Virtualization and SAP: What You Should Know Before Your Upgrade

  • by Davin Wilfrid, Former Contributing Editor, SAP Experts
  • June 29, 2010
Virtualization is no longer a new concept for most SAP companies, yet many are just getting on the bandwagon. SAP upgrade expert Lon Blake explains several virtualization options SAP project teams should consider, and how they can get the most out of the SAP Adaptive Computing Controller — SAP’s customized approach to virtualization.

As SAP systems have grown from central transactional systems for core business functions to a full featured suite of business applications, the complexity of implementing and maintaining an SAP landscape has grown. Virtualization — loosely defined as the practice of simulating an operating system, server, storage or resource for efficient sharing of computing resources — offers several ways to reduce that complexity and save money during an SAP upgrade.

Lon Blake, upgrade principal at SAP, says virtualization is increasingly popular among SAP companies, especially among those  at or near an end-of-life cycle with their server hardware. Blake, a key presenter at the SAPinsider SAP ERP Upgrade & Enhancement Packages seminars (see sidebar) this year, says companies take various approaches to virtualization.

“Most of the customers I talk to — if they’re moving in that direction — are virtualizing their development environment, their quality assurance (QA) environment, sandboxes, or training systems. From a production standpoint, if they’re doing virtualization, most are doing it from application servers and dedicating the central instance and database on a physical box,” says Blake, though he adds that some companies are taking a more aggressive tack in their virtualization plans. “I’ve talked to a few customers recently who have taken the leap of faith and virtualized the production central instance and database as well. We’re starting to see more acceptance of it.”

Davin Wilfrid

Davin Wilfrid was a writer and editor for SAPinsider and SAP Experts. He contributed case studies and research projects aimed at helping the SAP ecosystem get the most out of their existing technology investments.

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