Dole Packaged Foods (Dole) Seeks Optimal Path to Public Cloud
⇨ How to create an ERP design across multiple availability zones
⇨ Improved flexibility, with the ability to scale the system infrastructure up or down as needed
⇨ Free up capital to invest in strategic business initiatives
Dole Seeks Optimal Path for Public Cloud
Dole Packaged Foods, LLC (Dole) is a global leader in providing packaged, shelf-stable fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, and juices. Since 2009, Dole has run its SAP environment in Syntax’s private cloud, relying on Syntax’s ability and flexibility to support and secure Dole’s mission-critical SAP applications. Looking to take the next step in their digital transformation, Dole Packaged Foods set out to identify and evaluate public cloud options to best meet its needs.
Cost optimization, without compromising the quality of service, was a primary consideration for Dole. Building on the strong rapport already in place, Syntax worked with Dole Packaged Foods Head of Digital Technologies, World-Wide Packaged Foods, Gabe Dellevigne, and Bill Farrell, Director of SAP Technology and Governance to identify the best path forward for public cloud adoption.
As Dole continues to evolve its SAP environment, there is an on-going corporate goal to bundle and supersede older technologies that need more infrastructure with newer technologies that need less infrastructure. Dole recognizes that the versatility of a public cloud will allow that to happen with both speed and elasticity.
Smooth SAP on AWS Migration Leverages Myriad Services
Looking at Dole’s technology footprint, the source systems on virtual machines in the Syntax private cloud included SAP HANA for several instances running on IBM Power Systems, Cisco networking, HPE Blades, and 3PAR storage. Dole also had Windows SQL Server for its non-SAP systems, and one SAP system on Windows SQL Server. Specific SAP solutions involved in Dole’s migration to AWS were S/4HANA, Business Warehouse (BW), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Process Orchestration (PO), Solution Manager, Unified Demand Forecast (UDF), and BusinessObjects (BO).
Using AWS best practices and Well-Architected Framework as a reference, Syntax created an ERP design across multiple availability zones (AZs), with workloads split between two zones for cost-effective security and resiliency. “For the S/4HANA system, Syntax configured high availability at both the application level and the SAP HANA level,” explained Antonio Tavera, Syntax SAP Basis Platinum Team and Cloud Services Team Consultant. “With AWS partner SUSE and the SAP Certified Marketplace images provided, setting up HANA clustering and application tier clustering was very straight forward,” Antonio added. Having the active/passive cluster in two availability zones allows Dole to achieve its recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) for production workloads.
For this homogeneous migration from private to public cloud, Syntax used HANA replication, as well as AWS CloudEndure tools, to facilitate the migration. Through cross-region replication, Syntax replicated the entire environment to an alternate region, protecting against catastrophic failure.
“The Syntax team went above and beyond on more than one occasion, pulling the right resources together in a timely way to keep the project on track,” reflects Bill Farrell. In one such case, Dole had a third-party mobile app interacting with SAP— requiring an SAP Java system—that needed to be moved as part of the migration. “The Syntax team persevered at all levels, troubleshooting through multiple technical challenges to make it happen.”
Syntax utilized AWS Snowball, a data migration and edge computing device, for the initial seeding of the data, ahead of establishing a Direct Connect circuit to continue replication. Multiple Direct Connects and multiple IPSec VPN tunnels were fundamental to establishing complex network connectivity with high availability and
Dole’s SAP environment consists of a multi-system landscape: development server (DEV), production server (PRD), quality assurance server (QAS) and Sandbox (SBX). Of note, Syntax moved Dole to its DEV environment on AWS ahead of production go live. “By cutting the DEV landscape over to the public cloud ahead of production,” explained Syntax AWS Solution Architect Stephen Fyffe, “we delivered cost savings by avoiding duplicate workloads.” The QAS environment was also cut over ahead of production go live. Post migration, the SBX environment was cut over.
Modernizing Dole’s backup strategy, Syntax removed the complexities and licensing expense of a legacy backup application tool, replacing with AWS-provided techniques, tools, and AWS Lambda-based automation. Syntax used a recently released service from AWS, Backint for HANA Agent, to efficiently and cost-effectively backup HANA databases.
With this SAP on AWS solution for Dole, Syntax also leveraged other AWS services, including EC2 for compute, Elastic Block Store (EBS), S3 storage for backups and replication to the disaster recovery region, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for some of the networking components, Amazon Directory Service for Windows domain controllers, Elastic File System (EFS), and Simple Email Service (SES).
Noteworthy technical achievements included:
• 68.97 TB of data migrated
• 89 virtual servers migrated
• 23 applications migrated
Through the Syntax Customer Experience Hub (CxHub) and monitoring tools, Dole benefits from real-time visibility into its entire AWS environment.
AWS Advanced Consulting Partner Syntax delivered a timely SAP on AWS solution that met Dole Packaged Foods’ objectives for a cost-optimized, secure, flexible, versatile, and transparent public cloud solution.
- Achieved targeted monthly spend without compromising quality of service
- Recognized improvements in system performance post migration
- Improved the speed of standing up a system that had previously been decommissioned, accomplishing in days what would have taken weeks or months to accomplish before the move to AWS
- Right sized the SAP environment that allowed a conversion to Reserved Instances for cost optimization
- Experienced a seamless transition from private to public cloud with continuity of the account team
- Gained full visibility and control into its SAP on AWS environment via Syntax CxHub
- Improved high availability and disaster recovery capabilities, meeting Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives
- Obtained access to additional AWS skills and resources
- Improved flexibility, with the ability to scale the system infrastructure up or down as needed
- Enhanced versatility in using the public cloud as an isolated testing environment without negative commercial impact or disturbance
- Freed up capital to invest in strategic business initiatives