[UPDATE – July 29th, 7:30am] – minor corrections, I fat-fingered the UCS blade number, which had people assuming I was “preannouncing” something :-) Also – clarifying that (for now) we still have some Oracle 11i apps – clarified what parts of EMC’s business apps moved to SAP
SAP is what many business run on (as anyone who travels knows based on pervasive advertising on their part) – and most customers choosing SAP run it on EMC infrastructure. SAP themselves are a huge EMC customer – using EMC VNX and VMAX platforms (both block and NAS) for primary and secondary storage, along with Networker. Of course they are a huge VMware customer.
That said – a lot is changing in the world of SAP – most notably these two megatrends.
- SAP HANA is an in memory database model designed for incredible performance – is changing the world for customers who use it.
- As customers migrate to the latest SAP release, they are re-evaluating their legacy infrastructure platforms. Many customers I talk to run SAP on HP/UX or AIX – and find (like EMC did) that running on modern Editorial sidebar… Does ANYONE really think that SPARC is a good idea, beyond Larry Ellison – the James Bond villain of the world of IT replete with owning his own island? Oh, he likes SPARC now, but hated it when they were pushing everyone to Linux… Hmmm, what changed between then and now? :-)
BTW – if you’re an SAP customer, the Everything SAP at EMC community is the center of the universe for the intersection of EMC and SAP. It’s vibrant, open, and a great place to go with any questions.
Cisco and EMC have teamed up with SAP around SAP HANA, building an integrated and certified appliance (read more here) The benefits are that the appliance leverages the very dense memory footprint of the UCS B440 M2
M3 blades UCS B420, and use MPFS (a very unique storage protocol on the VNX) and NAS on the EMC VNX5300 to solve one of the challenges that HANA on it’s own doesn’t address – which is data persistence, as well as delivering replication options. Interestingly, we saw 3x higher performance leveraging MPFS and NAS together, as opposed to straight up NFS.
Around the broader SAP Landscape – our solution is to virtualize it on VMware, deliver deep integration at every part of EMC - most recently around the new NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Manager platform. This LVM integration delivers simple “ITaaS” cloning and management for the SAP admin, without needing other tools. We’re just getting started with this – it has an aggressive roadmap. We have developed a joint whitepaper on how the SAP LVM/EMC integration works – get it below. Also, there’s a page on the Everything SAP at EMC community for this where you can ask questions.
Ultimately, the fastest way to get to value is converged infrastructure – which can mean running it all on a Vblock.
We’ve had customers find that going x86, running SAP on vSphere, and stopping the madness of mucking around at the infrastructure component layer by using Vblocks have found they can get 2x better performance than their existing environments, and accelerate deployment of apps by a factor of 5.
If you’re an SAP customer – you’ve got to check out the webcast we’re holding on July 31st together with SAP, Cisco and VMware. Register here!
BTW – we practice what we preach. EMC ourselves just finished the first phase of a massive internal IT project – migrating off our legacy Oracle 11i apps and onto SAP (clarification: this is only the first phase of the migration, and moved Manufacturing and Finance to SAP, Oracle 11i is still covering Sales, configuration, customer service and other things – for now).
This project, code named “Propel”, touches nearly every part of EMC’s business, and went live right at the end of last quarter – with a flawless execution. Like most customers – we’re leveraging this migration to ditch all legacy, and run Propel on vSphere on Vblocks. As we speak, EMC has over 425 virtual hosts supporting Propel, and compared with our previous Oracle 11i environment (which was also virtualized on Vblocks), we’ve improved operational costs by 50% and new virtual environment build and deployment times have gone from days to hours.