Florida Crystals Corporation

Florida Crystals Corporation (FCC) is a fully integrated cane sugar company. Florida Crystals farms sugarcane, rice and vegetables in South Florida, where it owns two sugar mills, a sugar refinery, a packaging and distribution center.

Florida Crystals Corporation Migrated its SAP Infrastructure to AWS to Reduce Costs and Meet Sustainability Goals

Lemongrass, an SAP specialist, chose AWS instances with underlying Intel® Xeon® Processors to maximize performance and workload flexibility.

Executive Summary
Florida Crystals Corporation (FCC) is a fully integrated cane sugar company. Florida Crystals farms sugarcane, rice and vegetables in South Florida, where it owns two sugar mills, a sugar refinery, a packaging and distribution center, Florida’s only rice mill and one of the largest renewable power plants of its kind in the U.S., which uses sugarcane fiber to generate eco-friendly energy that powers its sugar operations.

Florida Crystals is Florida’s largest organic farmer and the only producer of Regenerative Organic Certified® (ROC®) sugar that is grown and milled in the U.S., which is offered to consumers through the Florida Crystals® brand. Florida Crystals’ organic farm is also the largest ROC® farm in the country. Its subsidiary, ASR Group, jointly owned with Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, is the world’s largest cane sugar refining and marketing company.

In the past, FCC relied on its on-premise infrastructure to run SAP applications. However, as the company grew, it needed additional resource capacity and greater processing power to speed its growing workloads. With the help of Lemongrass, a specialist in SAP implementations, FCC migrated its SAP applications to AWS instances with underlying Intel® Xeon® Processors. The move provided FCC with greater scalability and performance, improved monitoring, backup, and more. The company also saved money by consolidating AWS instances.

Florida Crystals is the first US brand to earn the distinctive Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) status. The company gained this prestigious certification after demonstrating its dedication to improving soil health, capturing carbon and fairness to its farmers and workers. As FCC’s business grew, its legacy on-premise data center struggled to meet greater SAP workload demands. The company also wanted to reduce its spend on systems infrastructure, enhance its readiness for disaster recovery, and utilize technology supporting sustainability goals.

“We always strive to be environmentally and socially conscious in our business decisions, and moving from a hosted private cloud to the public cloud is consistent with this approach. Moving our SAP systems to AWS, with help from Lemongrass, will reduce our carbon footprint while saving us money. These savings can be diverted to fund projects and innovation that benefit our customers, employees, and partners as well as the world we live in through our regenerative farming practices.”
Kevin Grayling, CIO, Florida Crystals

Florida Crystals chose Lemongrass for its significant experience helping enterprises move from on-premises SAP systems to optimized solutions in the cloud. Currently, Lemongrass has over 8,000 SAP servers and about 400,000 SAP users under its management. FCC’s migration project, which began in 2021, involved upgrading its SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA. AWS and Intel produced purpose-built EC2 X1 instances powered by Intel Xeon Processors to meet the performance and low-latency requirements for in-memory databases.

Unlike typical EC2 instances, X1 instances have an SAP certification for production in enterprise-scale environments using the next-generation Business Suite S/4HANA, Business Suite on HANA, and Business Warehouse on HANA, and Data Mart Solutions on HANA. Florida Crystals also deployed several other AWS services, including Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon S3, EBS, and CloudEndure. The migration also allowed FCC to consolidate its SAP environment into a single global instance.

The EC2 X1 instance flexibility allows FCC to expand its project systems’ capacity when needed, with the extra processing power required for crucial project phases. The AWS instances also provide extensive monitoring capability, more secure and turnkey backups for its applications, and distributed nodes for rapid recovery should a disaster impact its business. With SAP S/4HANA up and running on AWS, FCC consolidated its environments, creating a single global instance. The solution helped reduce infrastructure costs while gaining operational agility.

Key Takeaways
• For a complex migration, a specialized partner like Lemongrass can speed up the process and limit downtime.
• Migrations from on-premise infrastructure can reduce IT spending significantly.
• AWS offers “greener” instances to align with its clients’ sustainability goals.

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