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SAP NetWeaver Supplement: Picking Your SAP Infrastructure

by SAP Partners: AMD

August 11, 2009

by SAP Partners: AMD, Fujitsu Siemens, HyPerformix, Egenera, Intel, Citrix Systems, SteelEye, and Sun Microsystems SAP NetWeaver Magazine - Volume 2, Issue 3
 

Reader Survey: SAP Infrastructure Priorities

If the results of a recent SAP NetWeaver Magazine reader survey are any indication, most SAP customers are looking to improve or replace the IT infrastructure that supports their SAP systems. Nearly two-thirds (62.5 percent) of the respondents said their companies had infrastructure improvement initiatives underway.

The key infrastructure goals related by our readers are shown in the Key Infrastructure Goals graph.

 

We also asked what their key considerations in choosing a server are — performance, scalability, cost, and manageability — and whether they are looking for or using 64-bit processors yet. The breakdown of readers using 64-bit processors is shown in the Use of 64-bit Processor Servers graph.

What do these results tell us?

  • Infrastructure improvement is a priority in boardrooms and IT departments.

  • Reducing operating costs is one of the driving reasons behind most decisions made about infrastructure requirements.

  • Flexibility, security, and performance are significant challenges in SAP environments today.

  • Performance, scalability, and manageability are important elements in choosing a server for SAP.

  • Servers with 64-bit processors are already in use in more places than you may have thought.

 

The following articles provide information on some of the companies and products available to help you choose your SAP infrastructure. What are the most important considerations for your company?

Inside
The following solution providers are highlighted in this supplement:

AMD
The Incredible Shrinking Data Center: Dual-Core AMD Opteron Processors Can Improve Performance and Reduce Costs of SAP IT Environments with Fewer Servers

Fujitsu Siemens
More Flexible Processes Through Flexible IT Infrastructures

HyPerformix
“I Miss. I Miss. I Miss. I Make!” Removing the Guesswork from SAP NetWeaver Infrastructure Selection and Migrations

Egenera
Simplify Your SAP IT Infrastructure: Enhanced Server Consolidation, Faster Upgrades, Lower TCO

Intel
Catalyst for Success: SAP NetWeaver and Intel Platforms

Citrix Systems
Why Not Implement an Access Infrastructure That Can Support Your Organization’s Next Big Thing?

SteelEye
SteelEye LifeKeeper Ensures Availability of SAP Solutions

Sun Microsystems
Building a Foundation for Greater Flexibility, Security, and Efficiency with SAP Solutions

 

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Mike Monthei
Commercial Segment
Marketing Manager
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

The Incredible Shrinking Data Center
Dual-Core AMD Opteron Processors Can Improve Performance and Reduce Costs of SAP IT Environments with Fewer Servers

Shrinking a data center and “doing more with less” has always been a dream for IT managers. Yet the old adage of “doing more with less” seems like a paradox: How can fewer servers deliver the same, if not better, performance and reduce TCO? The Dual-Core AMD Opteron™ processor encompasses industry-leading performance and performance-per-watt innovations that turn this dream into a reality. And because SAP applications are typically multithreaded, they work more efficiently with multiple cores to process the threads of data. As such, SAP and AMD can help customers shrink their SAP data centers while helping to increase performance and reduce TCO.

Energy Efficiency and Leading-Edge Performance Help to Lower Costs

Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors offer superior performance-per-watt advantages not available in competing x86 processors. By consuming 47 percent fewer total watts than competing x86 dual-core technologies, Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors can help companies realize significant data-center cost-savings by helping to reduce cooling and ventilation requirements for servers that house mission-critical SAP applications.

AMD PowerNow!™ with Optimized Power Management (OPM) can also lower costs as it powers down servers during idle hours. This innovation can reduce CPU power consumption by up to 75 percent during idle times, contributing to lower cooling bills.

Dual-Core AMD Opteron Processor-Based Server Consolidation of SAP Environments at Microsoft

Microsoft’s central SAP system supports more than 55,000 employees, partners, and customers, and manages all of its business processes worldwide, including finance, human resources, and supply chain. When Microsoft’s SAP R/3 servers were approaching end-of-life and were already at full capacity, the company turned to HP ProLiant™ DL585 servers with AMD Opteron™ processors to support a new pricing model, improve functionality and database information management, and continue application services without disrupting the live production environment.

Microsoft realized exceptional performance benefits by consolidating its SAP system from nine servers to six AMD Opteron processor-based HP ProLiant™ DL585 servers in conjunction with an upgrade to 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and SAP. “We conducted about a month’s worth of stress-testing and increased the load on the AMD Opteron processor-powered HP ProLiant DL585 server up to 10 times normal production loads. We are absolutely seeing great performance and high transaction loads on HP ProLiant servers with AMD Opteron processors. As a result, we streamlined our server landscape and reduced costs,” said Mike Hatch, application architect, Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft also reduced the number of processors in its SAP landscape from 48 to 12. “Those 12 processors can run more load than we could before,” says Hatch. “It’s amazing that we are able to do that.”

