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Posted: 6/20/2012
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Tognum AG Manufacturer Uses Data Compression to Cut Storage Costs and Save €175,000 Annually

With 23 subsidiaries, hundreds of dealers, and its own manufacturing operations, Tognum AG faces a complex information environment. Data from Tognum sources is varied and constantly increasing, and the company needs a reliable and scalable database to support its business processes. So Tognum has standardized its systems on Microsoft SQL Server, which is helping it reduce storage costs through data compression and save money by improving system performance.

Business Needs

Tognum AG makes and sells diesel and gas engines and gas turbines with output of up to 45,000 kilowatts. Its product portfolio includes propulsion and power generation systems for approximately 20 applications, including trains, ships, and construction vehicles. Its sales earnings in fiscal year 2010 reached €2.56 billion (U.S.$3.2 billion).

* SQL Server 2008 R2 provided the remedy for our data overload problems. With SQL Server 2012, we will be able to process data even more quickly and comfortably. *

Dr. Wolfgang Heizmann
Chief Information Officer
Tognum AG

Tognum has 23 fully consolidated subsidiaries, more than 140 sales partners, and 500 authorized dealers in more than 1,200 locations. The company and its core operation, MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, use and generate large amounts of data to manage and control their worldwide sales and service structure. As a result, the IT environment that supports their businesses processes is complex.

Tognum uses SAP systems for all its business processes. Along with SAP, the company needs an efficient, scalable, and reliable database and server system that can support its business intelligence management tasks, from production planning and control all the way to the online shop.

The company’s increasingly complex business processes are generating ever-larger amounts of data. Recently, the Friedrichshafen managers have been confronted with exploding costs for storage systems. “The database of our SAP systems increases by 40 gigabytes per month, in some instances even by 90 gigabytes. Our storage costs have increased by 196 percent since 2009,” says Terence Yong, IT Director for Tognum. The conversion of the SAP systems to Unicode has exacerbated the situation to the extent that a rapid reduction of data volume has become crucial.


For many years, Tognum AG has relied on Microsoft SQL Server data management software and the Windows Server operating system for its database and server needs. Tognum decided to adopt Microsoft SQL Server as the platform for its SAP systems in 1997. The goal of the decision was to prevent downtime of its mission-critical SAP systems to the greatest extent possible.

The decision has paid off, and the integration of SQL Server with the SAP applications has been successful across the board. “The environment proved to be extremely cost-effective, very economical, and stable,” says Dr. Wolfgang Heizmann, Chief Information Officer, Tognum AG. “The combination of Microsoft and SAP guarantees the smooth operation of our business.”

To handle the explosion in data storage costs, the company has relied on data compression capabilities of SQL Server 2008 R2. On several weekends over the course of three months, the company’s three databank administrators compressed the data of 70 SAP systems. Says IT Director Yong, “The amount of data in one of our largest systems was reduced by approximately 3 terabytes down to 930 gigabytes. And that occurred during normal operations, without our having to shut down a system that is so critical to the business.”


By taking advantage of the data compression capability in SQL Server 2008 R2, Tognum AG is holding down data storage costs and accelerating data query results. The company anticipates further improvements in both efficiency and performance as SQL Server 2012 is integrated into its business processes. This makes Tognum confident about the future.

Data Compression Reduces Storage Costs by 69 Percent

With the built-in data compression feature in SQL Server 2008 R2, Tognum has significantly reduced data volumes, resulting in lower acquisition costs for new data storage solutions. “By using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 compression technology, we were able to decrease the enormous database volume of our SAP systems by more than two-thirds,” says Yong. “We thereby reduced costs for our storage systems by 69 percent.”

Better System Performance Saves Money and Eases Routine Tasks

SQL Server data compression has increased the system’s input/output capacity by 43 percent, improving scalability and resulting in a savings of nearly €175,000 (U.S.$222,000) a year. It also has resulted in time and cost savings for maintenance operations and routine jobs. Yong says, “We have significantly reduced servicing and downtime with faster backup and recovery.”

Backup, recovery, and administrative tasks can now be quickly taken care of without additional investment in high-end hardware. And SQL Server management commands like DBCC CheckDB, which validates the contents of every indexed view in the database, runs more quickly. Yong says, “Routine monitoring of databases with DBCC CheckDB, for instance, requires two seconds now instead of six.” In addition, it’s now simpler to handle quantities of data when configuring quality control systems.

Better performance also has significantly improved system and service availability for users. Batch jobs, for example, require approximately a third less time than previously, which means that users can get results the same evening instead of having to wait until the next morning.

SQL Server 2012 Raises Expectations for Even Faster Date Processing

Tognum expects further efficiency improvements in the future with the integration of SQL Server 2012, and the company believes that the next version of its SAP-certified database solution will result in a further leap forward in quality. “SQL Server 2008 R2 provided the remedy for our data overload problems. With SQL Server 2012, we will be able to process data even more quickly and comfortably.” says Heizmann. “Our entire client-server environment and our database have been standardized on a high level, and our experience in all our years with Microsoft has been excellent, due if nothing else to outstanding global support.”

Thanks to the AlwaysOn high-availability feature within SQL Server 2012, Tognum expects less downtime and even more efficiency for high-volume data workloads. “We have never regretted our early decision in favor of SQL Server, and that will continue to be the case going forward,” says Heizmann.

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

Organization Size: 9800 employees

Organization Profile

The Tognum Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of engines and propulsion systems for off-highway applications as well as distributed power generation systems.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Vertical Industries
Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace


Business Need
  • Mission Critical
  • Business Critical

IT Issue
Data Warehousing