4-page Case Study
Posted: 5/15/2013
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Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin Cuts Database Size by 74 Percent While Boosting Performance

The Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) business area of Lockheed Martin creates specialized products that range from missile defense systems and precision engagement weapons to heat rejection panels that protect those living aboard the International Space Station. MFC has long used SAP software for its enterprise resource planning processes. Since migrating its SAP infrastructure from a UNIX/Oracle solution to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, the company reports enhanced performance and reliability as well as lower total cost of ownership, including a significant savings in software and maintenance costs. The company’s internal testing has found that the new data compression features reduce database size by total 74 percent while enhancing performance of some runs by more than 80 percent.

* The cost savings that were projected at the beginning of the project turned out to be real. Everyone, including our CFO, was pleased with the move from UNIX and Oracle to Windows and SQL Server.  *

Brent Eckhout
SAP Technical Systems Manager
Lockheed Martin, Missiles and Fire Control


Lockheed Martin is well known as one of the world’s premier global security and aerospace companies. As such, it is also one of the world’s largest manufacturers, producing a broad range of advanced technology systems, electronic and integrated systems, aeronautics, and space systems. Its operations are massive. In 2012, the company reported US$47.2 billion sales, produced by more than 120,000 employees at 939 facilities worldwide. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the company has operations throughout the United States and 60 other nations and territories.

The company’s Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) business area designs, develops, and builds a wide spectrum of products, including tactical missiles and combat maneuver systems, unmanned systems, fire control and sensor systems, air and missile defense systems, and provides applied research. The company also has an extensive Technical Services component that provides counter-narcotics and global threat services, electronic systems support, global engineering and security services, logistics and health services, and aviation logistics support and sustainment for customers around the world.

Lockheed Martin had used SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for more than a decade to run its manufacturing and enterprise resource operations. A major customer of SAP, the company was using the entire SAP R/3 suite as well as SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (BI) systems, with multiple production instances installed across the United States. In addition, Lockheed Martin used the SAP discrete industries and mill products solution (DIMP) for many customizations unique to its industry.

MFC has one of the largest SAP production instances at Lockheed Martin, with nearly 3 terabytes of data and 3,300 named users, including more than 1,400 concurrent users. Deployed in 1999, the SAP system initially ran on Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) platforms with a UNIX operating system and an Oracle database. “UNIX and Oracle had been a logical choice for us,” says Brent Eckhout, SAP Technical Systems Manager at Lockheed Martin, Missiles and Fire Control. “At the time we felt it was the right platform for the price and level of performance. And we had a history with UNIX and Oracle in our environment.”

But after five years, MFC saw its SAP R/3 environment growing at a rate of 33 percent per year. The company decided to reconsider its platform choice when it looked at costs for scaling its UNIX/Oracle stack. However, reliability remained a deciding factor for this mission-critical system and provided further incentive to look elsewhere for a new solution. “We wanted maximum reliability,” says Eckhout. “Clustering would have been one way to achieve it, but we had several false starts with UNIX clustering in the SAP environment.”

* The migration was better, faster, and smoother than I anticipated.  *

Brent Eckhout
SAP Technical Systems Manager
Lockheed Martin, Missiles and Fire Control


After consulting with other large manufacturers that had migrated from the UNIX/Oracle stack to the Microsoft platform, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control determined that its best option for supporting future growth—while enhancing reliability and high availability—was to migrate its SAP infrastructure to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition software running on the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system with Intel-based server computers. The company subsequently upgraded to SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise running on Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise.

Reducing Costs

“Our due diligence showed that other companies that had migrated from UNIX/Oracle to the Microsoft platform found that with proper preparation it was easy to migrate the data, and that afterward database administrators found it easier to manage the database infrastructure,” says Eckhout. “And we thought that the combination of Windows Server and SQL Server on open, standards-based hardware could lead to lower costs. In a highly competitive marketplace, running as lean as possible is extremely important.”

The company’s due diligence also included a proof-of-concept study conducted at the Microsoft Technology Center in Dallas, Texas. The test demonstrated the value of high-availability clustering in SQL Server 2003 and made the MFC team comfortable with a clustered database implementation.

For hardware, MFC chose IBM System x Series servers based on the 64-bit Intel Xeon processor, which provides enterprise-class performance and reliability for 32-bit and 64-bit computing. The external storage infrastructure backbone is the IBM System Storage DS4800 disk subsystem with IBM TotalStorage 3584 Tape Library to materially reduce daily backup time.

