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Apple Vacations takes a holiday from complexity with IBM XIV and SAP ERP


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Learn about Apple Vacations taking a holiday from complexity with IBM XIV and SAP ERP. Consolidating, cutting operational costs by up to 80 percent, and improving SAP storage performance. For more information, visit

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Apple Vacations takes a holiday from complexity with IBM XIV and SAP ERP

  1. 1. IBM Systems and Technology Travel and TransportationCase Study Apple Vacations takes a holiday from complexity with IBM XIV and SAP ERP Consolidating, cutting operational costs by up to 80 percent, and improving SAP storage performance Apple Vacations specializes in vacations to Cancun, Punta Cana, the Overview Bahamas, Costa Rica, Panama, Hawaii, and other destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. Founded in 1969 and an innovator from the start, The need it was one of the first holiday companies to bring all-inclusive vacations to Apple Vacations, reaching the capacity and performance limits of its existing the U.S. market, and one of the first to offer three- and four-night vaca- storage infrastructure, was seeking tions to meet consumer demand for shorter, more frequent breaks. simple and cost-effective ways to flexibly handle long-term growth. Most Apple Vacations customers still book their vacations through a The solution travel agent, but the company was experiencing a dramatic rise in transac- Deployed a virtualized multiworkload tions on its consumer website. This, and the fact that the company’s web storage environment based on channel also provides a booking service for its travel agents, was putting IBM XIV Storage System for all significant strain on its storage infrastructure. applications, including SAP ERP, running on IBM Power Systems™ and IBM System x servers. John Venezia, Chief Information Officer, explains, “Apple Vacations wants to be the go-to company for vacations in the Caribbean, which The benefit means increasing our share of the market, and making our vacations more Reduced administrative workload by 80 percent; reduced data management attractive and easier to book. Our largest storage array had reached the and storage costs by more than 80 per- limits of its capacity and performance. By adopting the IBM XIV Storage cent; increased performance while cut- System as our strategic platform for all data storage, we dramatically ting the footprint and energy costs in half. improved performance and gained practically unlimited headroom for growth. We also cut administration and storage costs by more than 80 percent, and reduced the physical footprint and energy costs for data storage by 50 percent.” Key objectives met Apple Vacations deployed the IBM XIV Storage System to consolidate its multiworkload landscape on a single storage solution. The diverse appli- cations using the XIV system include SAP ERP software for core business management, and a range of travel-specific applications alongside
  2. 2. IBM Systems and Technology Travel and TransportationCase Study Lotus® Notes®, Lotus Domino® and Oracle database solutions. The company uses IBM Power Systems servers running IBM AIX® for the “The migration to XIV SAP applications, including SAP NetWeaver® Business Warehouse, and was incredibly easy. IBM System x® and other vendor servers running Microsoft Windows If a new volume was Server, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. IBM DB2® provides reliable, high-performance information manage- needed, we set it up on ment for the SAP landscape. the XIV, pressed ‘refresh’ Apple Vacations chose IBM WebSphere products to build its web experi- and it was immediately ence. The solution includes WebSphere Application Server to support available to the system”, applications and processing, WebSphere Virtual Enterprise for system automation and monitoring, and WebSphere eXtreme Scale for sheer —John Venezia, Chief Information Officer, performance and scalability. Apple Vacations Apple Vacations has used SAP ERP software to run its core business processes since 1998, during which time its SAP landscape has grown by a factor of six in terms of data and transaction workload. The current SAP solution generates around 5 TB of production data, including fast changing information on aircraft and hotel bookings that must also be shared at high speed with external partners such as airlines, hotel chains and car rental firms. John Venezia, Chief Information Officer, comments, “XIV is an ideal platform for our mission-critical SAP ERP landscape, meeting all our key objectives around performance, availability, low costs of operation, ease of management, and long-term scalability. Its proven ability to work seam- lessly across multiple operating systems was also an important decision factor.” He adds, “SAP software gives us the ability to automate the financial and logistics processing at the heart of our business. By running the SAP components as virtual servers on IBM AIX with IBM PowerVM® virtualization, we have an extremely compact, efficient and flexible plat- form for business management. The PowerVM virtualization is perfectly complemented by the virtualized storage on the XIV.” Sirius Computer Services, an IBM Business Partner, deployed the XIV solution, and helped Apple Vacations migrate existing data to the new XIV system in little more than a week. “The migration to XIV was incredibly easy using the built-in tool,” says Venezia. “If a new volume was needed, we set it up on the XIV system, pressed ‘refresh’, and it was immediately available to the connected servers.” 2
  3. 3. IBM Systems and Technology Travel and TransportationCase Study Shrinking costs, growing capacity IBM solution components The XIV system has enabled Apple Vacations to replace a complex net- work of disparate SAN devices with a single, self-managing enterprise Hardware storage solution. ●● IBM XIV® Storage System ●● IBM Power® 770 Says Venezia, “With the XIV storage system, everything is virtualized, Software and we no longer need to know or care where the data is actually stored ●● IBM AIX® on the array. We can simply manage the storage volumes, and the XIV ●● IBM DB2® 9.0 ●● IBM PowerVM™ system ensures both that access performance is optimized and that we are ●● IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager protected against data loss without requiring us to manage RAID levels. ●● IBM WebSphere® Implementing the XIV Storage System has enabled us to cut our data IBM Business Partner management workload by at least 80 percent: from 20 hours a week to ●● Sirius Computer Services less than four.” Bringing innovation to market faster For its operating system and application upgrades, Apple Vacations uses “The XIV Storage the XIV snapshot functionality to create a near-instant copy of the system System met all of our before applying the changes. “The XIV snapshots are phenomenal— key objectives around they’ve transformed our quality assurance processes,” says Venezia. “We can create a new quality assurance environment in just a few moments, performance, lower ready for testing, which helps us bring new products and services to mar- costs of operation, ease ket more rapidly and at lower cost.” of management, and Since implementing XIV storage, Apple Vacations has experienced con- long-term scalability.” tinuous uptime, even when linking new servers to the system or creating large new volumes. The massively parallelized XIV grid architecture —John Venezia, Chief Information Officer, offers consistent high performance at all times, even during peak business Apple Vacations hours when multiple servers are reading and writing large amounts of data. IT Environment “We now rely entirely on XIV storage,” says John Venezia. “The XIV system really simplifies the management overhead, with a powerful user Operating systems interface that we can use to easily reassign, increase or decrease volumes ●● Microsoft Windows Server ●● SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on the fly. In combination with IBM PowerVM virtualization on our ●● Red Hat Enterprise Linux Power Systems servers, this gives us the flexibility we need to provide optimal support for our business-critical SAP ERP landscape.” Applications ●● mySAP Business Suite 2005 ●● Microsoft Exchange Server For more information To learn more about the IBM XIV Storage System, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: 3
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