Novell Selected by SAP for Virtualization and Workload Management Advancements

Novell recently announced advancements in the joint development agreement between Novell and SAP AG. As part of an ongoing initiative, SAP has integrated PlateSpin Orchestrate, part of the virtualization and workload management suite from Novell, with the SAP NetWeaver Adaptive Computing Controller tool within the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. Additionally, SAP has chosen SUSE Linux Enterprise as the operating system for the latest version of the SAP Discovery system, available for the first time as a virtual appliance. These advances are intended to enable customers to increase the manageability and portability of SAP applications and simplify the installation of SAP Discovery system.

"We have been working with SAP for a very long time, making sure that SUSE Linux Enterprise is the preferred platform for SAP," Benjamin Grubin, solutions marketing manager for virtualization workload management at Novell, tells 5 Minute Briefing. This most recent announcement is about a collaborative process that Novell has had with SAP to enable PlateSpin Orchestrate to better work with SAP NetWeaver technology in particular. The SAP NetWeaver Adaptive Computing Controller is really an intelligence link between the SAP applications themselves and the virtual machine management software like Orchestrate, explains Grubin, allowing Orchestrate to respond to increases or decreases in demand. "It provides that intelligent linkage between the application and the infrastructure which really doesn't exist in a lot of cases."

PlateSpin Orchestrate enables the optimization of Xen virtual machines running SAP solutions. According to Novell, with PlateSpin Orchestrate, SAP NetWeaver Adaptive Computing Controller can now: intelligently optimize performance of SAP solutions in any virtual infrastructure; perform virtual machine lifecycle operations (such as create, destroy, suspend, power on/off, reset, shutdown, restart); migrate virtual machines running SAP applications to maximize resources; and dynamically provision new virtual machines to meet a specified SAP service level target. "SAP is a very complex application. As such, it is very difficult to look from outside with no information and say we can make this work better. That is a very difficult decision to make. What we find is that there aren't a lot of SAP instances running in virtual environments because of this exact problem. There is no way to control the performance tuning and the performance management." These new capabilities "will enable SAP users, particularly advanced or large scale SAP users, to adopt virtualization much more readily, and it is going to allow them to save a lot of costs, and a lot of effort, and a lot of time in terms of deploying and performance-tuning their SAP," notes Grubin.

SUSE Linux Enterprise has also been selected as the appliance operating system for SAP Discovery system. SAP Discovery system version 4 is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise, running on VMware ESXi as the hypervisor. This system is a preconfigured hardware appliance that can be used to test-drive SAP software technologies. Novell is helping SAP to automate the installation process for advanced SAP business solutions built on SUSE Linux Enterprise, in order to minimize the time and effort associated with set-up and maintenance.

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