop volumes, the maintenance savings.” window is being squeezed as our The data center also hosts SAP Marty Erbes, Systems Manager at American factories start earlier and finish later in applications for other sugar Crystal Sugar the season. co-operatives, for the United Sugars Marketing Corporation and Midwest “At the data center, our aim is to Agir-Commodities who all benefit provide the information services that from the shared services cost help to keep the costs down – for model. example, by using SAP solutions to help keep operating at maximum Demand from both American Crystal efficiency. For example, with the SAP Sugar and the hosted companies plant maintenance application we were leading to continuous requests are able to improve the scheduling of for more storage capacity. The maintenance, monitor and manage storage hardware was expensive costs, and ensure that we can to procure and slow to deploy, a process typically absorbing months to implement. As American Crystal Sugar moved to the latest version of SAP software and extended its own functionality, it became clear that demand for storage would continue to rise, and the associated costs of procurement and management would impact the business. “Having to add storage drawers to our existing systems really slowed us down,” says Marty Erbes. “From start to finish, it could easily take three months to add storage capacity, allowing for procurement, configuration and deployment.”
  3. 3. At the same time, United Sugars Technical Team, maintaining a “The SAP applications,Corporation was planning to make single physical machine for the SAP such as plantgreater use of SAP NetWeaver landscapes.Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver maintenance, areBW) and SAP NetWeaver Portal for More storage, reduced costs critical to our success,marketing purposes, which had an As part of its ongoing cost- and the combinationimmediate impact on both processor performance review, American of the IBM Power 770capacity and storage needs. The Crystal Sugar reconsidered its server and IBM XIVexisting servers did not have the storage strategy in the light of newprocessing capacity to support the technologies. The company chose storage delivers high-simultaneous workloads. to implement an IBM XIV Storage efficiency, low-cost System to replace its mix of storage operations, exactly inMore power, reduced costs servers and direct attached disk line with AmericanThe first step was to ensure that systems. The XIV offers 27 TB of Crystal Sugar’s businessthe total processing capacity was storage, expandable to a total of 79increased. American Crystal Sugar TB. At present, the SAP landscape is objectives.” replaced its previous system, which approximately 12 TB, with another 10 Marty Erbes, Systems Manager at Americancontained 16 processors and 192 GB TB for other applications and data. Crystal Sugarmemory, and implemented an IBMPower 770 server featuring 32 active “The XIV gives American CrystalPOWER7 processors and 512 GB Sugar the ability to store all its criticalmemory. business data in one easily managed location. Once again, the disk cost per“The Power 770 server, though it is gigabyte for the XIV is considerablyenormously more powerful and has lower than the previous systems,more memory, actually cost less than delivering immediate savings,” saysthe previous server,” says Marty Erbes. Marty Erbes.“This is a perfect example of how wecan take advantage of new technology The company is consolidating all itsto reduce our costs.” data to the XIV, taking advantage of the lower operational costs and theAmerican Crystal Sugar uses IBM ease of management. Existing storagePowerVM to divide the Power 770 systems are planned to be movedserver into separate logical partitions to a secondary data center to act as TECHNICAL LANDSCAPE(LPARs). The company runs its own backup devices for the production Servers: IBM Power Systems 770, IBMSAP applications in separate LPARs site. IBM Tivoli Storage Manager XIV Storage System, IBM Systemfor production, test, development and handles backup, archive and restore x3950 M2non-SAP applications, and a further processes for POWER and Intel Software: IBM AIX, IBM PowerVM,LPAR for Tivoli Storage Manager. systems. VMware vMotion, SAP ERP, including finance, controlling, sales andPowerVM allows American Crystal In addition to its SAP applications, distribution, costing, materialsSugar to define the total processing American Crystal Sugar runs Microsoft management, plant maintenance,capacity for each LPAR, sharing operating systems and applications production planning and qualityCPUs, bandwidth, memory and such as SAP Business Objects in management components, with SAPstorage. This offers considerable VMware virtual machines on IBM Business Objects BI Packagecost saving, as multiple organizations System x3950 M2 Intel processor- Users: 900 users across all systemsare supported by just one SAP IT based systems. The company is
  4. 4. migrating the systems and data from “The XIV appealed toolder SAN systems to the XIV, using us because it is so easyVMware vMotion. Some legacy and to manage. We arein-house applications designed for theagricultural sector are also due to be able to assign, createmigrated to the XIV, saving costs on and delete volumesproprietary disk storage. quickly and easily, and IBM Deutschland GmbH it takes so little time D-70548 Stuttgart“In the past, providing additional ibm.com/solutions/sap to understand the userstorage capacity could take up to IBM, the IBM logo, and ibm.com are trademarksthree months, from the start of the interface that we were of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Aprocurement process to deployment. in production within a current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademarkWith XIV, we have cut this to one week,” couple of days.” information” at http://www.ibm.com/legal/says Marty Erbes. “Our business copytrade.shtmlstrategy is to be a low-cost producer, Marty Erbes, Systems Manager at American Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Xeon and the Intel Xeon Crystal Sugar logo are trademarks or registered trademarks ofand savings on IT operations and Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the Unitedtime to delivery are a major benefit for States and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the UnitedAmerican Crystal Sugar.” States and other countries. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. Microsoft, Windows, WindowsMeeting business objectives “The SAP applications, such as NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks ofAmerican Crystal Sugar employs plant maintenance, are critical to our Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.Erbes, Kevin Miller, Senior Technical success, and the combination of the Other company, product or service names mayAnalyst, Dale Anderson, Senior IBM Power 770 server and IBM XIV be trademarks, or service marks of others.SAP Technical Analyst who share storage delivers high-efficiency, low- This case study illustrates how one IBMresponsibilities for SAP Basis, cost operations, exactly in line with customer uses IBM and/or IBM Business Partner technologies/services. Many factors haveOracle database administration, AIX American Crystal Sugar’s business contributed to the results and benefitsadministration, procurement and data objectives.” described. IBM does not guarantee comparable results. All information contained herein wasstorage. provided by the featured customer and/or IBM Business Partner. IBM does not attest to its accuracy. All customer examples cited representAmerican Crystal Sugar relies on how some customers have used IBM productsEvolving Solutions in Hamel Minnesota and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performanceas their premier IBM Business Partner characteristics will vary depending on individualsolution. customer configurations and conditions. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.“The XIV appealed to us because it © Copyright IBM Corp. 2010. All rights reserved.is so easy to manage,” says MartyErbes. “We are able to assign, createand delete volumes quickly and easily,and it takes so little time to understandthe user interface that we were inproduction within a couple of days. © Copyright 2010 SAP AG SAP AG Dietmar-Hopp-Allee 16 D-69190 Walldorf SAP, the SAP logo, SAP and all other SAP products and services mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and several other countries. SPC03304-WWEN-00 (December 2010)