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Virtustream and AlmavivA Boosted SAP Performances for Rete Ferroviaria Italiana

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) embraced emerging cloud technologies to improve the performance of their SAP environment dedicated to the maintenance and overall management of the national railway network. By trusting Virtustream and AlmavivA, RFI successfully migrated their existing on-premises ECC landscape to a Virtustream Enterprise Cloud solution running SAP HANA.

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) is an Infrastructure Manager for the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group, responsible for maintaining, using, and developing the rail infrastructure and the sea link services to the major islands. In the role of Infrastructure Manager, RFI allows access to the railway network and Railway Undertakings (RU), performs the maintenance and ensures the safe circulation on the whole network, and manages the investments and technological development needed to upgrade railway lines (High Speed and Conventional).

RFI Business Statistics:

  • More than 16700 km for operational lines
  • 2100 stations dedicated to customer service
  • 330 million km covered by trains
  • 25,949 people employed
  • Almost 3 billion € invested for the upgrading, development and maintenance of the network


AlmavivA is synonymous with technological innovation. Proven experience, unique skills, ongoing research, and in-depth knowledge of a range of public and private market sectors are what make it the leading Italian Group in Information and Communications Technology. 

The mission of AlmavivA is to create exceptional technological solutions that are able to develop the systems and operating processes of private companies and government organizations while improving service levels in a constantly changing market.

With 41,000 people – 10,000 in Italy and 31,000 overseas – AlmavivA is the 5th private Italian Group in terms of people worldwide, recording a turnover in 2016 of 739 million €.

AlmavivA operates globally, with 39 offices in Italy and 22 abroad. It has a significant presence in Brazil, and is operational in the United States, China, Colombia, Tunisia, Romania and Brussels, the nerve center of the EU. Their business plan is characterized by a strong internationalization strategy with 70% of the client base international.

The Challenge

As the amount of users accessing the SAP frontend of RFI’s on-premises deployment increased significantly and rapidly, a difficult challenge arose. Hundreds of users were running periodic activities and heavy transactions that made the review of the whole architecture mandatory.

To remedy the issue, RFI consulted AlmavivA to analyze the SAP system performances and improve the end user experience for application responsiveness. With the evolution of the world market and the trend of new technologies, Almaviva is an undisputed leader in the Italian IT market and was able to accept and address RFI’s need to improve the performances on their landscape while being ready to new challenges. 

AlmavivA engineers leveraged SAP transaction ST03/ST03N to complete this task. This transaction provides multiple views on workload statistics to facilitate performance analysis for each task type. AlmavivA aimed to analyze how many workloads were processed, how much time was spent on a specific program, where bottlenecks occurred, and where improvements were necessary.

A key challenge facing AlmavivA was to analyze the time spent for a dialog to be completed, the most sensitive measure of an end-users perception of a slow or fast responsive system. By gathering data surrounding the average response time for a dialog step, AlmavivA was able to determine the processing issue and present a solution to RFI.

The Solution

Having already successfully partnered together in providing enterprise-grade cloud services to large organizations for their mission-critical applications, Virtustream and AlmavivA’s working relationship allowed them the opportunity to win a new challenge. 

AlmavivA engineers suggested that RFI move from their existing ECC architecture to a Virtustream Enterprise Cloud solution running SAP HANA.

The Results

RFI achieved great results by migrating their existing ECC architecture to a Virtustream Enterprise Cloud solution running SAP HANA. The following chart illustrates the exact results seen over the course of the migration for RFI’s average response time per dialog step and average CPU time. Through this migration, RFI also decreased their average processing time and Ø DB time.

Over the course of Virtustream’s and AlmavivA’s staged approach to hardware changes and SAP migration, RFI’s average response time per dialog step dropped from 812.3 ms under Oracle to 437.8 ms under HANA.

In addition to an increase in performance, the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud infrastructure, due to increased CPU processing power availability and SAP HANA architecture, led RFI to a 60.7% improvement in Average CPU Time after migration.

Overall, migrating to the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud on a brand new SAP HANA-based architecture led RFI to a 40% performance improvement for their SAP end users. Correspondingly, interviewed customer users reported significant improvement for application responsiveness after migration.

Download the full PDF to learn more about RFI’s cloud journey

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