In-Depth

Dow Chemical uses Optane to fine-tune SAP

Hard on the heels of its release of Optane optimizers for Java, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Mercury Interactive Corp. recently announced the Optane brand of products for SAP solutions. The new offering is designed to optimize the performance of the SAP NetWeaver integration and application platform.

“We can now automate the testing of SAP applications before they’re deployed to make sure the functionality works, and can reduce the time to test these apps by 50%,” claims Rod Lehman, Mercury’s director of product marketing for ERP/CRM products.

“Historically, SAP has recommended that customers would need 20% more hardware to run all of the new functionality,” he added. “We’ve been able to work with customers to improve performance by using less hardware for SAP applications. Typically, when we go in with our staging and tuning products, we help customers to achieve three to four times additional performance with little or no [additional] hardware.”

One such customer is Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich. The science and technology company serves customers in more than 170 countries and employs 50,000. It has been using Mercury’s Topaz and SiteScope products for SAP for about nine months.

Dow has a globally integrated SAP system with a weekday availability of 99.9% without interruptions or delays, said Art Eberhart, global director, information systems. “System availability and response time are essential to our business, which is why we use the Optane tools to alert us when SAP is unavailable to our users,” he explained.

The firm also uses the Topaz tool to record and report the user’s performance experience, specifically response time, from 30 of its geographic locations, Eberhart noted.

Optane includes three main areas of products: testing applications, staging applications and managing applications. Optane for SAP solutions integrates each one of these with the SAP environment. The testing aspect automates the testing of the app. The tuning piece works with SAP to determine the optimal configuration settings.

For the managing component, Mercury works with SAP research and development to understand all of the critical pieces of the infrastructure that make SAP run, said Mercury’s Lehman. The tool then builds custom monitors that watch everything in production to ensure availability and help troubleshoot problems.

“The Optane tools for SAP help Dow measure, store and report important metrics from a user perspective,” Dow’s Eberhart noted. “We look at metrics from our customers’ perspective and use the information to assess customer needs to determine whether they are using our systems to accomplish their goals and to find resolutions to issues.”


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About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at freelancewriter@gates-works.com.

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