Unique Architecture Improves Performance

Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors with Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport™ technologies help to reduce the bottlenecks inherent in traditional front-side bus-based systems. These bottlenecks can arise because all requests for memory and I/O access, as well as CPU-to-CPU data transfer, are directed through a single memory controller, which can reduce system performance and throughput. By connecting processors, memory, and I/O devices to each of the cores — essentially all the various critical system components — AMD Opteron-based servers can move data more efficiently through a system, helping to reduce end-user response times for various SAP applications.

The performance efficiencies of the Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors allow companies to support more SAP users and applications per server by spreading workloads across multiple cores within a single processor. These efficiencies can eliminate the need to add costly, bulky servers to the data center, which helps reduce initial purchasing costs, as well as long-term administration and management costs, and can maximize valuable data-center floor space.

Microsoft and AMD Optimize Their SAP Environments with Dual-Core AMD Opteron Processor-Based Server Consolidation

Both Microsoft and AMD were able to yield significantly better response times and reduce costs by upgrading and consolidating their SAP system landscapes based on Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors.

SAP Benchmark Results

SAP-certified servers using Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors provide a significant performance increase above competitive x86-based servers. Comparing the results of two-tier SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Standard Application Benchmarks, AMD Opteron-based systems deliver the top four results on four-processor servers, and the top five results on two-processor servers. (Results as of April 10, 2006.) For more information or the latest benchmarks, visit www.sap.com/benchmark.

Dual-Core AMD Opteron Processor-Based Server Consolidation of SAP Environments at AMD

AMD runs its SAP R/3 installation on HP ProLiant servers using the Microsoft® Windows® operating system. In the past year the company has experienced tremendous growth, leading to more users and transactions. Specifically, the number of concurrent SAP users jumped by 250 percent, data volumes tripled, and average dialog steps increased by 56 percent — all factors that contributed to a heavily taxed SAP landscape. The company decided to upgrade to four-processor servers using Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors, replacing its older x86-based single-core eight-processor servers. Not only could the new system manage a 56 percent increased workload, but it also provided AMD with exceptional value. The new Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor-based SAP infrastructure delivered a 29 percent faster average dialog response time, a 64 percent reduction in average SAP application-processing CPU time, and a 33 percent faster SAP BW database response time. “Our incredibly reliable Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor-based HP ProLiant platform is running all of our transactions significantly faster,” said Walter Smith, director, Global IT Infrastructure and Shared Services, AMD.

Select AMD Dual-Core Processors for Your SAP Implementation or Upgrade Project

Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors represent an overall performance and performance-per-watt advantage over other x86-based processors in the market. By hosting your SAP solutions on AMD Opteron processors in true dual-core technology-based servers, you can improve performance, reduce costs, and take advantage of AMD’s unique technology platform and hardware ecosystem. For more information on how Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors can increase performance and reduce the cost of SAP implementations, visit www.amd.com/sap.

Dual-Core AMD Opteron-based servers provide up to 32 percent higher user capacity over servers using other dual-core x86-based processors.
  • Dell PowerEdge Model 6850 4 processors, 8 cores, 16 threads, 1,050 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2005 (64-bit), mySAP ERP 2004 (64-bit), cert # 2006002

  • FSC Primergy TX600 S2/RX600 S2 4 processors, 8 cores, 16 threads, 1,080 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2005 (64-bit), mySAP ERP 2004 (64-bit), cert # 2006009

  • HP ProLiant DL580 G3 4 processors, 8 cores, 16 threads, 1,090 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2005 (64-bit), mySAP ERP 2004 (64-bit), cert # 2006011

  • IBM eServer p5 Model 570 4 processors, cores, threads, 1,313 users with AIX 5.3, DB2 UDB 8.1, SAP 4.7, cert # 2004042

  • Egenera pBlade 950-000096 4 processors, 8 cores, 8 threads, 1,310 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (32-bit), SQL Server 2000 (32-bit), SAP 4.70 (32-bit), cert # 2005036

  • FSC Primergy RX800 S2 4 processors, 8 cores, 16 threads, 1,345 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2005 (64-bit), mySAP ERP 2004 (64-bit), cert # 2006008

  • FSC Primergy Model BX630 4 processors, 8 cores, 8 threads, 1,500 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2005 (64-bit), mySAP ERP 2004 (64-bit), cert # 2006016