Meeting Support Goals

One concern of the MFC team was whether it would be able to get the necessary support for the new solution. “Previously, we went to a single vendor for our hardware, operating system, and related issues,” Eckhout says. “Our major concern with the Windows-based architecture was having multiple vendors and the risk of support issues falling between the gaps.”

The vendors include Microsoft, IBM, and SAP for the infrastructure, as well as REALTECH, which handled migration with support from Intel. Despite earlier concerns, the new, multi-vendor platform turned out to be an asset. “All of our vendors worked extremely well together to achieve excellent results,” says Eckhout. “Companies that we once viewed as vendors, we now view as partners.”

A variety of factors contributed to the project’s coordination and success. Perhaps most important was a detailed project plan that addressed all potential risks in the migration process. For example, the partners recommended a three-week performance testing period, including tests by business users.

Because the SAP graphical user interface doesn’t change in a typical migration, many companies omit user testing. However, the tests at Lockheed Martin enabled the partners to not just check how well specific queries were performing in the new environment, but also how users perceived that performance, enabling them to make any required adjustments.

In addition, MFC and the partners established a detailed schedule of status meetings, including weekly internal meetings, biweekly partner meetings, and steering committee meetings for team leaders. The partners worked together when problems arose, and performance- assurance on the hardware configuration and a fixed-bid price for the migration transferred risk from MFC to its partners. As a result, the migration was “better, faster, and smoother than I anticipated,” says Eckhout.

Successful Migration

MFC carefully prepared for migration, including working with REALTECH, a Microsoft Certified Partner and a SAP Services Partner that specializes in SAP-based migrations. MFC decided to migrate its SAP NetWeaver BI implementation first so it could apply knowledge gained from the experience to its mission-critical R/3 migration.

Both migrations went smoothly, with each accomplished over a weekend. The new environment is hosted on 16 IBM System x servers. The solution uses Dell/Quest Spotlight for SQL Server for proactive monitoring.

Post-Migration Upgrades

MFC has been successful with its new SAP infrastructure and has continued to implement periodic hardware and SQL upgrades. For example, recent Unicode enhancement in SQL Server 2008 R2 provided the opportunity to use page-level compression, which reduced the size of SAN storage by almost 58 percent. The company is currently planning an upgrade to SQL Server 2012 Enterprise to take advantage of high-availability features, including the new AlwaysOn capability.

The current solution architecture includes:

SAP ERP 6.0. MFC hosts SAP ERP 6.0 on an active/active two-node cluster, with one node hosting applications, and the other hosting the database. SAP ERP application servers are hosted on 64-bit IBM System x 3350 computers with 24 Intel CPUs. The 1-terabyte database is hosted on a 64-bit IBM System x 3850 computer with 24 Intel CPUs and 512 gigabytes of RAM. Storage is on an Enterprise-class EMC Symmetrix VMAXe Disk Storage System.

Disaster Recovery. A second System x 3850 cluster at a remote site supports disaster recovery through the use of the log shipping feature of SQL Server 2008 R2. Log shipping increases a SQL Server database's availability by automatically copying and restoring the database's transaction logs to another database on a standby server. Because the standby database receives all changes to the original database, it's an exact duplicate of the original database—out of date only by the time it takes for the copy-and-load process.

SAP BI. The company’s SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0 software and 1.8-terabyte database are hosted on an IBM System x 3950 computer with 16 Intel CPUs and 64 gigabytes of RAM. Storage is on an IBM System Storage DS4800 Disk Storage System.

* We have to integrate SAP with our email system, with our word-processing system, and with a range of other systems that are all Microsoft products. This integration improves our use of both SAP and Microsoft products.  *

Darcy Sety
Director of IT Infrastructure and Operations
Lockheed Martin, Missiles and Fire Control


By migrating from a RISC–based UNIX/Oracle stack to a Microsoft platform running on IBM servers with Intel processors, Missiles and Fire Control reduced its SAP infrastructure costs over a five-year period. The company has also enjoyed enhanced performance, reliability, and easier database management. It now looks forward to new high-availability features available in SQL Server 2012.

Reduced Costs

The same due diligence that established that the Microsoft platform provided a superior foundation for supporting SAP scalability and high availability, also showed that the company would enjoy lower TCO. MFC assembled detailed projections that showed that the solution would yield significant savings the first five years, compared with the cost of continuing on the UNIX and Oracle platform. The savings are all “hard dollar” savings for hardware, software, and maintenance.

One of the greatest savings is in software maintenance costs, which MFC saw drop as the business unit reduced its Oracle licenses and the need for contracted software maintenance. MFC also reports lower hardware maintenance agreement costs by moving from RISC-based to Intel-based hardware. It saw additional savings in data storage due to the efficiencies and self-tuning abilities of SQL Server and EMC data storage hardware, avoiding projected costs for deploying a UNIX-based clustering solution.

