Enterprise Relationship Management (ERP) is a modular software application that automates the core functions of any business.

Examples of ERP software include:

  • SAP's Business Suite
  • Oracle's Fusion, PeopleSoft or JD Edwards
  • Microsoft's Dynamics

ERP modules include:

  • CRM = Customer Relationship Management - Sales and Marketing, Commissions, Service, Customer Contact and Call Center support
  • SCM = Supply Chain Management - Inventory, Order Entry, Purchasing, Product Configurator, Supply Chain Planning, Supplier Scheduling, Inspection of goods, Claim Processing, Commission Calculation
  • HRIS = Human Resources Information Systems - Human Resources, Payroll, Training, Time & Attendance, Benefits
  • Manufacturing - Engineering, Bills of Material, Scheduling, Capacity, Workflow Management, Quality Control, Cost Management, Manufacturing Process, Manufacturing Projects, Manufacturing Flow
  • Financials - General Ledger, Cash Management, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Fixed Assets
  • Projects - Costing, Billing, Time and Expense, Activity Management

ERP software and the transactonal business processes that they automate, rely on an underlying OLTP databases for fast record storage and retrieval (see the separate OLTP workload). While the OLTP is a part of the ERP workload, here we are focused on the need to replicate the complete ERP production storage environment for such functions such as ERP development, testing and production staging. Simplifying and automating the provisioning of these exact replica storage environments is where companies look to save on both OPEX as well as CapEx.

Because these solutions are often used to interface directly or indirectly with customers thru sales or customer service/helpdesk, speed and responsiveness of the applications are very important attributes that the storage platform must be able to provide excellent SLAs.

When considering the customer satisfaction impact of poor performance or unavailable data, companies often place a premium on the performance, resiliency and availability of the storage platform used to house these types of applications. For these reasons, the tightly coupled scale-out architecture is the correct architecture choice for this workload.

In all cases, understanding the customer's specific requirements for the workload and their SLA's to the business will help determine the correct platform of choice.

The Spiderchart below shows the distribution and weighting of the primary workload requirements for this use case.