Moving to Linux is a good choice as a server platform, but it is also important to select a distribution with enterprise-level support.
By switching to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment running on SuSe Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), leading South African toy manufacturer and distributor, Prima Toys, has managed to reduce its processing time by 500% and has gained enhanced stability for its line-of-business computing environment.
Successful manufacturing and distribution requires tight control over business processes from purchasing to warehousing, sales, returns and in many other areas. ERP solutions for manufacturing companies need to be reliable and robust, while enabling full environmental control.
Before the switch to SLES, Prima Toys made use of an outdated SCO Unix deployment that was slow and no longer enjoyed official support. By moving to SuSe Linux Enterprise Server, the company moved to an operating system backed by a clear roadmap for future support.
On top of the outdated SCO platform, Prima Toys made use of Sage CS3 as an ERP application. As part of the move to SLES, this product also needed to be upgraded to the latest version; Sage Line 500. The upgrade would also require new hardware.
In replacing its Unix environment, Prima Toys selected Novell and partner Clarotech to implement a SLES-based solution that would provide a stable and reliable platform for its ERP environment.
"Prima Toys enjoys a standing relationship with Clarotech and trusted them as Novell partners to provide us with a stable and supported environment for Prima Toys' ERP requirements," explains Prima Toys IT manager, Hannes Truter. "The SLES operating system was preferable due its support and stability."
Clarotech also based the recommendation for SLES on market research and experience in working with other Sage customers. Intel servers were recommended as a hardware platform upon which to run the SLES environment.
"With Novell's name backing the product, Clarotech believes that SLES is the best way to go for a Linux operating system," affirms Colin Fair, managing director of Clarotech. "From a consulting point of view, the choice for SLES in this case was a no-brainer - the migration process would have been convoluted had a Windows server been used, but with SLES it was painless."
Fair explains that the migration was conducted overnight after testing at Clarotech's premises. "Two servers were installed overnight and the migration from SCO to SLES went smoothly. If we had used a Windows-based server for this implementation we would have had to implement a new database system and replace terminals, but with SLES it could not have been easier."
"The servers were turned on and we have not looked back since," affirms Truter.
He says that the new environment is highly stable and that up to a five-fold improvement in speed has been gained.
"We have had no problems whatsoever with SLES," says Truter. "The new system just works and transactional speed is incomparable with what it used to be - the new system is many times faster."
He adds that the system is also monitored daily with system logs being automatically e-mailed to Clarotech for review. "This allows for immediate response should anything go wrong," says Fair.
"What Prima Toys needed from this solution was a stable, supported environment that we could bank our business on," says Truter. "SLES has provided this with the added benefit of speed and efficiency."