SAP applications are now officially certified to run on VMware's ESX Server.
The two industry giants were expected to announce the new certification Dec. 12. This pact allows SAP applications to run on the ESX Server hypervisor in both 64-bit Microsoft Windows and Linux production environments. The two companies also announced that several server vendors—Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu-Siemens—already have platform certifications. In addition to Windows and Linux, the agreement also covers systems running Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system, said Brian Byun, VMware's vice president of global partners and solutions.
Byun said many customers are willing to use virtualization with about "70 to 80 percent" of the applications in the data center, but many balk at adding virtualization to the types of business-critical applications that companies like SAP and its rival Oracle supply to the backbone of the IT infrastructure.
"The agreement with SAP really expands the range of applications that customers can put into production and it represents the next phase of business critical applications that are now open for our customers," Byun said.
While VMware customers had been running SAP applications in virtualization environments in the past, Byun said the new agreement removes certain caveats in previous agreements and also creates a joint support staff to assist customers.
Byun said that VMware considers itself both operating system- and application- neutral, which seems to indicate that an agreement with Oracle could come sometimes in the future.
Byun added that VMware also has customers running Oracle applications within virtual environments, but VMware does not have the same sort of comprehensive agreement with Oracle that it now has with SAP. Earlier this year, Oracle announced that it would enter into the virtualization field with free software.
In addition to its agreement with SAP, VMware announced that the 3.5 version of its Virtual Infrastructure suite, which includes updates to its ESX hypervisor and other new features, is available as of Dec. 11.