Solution to optimize the delivery and application of SAP ERP application as part of Lean Retail Architecture.

Cisco Lean Retail SAP ERP Application Deployment Guide

July 19, 2008

The Cisco Lean Retail SAP ERP solution provides best practices and implementation guidance that optimizes application availability, performance, and security while lowering application ownership costs. Cisco's Lean Retail Architecture provides accelerated application performance and improved access to information. Data center-based applications and hosted managed services can have their performance accelerated to LAN-like speeds. SAP's core business application, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), is a business suite that helps retailers manage their inventory, supplier relationships and customer relationships.

Cisco's Lean Retail Architecture includes:

  • Application and collaboration services
  • Integrated networking services
  • Reference network designs

A key Lean Retail integrated network service is the Application Networking Service (ANS). This solution focuses on the ANS components of Cisco Application Control Engine (Cisco ACE) and Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) product families. It provides data center, retail store, and remote end user application optimization services. This collaboration between SAP and Cisco addresses the following SAP Business Suite and NetWeaver deployment challenges:

  • Reduced capital and operational costs for applications, servers, and networking
  • Recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) for business continuity
  • Application response time over limited WAN connections
  • Application, server, network, and service-oriented architecture (SOA) security

The value of the Cisco Lean Retail is accomplished through four key benefits:

  • Application Availability: When an application server fails in a store only that store is impacted. When an application fails in a data center, many stores are impacted. A core tenet of Cisco's Lean Retail Architecture is the centralization of application services. Through server virtualization and load balancing, greater application uptime is achieved. Virtualized server resources in the data center leverage clustering and load balancing to share and distribute load across a larger pool of resources. A single failure does not impact overall accessibility of the application users.
  • Performance Improvement: Traditionally, retailers use low bandwidth links. Many retailers have hundreds to thousands of stores. The incremental addition of WAN bandwidth per store significantly increases OPEX costs due to economies of scale. Retailers get more for less through the use of virtualized servers, load balancing and WAAS. Performance is significantly improved for the end user (both in stores and across the web). Servers are more fully utilized when loads are balanced across larger clusters. WAN performance is improved by locally caching content and accelerating the TCP protocol.
  • Increased Security: Retailers need to comply with industry and regulatory requirements (e.g., PCI, HIPPA, and SOX), to avoid fines and penalties. Security features including encryption, segmentation and authentication address many of these requirements. The Cisco ACE applies stateful inspection rules that explicitly allow or deny specified traffic patterns. The Cisco ACE also uses role based access control to give independent access to both security and load-balancing policies. The Cisco ACE XML Gateway provides a full Layer-7 proxy and includes integrated XML security for web services transactions.
  • Lowering Application ownership costs: Many retailers have hundreds to thousands of stores. Typically they have several servers in each store. For both existing and new applications, the incremental costs per store are significant. By removing servers from the stores, retailers are able to reduce OPEX costs on average of 16%.

Deploying new applications and capabilities quickly and effectively are key IT metrics that improve an organization's business agility. The Cisco Lean Retail enables more applications to be deployed centrally, cutting down significantly on the time and cost of deployment. Deploying centrally also reduces the costs of opening new stores and of integrating acquisitions. While many Retailers will choose to deploy some applications in the stores, the Cisco Lean Retail improves the capabilities of a central deployment model. Learn more about Cisco Lean Retail Architecture.

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Solution Author


Christian Janoff
Industry Solutions Architect


Bart McGlothin
Industry Solutions Architect

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