As a result, MFC projected an internal rate of return of 29 percent from the migration with payback in three years, making it a highly successful investment for the unit. “The cost savings that were projected at the beginning of the project turned out to be real,” says Eckhout. “Everyone, including our CFO, was pleased with the move from UNIX and Oracle to Windows and SQL Server.”

Enhanced Performance

Migrating to the Microsoft platform and Intel-based hardware provided the company with enhanced performance, though Eckhout points out that upgrading hardware on the UNIX platform would also have enhanced performance. Still, the company has been pleased with its gains. “SAP on Windows software, Intel processors, and IBM hardware meets or exceeds all of our performance criteria,” says Eckhout. “Our ERP system supports more than 500,000 SAP steps per day and has enabled us to easily accommodate an increase in the number of users.”

Gained Better Reliability

SQL Server and the rest of the Microsoft platform have helped MFC achieve the reliability and uptime required for its mission-critical SAP systems. “In the more than six years since we migrated the first R/3 database to SQL Server, I don’t believe we’ve had a single event of unplanned downtime, or at least an event that was caused by either the database or operating system,” says Chris Church, NetWeaver Administrator at Lockheed Martin, MFC.

For MFC, the integration of SAP and Microsoft software extends beyond SQL Server. “We have to integrate SAP with our email system, with our word-processing system, and with a range of other systems that are all Microsoft products,” says Darcy Sety, Director of IT Infrastructure and Operations at Lockheed Martin, MFC. “This integration improves our use of both SAP and Microsoft products.”

Eased Database Management

Database management is also easier with SQL Server than it was with Oracle. “We seemed to have required a lot more intervention by database administrators on Oracle,” says Eckhout. “We were told by people in other companies that our DBA maintenance needs would drop after moving to SQL Server. This turned out to be true and we are enjoying the results.”

Easier database management contributes to a lower TCO and to overall satisfaction. “The reduced need for DBA interventions has freed up this talent so they can focus on other support areas,” Eckhout says. “This has made our DBAs more available to our user community, which provides a higher value to our business.”

Cut Database Size by 74 Percent

Row compression reduces database size by removing unneeded bytes from column values and storing them in variable length format. The technology can significantly reduce overall database size, as MFC found in its own testing, which also showed faster performance of critical jobs (see the table above).

“When we applied row compression to a copy of our ERP database, we found a 37 percent reduction in total data size,” says Church. “We also found that all of our benchmarks of critical jobs ran faster after using row compression. For example, processing times for one of our jobs went from 8 minutes to 1.5 minutes, and another critical job went from 34 to 25 minutes.”

Page-level compression in SQL Server 2008 R2 is also cutting database size. Together row and page-level compression reduce database size by a total of 74 percent. “Reducing disk-size requirements definitely contributes to lower TCO, because we are constantly getting user requests for more disk space,” says Eckhout. “We don’t do a lot of archiving because our analysts and user community like having immediate access to all the data they might ever need. With demand like that, data compression is attractive.”


In summary, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control reports a lower total cost of ownership, enhanced performance, better reliability, and easier database management since moving its multi-terabyte SAP infrastructure from a UNIX/Oracle stack to a Microsoft platform.

Microsoft Server Product Portfolio

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For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:


For more information about IBM products and services, visit the website at: www.ibm.com

For more information about Intel products and services, visit the website at: www.intel.com

For more information about REALTECH products and services, visit the website at: www.realtech.com

For more information about Lockheed Martin products and services, visit the website at: www.lockheedmartin.com

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 136000 employees

Organization Profile

Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin partners with international organizations to provide globally oriented security systems, solutions, and services in the defense of freedom.

Business Situation

The company’s Missiles and Fire Control business area needed to update its SAP infrastructure from a UNIX/Oracle stack to a solution that provided better scalability, reliability, while cutting costs.


Missiles and Fire Control migrated from UNIX and Oracle to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise running on IBM System x servers with Intel Xeon processors.


  • Reduces costs and yields a rapid return on investment.
  • Enhances performance and provides better reliability
  • Eases management and cuts database size by 74 percent

• EMC Symmetrix VMAXe Disk Storage System
• IBM System Storage DS4800 Disk Storage System
• IBM System x 3850 and 3950 server computers
• Intel Xeon processors

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

Vertical Industries
Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace

United States

Business Need
  • Mission Critical
  • Cost Containment

IT Issue
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Integration with SAP