Power 9 for SAP HANA

PACCAR Powers Up for Growth with POWER9 and SAP HANA

EMPLOYEES:   25,000
INDUSTRY:   Manufacturing

“We’ve been running POWER9 for more than a year and I have not had one complaint about performance. We’re really happy with our selection, and we’re always amazed at how well Mainline knows our environment and our needs. In the past 10 years of working with them, they have never been wrong. We trust Mainline.”

Maqsood Ahmed

Technical Fellow, PACCAR


A processor that could live up to the demands of the SAP S/4HANA in-memory database with the ability to scale for future growth.


A single IBM Power System E980 processor is 1.5x faster than the POWER8 models, allowing PACCAR to achieve better performance with fewer software licenses.

The Business Challenge:

PACCAR runs their SAP environment on a variety of IBM Power Systems, including IBM Power System 750, IBM Power System E870, and IBM Power System E880C. Last year, PACCAR purchased SAP S/4HANA, an in-memory, relational database, known for its advanced analytics capabilities and real-time decision-making support. While SAP HANA is a leader in its class, its in-memory data platform requires enormous amounts of memory and processing speeds that can be hard to come by in the market. In anticipation of upcoming growth, PACCAR needed a server environment with lightning-fast processors and the ability to scale and dynamically allocate resources. Their go-to solution was IBM Power Systems, however as part of their due diligence they examined a number of other options. In addition, management requested a study comparing the performance of SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems versus on the Intel-based x86 server.

“PACCAR has an aggressive growth plan with several global projects slated for the next year. We anticipate scaling from about 2TB of data per system to 5-10TB per system, and we need a server environment that can support that capacity.”

Maqsood Ahmed

Technical Fellow, PACCAR

The Solution:

After conducting a month-long comparative study and multiple interviews with Intel x86 users, PACCAR determined that the x86 platform simply did not have the level of scalability or dynamic resources that IBM Power Systems offer. In the next year, PACCAR anticipates a data increase of up to 8TB per system, and their study deduced that POWER9 systems are the only enterprise servers in their class that can support that kind of volume at scale.

This solidified PACCAR’s commitment to IBM Power Systems, and with the guidance of Mainline, PACCAR selected the IBM Power System E980 for its unbeatable response time, rapid scalability, and dynamic allocation of resources. Using IBM Live Partition Mobility from IBM Lab Services, PACCAR was able to migrate its critical systems from the IBM Power System E880C to the IBM Power System E980 with zero downtime.

“The community at PACCAR trusts IBM Power Systems to support our critical systems. In a year we will have grown to a capacity that only POWER9 can provide. Moving forward, every SAP HANA system at PACCAR will be run on IBM Power Systems. There will be no questions.”

Maqsood Ahmed

Technical Fellow, PACCAR

The Result:

PACCAR’s investment in the IBM Power System E980 provided them with a high-performance, reliable enterprise server that they have confidence will support their most critical systems both today and in the future. The new systems running on the IBM Power System E980 are running with 6-10 times more resources, offering massive throughput and performance. Additional advantages include:

  • Cost savings with fewer software licenses needed
  • Rapid scalability, up to 64TB of memory
  • Ranks #1 in every major reliability category by ITIC
  • Infrastructure resilience
  • Consolidation of servers
  • Migration with zero downtime using IBM Live Partition Mobility

After migrating most of their SAP HANA systems to the IBM Power System E980, PACCAR is realigning resources and adding more systems to achieve better performance at a lower cost. In the near future, PACCAR will migrate the remaining SAP HANA Sidecar Systems they have onto the IBM Power System E980.

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