The new offering, named "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Priority Support for SAP applications," is a Novell maintenance and support package that will be integrated through the SAP Solution Manager application management solution into the SAP global support backbone for managing the entire life cycle of SAP applications.
This is only the beginning. Novell and SAP plan to work together in the future to further optimize SLES for SAP application platforms, including SAP NetWeaver and SAP Business Suite. Further, SAP will recommend SLES as its preferred Linux platform.
By leveraging the scalability of SLES, which can scale up to 1,024 CPUs and more than 10 terabytes of physical memory, Novell and SAP can offer a Linux-based solution with the performance required by enterprise customers who run their mission-critical business operations on SAP applications.
SAP is the worlds largest ERP (enterprise resource planning) company and a major force in all areas of business software. The Germany-based company is in the middle of shifting away from monolithic, closed applications to open, componentized, Web services-based applications with an underlying integration and development platform, NetWeaver.
Oracle, SAPs chief rival, has recently starting offering its own operating system to application stack by adopting RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) as its own, under the name Unbreakable Linux. With SAPs Novell alliance it can now also offer customers a complete stack.
"Customers want choice, and since most of them run heterogeneous IT environments, using both open-source and commercial software, we recognize the need to make service and support as smooth as possible," said Gerhard Oswald, member of SAPs executive board of Global Service and Support, in a statement.
"SAP has a long-standing commitment to the open-source community, including working with key technical standards organizations to create interoperability with commercial software. Our agreement with Novell makes it truly possible for companies to get long-term support and maintenance when deploying SAP applications on Linux, and continues to illustrate the openness and flexibility of business process platforms enabled by SAP and focused on the business and technical standards that drive business process agility and innovation."
"Both SAP and Novell have heard from our customers that they are looking for a complete stack solution, from the operating system up to the application, with an integrated source of technical support that will help them lower cost and reduce complexity," said Ron Hovsepian, Novells CEO. "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a recommended Linux distribution and internal development platform for SAP applications, and its further optimization will deliver the performance, reliability and scalability that customers demand when running their operations on SAP."
In the future, SAP and Novell plan to explore other ways in which to further optimize SLES for an SAP applications environment. The two vendors have a long-standing relationship working together, including having SLES as a development platform for SAP applications, a scalable part of the infrastructure available via SAP Developer Network.
The companies state that the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Priority Support for SAP applications is focused on optimizing price/performance for customers mission-critical workloads and includes volume discounts designed for application configurations. Customers who purchase in the next 90 days will receive an additional discount on the first year.
According to Hovsepian, the SLES/SAP support offering will also "be available through Novell partners including our channel partners, IHV partners and OEM partners. To promote this offering, if you purchase this new service in the next 90 days, you will receive an additional discount on your first-year subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise Priority Support for SAP Applications."