Glencore boosts SAP apps with Oracle Exadata systems
The swiss group Glencore International has selected Oracle Exadata Database solutions to run SAP
applications faster. How could this happen?
Among hundreds of customers in Europe, Glencore International in Switzerland has chosen Exadata Database systems to boost their mission critical computing platforms running SAP applications. This case study is showing how it is possible to save time and money.
Glencore International is an integrated commodities producer and marketer. It was founded in 1974
by Marc Rich, in Switzerland. Initially focused on the physical marketing of metals, minerals and
crude oil, the company has evolved over the years into a diversified natural resources group through
acquisitions of farming, mining, smelting, refining and processing production assets.
The company has 54,800 employees for a total revenue of US$ 186 billion (2011). It operates 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, over a global network of 50 offices in 40 countries.
In May 2011, Glencore became a public company listed on the Stock Exchange of London and Hong
A new platform for SAP programs
Glencore runs solid backbone of trading and risk management platforms, and reporting databases.
More than 200 different IT solutions are operating on a daily basis, with the highest level of
transactional integration possible, particularly for its corporate data warehouse and global
The company embraced Oracle Exadata platform as a new foundation for company data warehouse
and global SAP programs.
In July 2011, Glencore decided to proceed with an evaluation of Oracle Exadata Database Machine
with the assistance from Tradeware AG, an Oracle platinum partner based in Switzerland.
A’proof of concept’ allowed Glencore to decide the upgrade of its global data warehouse
environment – plus underlying data feed processes – as the new SAP-based global financial solution
to Oracle Exadata Database Machine.
Phase 1: migrations to new process
The 1st phase consisted in migrating from Oracle upgrading Glencore data warehouse environment ,
including the necessary upgrade tasks of Oracle Database from 10g to 11g with Oracle Goldengate.
Major performance gain was identified, especially in terms of I/O, and due to the high system load.
The major improvement impacted the generation of business reports, available in less than an hour,
against a full night previously. Oracle Exadata also drastically reduced the number of systems. It
replaced many production, testing and development machines along with the adequate SAN
Phase 2: SAP FI/CO on Oracle Exadata Database
The 2nd phase was the deployment of the first SAP FI/CO environment on Oracle Exadata Database
systems in Switzerland.
The new Global Accounting Program based on SAP FI/CO was initially deployed at the headquarters
in Baar, Switzerland, for a specific business and then extended in the begining of 2012 to other
Oracle Exadata environment became SAP-certified. In conjunction with Oracle Real Application
Clusters and Oracle Advanced Compression, Exadata Database Machine X2-2 HC has formed the
foundation for a successful architecture. Only one administration team is needed instead of four
«Oracle Exadata is the best solution to ensure optimal performance and fully integrated platform that
will support our company’s fast growing pace and success story», explains Cyril Reol, CIO of Glencore