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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is home to one of only six SAP University Competence Centers (UCC) worldwide. The UCC hosts more than 150 universities, operating more than 50 production SAP systems, while using its own private cloud environment to deliver SAP software to more than 100,000 students each year. However, it was becoming challenging to maintain the underlying technology infrastructure to keep the system running at full capacity.
The UWM’s data center hosts the SAP software, which member universities use in their coursework. UWM’s infrastructure must scale up and down with the ebb and flow of the school year. At the beginning of every semester, faculty from member universities request access to SAP software. UCC personnel provision the products and provide support. At the end of the semester, every SAP instance is basically discarded. The next semester, the cycle begins anew with fresh instances being created.
NetApp definitely exceeded our expectations. We were thrilled that we had a lot more capability than we thought was possible.
Ross Hightower Director, SAP University Competence Center at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
With more than 50 SAP instances running simultaneously, UWM needed an infrastructure solution that could keep up with its performance, scalability, and efficiency needs. University officials decided that NetApp AFF was the way to go.
"With NetApp, we can create a system, get it all ready, create a snapshot of it, and then we can reproduce that system later," says Ross Hightower, director of the UCC.
The restoration can occur in as little as one minute. “It takes longer to boot the server up than it does to restore that snapshot,” adds Jerad Lumina, senior information processing consultant, UWM. With the previous solution, the restoration took a couple of hours. Multiply that by 50 to realize the huge efficiencies that UWM experienced with NetApp AFF.