City of Nuremberg Ensures 24/7 Availability for Business-Critical Applications to Improve Citizens’ Satisfaction with Services
 
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City of Nuremberg Ensures 24/7 Availability for Business-Critical Applications to Improve Citizens’ Satisfaction with Services

City of Nuremberg is the second-largest Bavarian city and fourteenth largest municipality in Germany. With 500,000 inhabitants, Nuremberg is the economic, professional services, and cultural center of Northern Bavaria, and the center of the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region, which has approximately 2.5 million inhabitants. Since the 1970’s, the city has transformed into an innovative service center with rapid growth in engineering and economic consultancies, market research firms, facilities management service providers, and e-businesses. The many inventions that originated in this city include the first print shop (1469), the foundations for photography (1717), and the technology for Shanghai’s Transrapid high-speed train (2004). Nuremberg hosts Germany’s only inventors’ trade fair.

The city has run its financial department on Oracle hardware and software platforms since 2005. When the need to upgrade arose, the city’s choice was clear: to stay with Oracle. It needed to maintain high performance and availability for numerous specialty applications—ranging from motor vehicle licensing to resident registration—as well as SAP software that the city uses for internal management processes, all while staying within budget.

Like most municipalities today, Nuremberg has a limited budget and cannot afford to replace hardware often. While the city was satisfied with the existing, proven IT platform, based on Oracle Solaris, Oracle Solaris Cluster, and Oracle Database, it recognized a need to upgrade to the newest release of Oracle Solaris to introduce a SAP business warehouse on commodity hardware for the city’s finance department.

“We had to maintain the highest performance and availability of our SAP software suites and specialty applications after the upgrade,” said Dr. Martin Haller, system management director, City of Nuremberg. “Imagine a motor vehicle licensing system that does not respond or delayed financial transactions because of IT problems. A reliable IT infrastructure contributes to Nuremberg’s citizens’ satisfaction, and it helps to ensure our excellent position among Central Europe’s business locations.”

 
Extending SAP Infrastructure, Optimizing Operating Environment

A word from City of Nuremberg

  • “The City of Nuremberg operates a large number of heterogeneous applications on different hardware platforms to meet the complex IT requirements of a large, modern city. For years, we relied on Oracle Solaris to run our mission-critical applications, and we upgraded to Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 due to Solaris’ outstanding stability and reliability.” – Dr. Martin Haller, System Management Director, City of Nuremberg

The city needed to extend its existing SAP deployments and establish a new SAP business warehouse dedicated to business intelligence. It required a system for development and quality control environment as well as a production environment. In choosing to deploy Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 on Oracle’s Sun hardware for x86, the city achieved multiple goals. It optimized its SAP operation, maintenance, and security with a single operating environment built on proven components already deployed in its infrastructure—such as Oracle Solaris, Oracle Solaris Cluster, Oracle Solaris features such as Volume Manager, and Oracle Database. It maintained high performance and availability of all applications. And it lowered expenses with cost-efficient commodity hardware and consolidation of the development and quality control environments on the same platforms, using Oracle Solaris Zone clusters.

The city also benefitted from numerous new Oracle Solaris 11 features, such as Oracle Solaris new lifecycle management framework, to further optimize installation, daily operation, support, and development.

 
Ensuring 24/7 Business-Critical Application Availability

 
High Reliability Maintained, Complexity Reduced

 
Affordable Commodity Hardware with Less Downtime

 
Time to Production Accelerated, Security Enhanced

 
Combining New and Old without Overloading Public Budgets

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Establish the city’s financial department with an SAP business warehouse on commodity hardware without modifying its proven IT platform, based on Oracle Solaris and Oracle Database, operating successfully since 2005
  • Minimize effort required to deploy, operate, and maintain SAP and specialty applications by upgrading to the newest Oracle Solaris release
  • Maintain high performance and availability for numerous specialty applications—ranging from motor vehicle licensing to resident registration—and SAP modules used for internal management purposes, such as financials and human resources

Solutions

  • Upgraded to Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.0 to lay the foundation for optimized operation, maintenance, and security for the city’s heterogeneous specialty and SAP application landscape
  • Relied on the city’s proven system platform, based on Oracle Solaris, Oracle Solaris Cluster, Oracle Solaris Volume Manager feature, and Oracle Database to ensure 24/7 business-critical application availability
  • Established an SAP business warehouse for the city’s financial department on commodity hardware—Oracle’s Sun Fire X4270 M2 and Oracle’s Sun Server X2-4
  • Accelerated time to production by configuring Oracle Solaris 11 for the city’s numerous hardware and software platforms with minimal effort and customization, partially replacing Oracle Solaris configuration scripts with the Oracle Solaris’ Service Management Facility feature and easily setting up storage volumes and host-based mirroring with the Oracle Solaris Volume Manager feature
  • Deployed two Oracle Solaris Cluster nodes in two geographically separate data centers to ensure business continuity and top performance during public business hours for improved citizen service and satisfaction
  • Kept data centers running 24/7 with Oracle Solaris Cluster’s advanced software algorithms, which ensure permanent server, network, application, and storage monitoring
  • Reduced significantly the time to update the software environment by leveraging new Oracle Solaris features, such as the repository server’s automatic install function and the simplified update mechanism
  • Enabled automatic recovery of the cluster and applications in failover situations while ensuring near-zero downtime maintenance with rolling and dual partition upgrades
  • Maintained high performance and availability of the previous Oracle Solaris release to meet strict requirements for the city’s applications, such as traffic surveillance, resident registrations, motor vehicle licensing, SAP NetWeaver, and SAP Business Suite
  • Leveraged new Oracle Solaris features, such as simplified high availability models (failover zones and zone clusters), the repository server’s auto install function, and the simplified update mechanism, for rapid configuration and updates to the administration environment
  • Enhanced security by giving system administrators access to specific local zones within the corresponding zone cluster, thus preventing critical actions, such as starting or stopping processes, from affecting other zones
  • Reduced system complexity and eased integration with the city’s SAP software suite by creating isolated, easy to configure environments that are used for running the SAP applications

Why Oracle

“As a municipality with a limited budget, we are focused on sustainable investments, so we do not have to replace hardware every three or four years. That is why we have relied on Oracle hardware and software for so many years. We highly appreciate the Oracle solutions’ manageability, availability, low-maintenance, and sustainability,” said Dr. Martin Haller, system management director, City of Nuremberg.

Partner

Oracle Platinum Partner Computacenter AG & Co. oHG implemented the Oracle solution in close cooperation with an Oracle presales consultant and Oracle Solaris specialists.