Users of SAP applications looking for ways to improve manageability and reduce deployment times are getting help from the software maker as well as Sun Microsystems.
The two companies are joining together to create the Sun N1 Advanced Architecture for SAP Solutions, designed to offer provisioning and management of SAP applications across heterogeneous environments from a single point of control.
The product, announced May 8, combines Suns N1 utility computing strategy with SAPs Adaptive Computing initiative.
"This hugely reduces the deployment and rollout time of SAP applications," said Jim Sangster, director of marketing for N1 and availability software products at Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif. "It transforms an entire SAP infrastructure and data center into a virtualized environment."
SAP applications can be dynamically matched to the appropriate hardware, which not only cuts deployment time but increases utilization, according to Mattias Czwikla, business development manager for SAP.
That ability to dynamically move applications across hardware devices also will improve compliance with SLAs (service-level agreements), he said. If an SLA is not being met, an application can be moved to ensure that the SLA is met, Czwikla said.
"Those are typical pain points seen by our customers," he said.
The heterogeneous nature of the initiative means that SAP applications are no longer tied to a common operating system environment, Sangster said. Typically with SAP, there has to be a commonality with the operating system—in such areas as patch levels and hardware—to be deployed in the same environment. With the N1 offering, such commonality isnt needed, which helps speed deployment, Czwikla said.
The N1AA for SAP Solutions is certified for compliance for managing NetWeaver applications, Sangster said. The N1 offering enables users to virtualize all their data center applications—from backup to archiving—using SAP Adaptive Computer Controller.
Sangster said SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, is one of the growth areas targeted by Sun. Its currently a business of more than $100 million to Sun. "They are one of the top ISVs we do business with," he said.
That size gave Sun incentive to find a way to make it easier for users to run their SAP applications on Sun hardware. Sangster said the new offering will be particularly attractive to businesses that are expanding their SAP environments into new areas or deploying SAP applications for the first time.