What is Virtualization?
Virtualization is a topic that has kept the IT world busy for many years, and still there is no clean definition of what virtualization is - quite the contrary, a lot of different types of virtualization have become apparent, such as storage virtualization, hardware virtualization, application virtualization, and OS virtualization, just to name a few.
Some of the major goals that virtualization can help you reach are:
- Reduce IT infrastructure costs with higher physical resource utilization
- Flexibility and responsiveness through:
- Dynamic adjustment of virtual resources
- Application isolation
- Application and VM provisioning with cloning
- Make Management faster and easier due to a reduced number of servers to manage
- Getting ready for the Cloud
Where Does SAP Come In?
In traditional landscapes, the SAP system is installed on a dedicated physical server. Calibrated to meet peak demand rather than average demand, these dedicated servers are seldom used to full capacity. This leads to a high rate of IT spend for both hardware and maintenance - even as your IT infrastructure remains underutilized. Virtualization technology addresses this problem.
With virtualization, you can spread application instances across available server resources to maximize infrastructure utilization. You also have the flexibility to move applications from server to server as circumstances dictate. The potential for driving down IT spend is tremendous.
To help you capitalize on the potential of virtualization, SAP started investing in several areas.
One such area was adaptive computing, which relies on virtualizaton. A tool called Adaptive Computing Controller was developed.Part of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, this tool gives you centralized access for managing your SAP systems, including those running on virtual servers.
SAP partners provide operating systems, physical and virtual server technology (for example, "hypervisor" technology), and storage platforms.
Virtual server technology by SAP partners enables server virtualization.
When SAP applications are decoupled from the underlying operating system by the use of virtual host names on central storage, you have the flexibility to dynamically reassign available resources to match the way you run your business. This is what is known as application virtualization.
Both virtualization concepts are independent of each other. Using both concepts in combination provides the most benefits for your IT operations.
SAP then started its virtualization and cloud management program with the aim to provide enabling technology. As a result, a new, powerful tool is now available, which is also based on the above virtualization concepts. With SAP NetWeaver® Landscape Virtualization Management software, you can not only just manage your systems, but also fully automate repetitive, cumbersome tasks such as system copies. You can gain unprecedented visibility and control over your SAP and non-SAP systems in both traditional and virtual infrastructures. This tool is meant to enable customers to boost their datacenter management efficiency and agility and further reduce their operating costs.
SAP Systems on Virtual Platforms
Customers are increasingly using virtualization technology from SAP partners to optimize their datacenter operations.
As a consequence, a general support statement for virtual environments was required.
This document gives an overview which virtualization platform is supported by SAP and the SAP Technology Partners for the use in the SAP-centric datacenter. Support is provided for almost all SAP applications that run in a virtual or in a private cloud environments.