Virtualization Technology News and Information
Fujitsu pulls wraps off virtualisation for SAP

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Stepping up support for SAP enterprise applications, Fujitsu Computer Systems will pull the wraps off an updated FlexFrame for mySAP Business Suite 3.2B, a company executive said.
The platform uses virtualisation technology now to support mySAP applications on a service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework and NetWeaver 2004s, which is part of SAP's enterprise apps product group.

The bundled suite consists of services, network attached storage, and blade servers running Linux operating system. High-availability agents on Fujitsu's blades ensure the system remains operational. If the agents detect failure they will attempt to restart the server. If the agent can't restart, then the agent searches for another blade to start the service.

"Since virtualisation lets any server run any application at any time, separating the resources makes it easier to manage the SAP applications suite," said Patricia Hanford, director of alliances at Fujitsu Computer Systems.

Traditionally, enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications are bound to dedicated servers. Hanford said many times hardware sits idle until it's needed. For example, a company's dedicated payroll server likely sits idle between bi-weekly runs.

That's one reason server virtualisation continues to gain acceptance in enterprise application computing environments, as more companies look for ways to cut costs and manage resources better, analysts said.

"Companies are gravitating toward virtualisation, especially for use with Web-facing applications, to reduce capital expenses," said John Humphreys, program director for enterprise virtualisation at research firm IDC. "Virtualisation can ease these pressures to bring down costs tied to enterprise applications because their flexible and easily adjust to unpredictable demands."

Humphreys also sees benefits for companies that plan enterprise server and storage capacity. Historically it's done per application, but that becomes wasteful when the apps tie to the hardware.

Affiliated Computer Services hosts and manages about 65 customers, roughly half, in its client base on SAP applications. The ACS director of business development David Budnick said it made sense to move its first customer to FlexFrame for mySAP Business suite because of the company's transition to SAP's SOA framework and other new technology.

"The customer was making acquisitions," Budnick said. "They didn't have a complete picture of the scale required, and was concerned about locking into a hardware platform that wouldn't allow for growth."

With virtualisation on the rise, more companies could turn to blade servers. IDC vice president Jean Bozman expects the blade market to see consistent double-digit growth this year, outpacing the overall server market.

IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker's results reveal that between April and June 2006, blade server market shipments rose 29.7 percent, compared with the year-ago quarter, according to IDC. Overall, x86, EPIC and RISC blade servers accounted for US$639 million, representing 5.2 percent of the quarterly server market revenue.

IBM and Hewlett-Packard finished the quarter tie for the No. 1 spot in the server blade market with 39.5 percent and 38.9 percent revenue-based market share, respectively. Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens came in at No.5 with 4.5 percent.

FlexFrame for mySAP Business Suite will cost roughly US$500,000 for hardware, storage, software for virtualisation and high-availability agents, and services. Hanford's estimate is based on a company with about US$1.5 billion in annual revenue.

Read the original article, here.

Published Sunday, September 17, 2006 7:55 PM by David Marshall
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