Application performance and reliability are critical issues for data center applications. Cisco just recently released a case study on Denver-based Johns Manville, a leading manufacturer of quality building products and how Cisco helps maximize availability and performance of their SAP inventory control system.
Johns Manville relies on an SAP business system in its manufacturing plants and warehouses for inventory management. Plant floor employees, such as forklift drivers and shipping agents, continuously enter data into the inventory management system through an SAP portal as orders are entered, packed, and shipped, and as inventory is moved. Forklift vehicles are equipped with PCs and scanners that connect to the SAP portal through wireless connections. The SAP portal also provides access to the plant intranet and other applications.
Johns Manville deployed two Cisco ACE modules in its Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series core switches to load-balance incoming SAP inventory control traffic to the least-busy servers. The module uses best-in-class application-switching algorithms and highly available system software and hardware to increase application availability. A single module can manage up to 16 Gbps of application traffic, and up to 64 Gbps with four modules in a single Catalyst 6500 Series switch chassis.
Server efficiency is increased through flexible application traffic management and the offloading of CPU-intensive tasks, such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption and decryption processing and TCP session management. Johns Manville also has deployed additional Cisco ACE modules for web traffic load-balancing and for development purposes in the company’s disaster recovery center.
For Johns Manville, choosing the Cisco ACE simplified integration and support by keeping all support under the Cisco umbrella. As a module, Cisco ACE is easily installed in the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, simplifying support by the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) and providing access to Cisco expertise and an escalation path if necessary.
“The Cisco ACE load balancer is a stable product, requiring very little support once it has been deployed,” says Sing. “It provides Johns Manville with a powerful technical tool for improving operational efficiency.”