  • HP ProLiant DL585, 1,545 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2000 (32-bit), SAP 4.70 (64-bit), cert # 2005020

  • HP ProLiant BL45p, 1,716 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2000 (32-bit), SAP 4.70 (64-bit), cert # 2005018

  • HP ProLiant DL585, 1,772 users with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (64-bit), SQL Server 2000 (32-bit), SAP 4.70 (64-bit), cert # 2005017

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Gunnar Dörken
Georg Dittmar
Director Global Alliance SAP at Fujitsu Siemens Computers
Product Manager Adaptive Computing at SAP AG

More Flexible Processes Through Flexible IT Infrastructures

“On average, only 10 percent of IT budgets today are earmarked for innovations, while 90 percent of them have to be spent on operations,” Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP, remarked in 2004. With Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), SAP NetWeaver®, and Adaptive Computing, this ratio should dramatically improve in the years ahead.

In the interview below, SAP’s Georg Dittmar and Fujitsu Siemens’ Gunnar Dörken explain how SAP Adaptive Computing and FlexFrame™ for mySAP™, the Fujitsu Siemens Computers IT infrastructure solution, complement each other so that this potential for optimization can be utilized today.

How do customers benefit from Adaptive Computing?

Georg Dittmar: Many companies have realized they can lower the total cost of ownership with SAP Adaptive Computing. Others, however, focus on flexibility. For an enterprise operating an IT landscape with hundreds or thousands of servers, just having the lease run out on several servers is a major headache. Starting from a certain number of servers, this is a never-ending problem. With Adaptive Computing, I can get new servers, deploy the operating system on them, or use NetBoot, as in the FlexFrame environment. Afterward, all I have to do is switch my application from the old server to the new one, without any additional installation effort — all in a matter of minutes.

How long has SAP been involved in Adaptive Computing?

Dittmar: About four years ago we started a project where we analyzed the infrastructures on the market. We began looking for answers about how to use and manage SAP applications more flexibly and easily by deploying these infrastructures. Fujitsu Siemens Computers was the first company at that time to offer blade-server technology. This was ideal for our proof of concept due to the low cost, small form factor, and low power consumption of these blade-servers.

We’ve also added Linux — because it’s inexpensive and can be flexibly deployed — and Network Attached Storage (NAS) from Network Appliance because these systems deliver high availability. Fujitsu Siemens Computers is a Network Appliance partner and also provides Linux support, which meant we could get the components from a single source.

And FlexFrame, on the infrastructure side, grew out of this project?

Gunnar Dörken: When the idea arose for simpler, more flexible and economical installations, we were naturally open to discussing and developing this approach with SAP — SAP is, you know, Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ most important partner. We quickly realized that Adaptive Computing would offer us a chance to differentiate ourselves, to stand out from the competition.

Dittmar: At the same time, SAP was focused on three key aspects: optimization of the SAP applications for the Adaptive Computing concept; intensive partnership work so that more platforms could be integrated into the concept; and development of a tool for controlling the complete IT landscape — the SAP Adaptive Computing Controller (ACC).

How does the ACC fit into the concept?

Dittmar: There are four building blocks in the data center — computing, storage, network, and control — and the latter is covered by the ACC. It is completely integrated into SAP NetWeaver and offers customers the assurance that all SAP applications can be managed.

Dörken: But Fujitsu Siemens Computers wanted even more. Our goal was to give customers a turnkey solution with high availability.

How are SAP NetWeaver, the ACC, and FlexFrame connected to one another?

Dittmar: The ACC is a part of SAP NetWeaver, so every SAP NetWeaver customer automatically has it. It includes a virtualization layer that represents the interface to infrastructure solutions, such as FlexFrame. The result is an end-to-end concept with SAP NetWeaver applications; the ACC, which distributes the applications at the infrastructure level; and the virtualization layer, operated by the ACC on the application side and by Fujitsu Siemens Computers’ FlexFrame on the IT infrastructure side.

How can you ensure that all these components work together reliably?

Dittmar: One element of the Adaptive Computing partner concept is the Compliance Test. It requires that every partner company build a landscape with SAP NetWeaver applications and the ACC to prove it can flexibly move or distribute different applications to different servers. Furthermore, we expect documentation of the functionalities, such as single point of system management, to ensure the integration of the solution for customers.

And Fujitsu Siemens Computers passed this test with FlexFrame?

Dörken: Fujitsu Siemens Computers passed the first Compliance Test and since then has also integrated Sun’s Solaris, so we can now offer customers a number of solution options.

What is SAP’s strategy for establishing Adaptive Computing in the marketplace?

Dittmar: The ACC is an integral part of SAP NetWeaver and is provided to our customers free of charge. What’s more, it can also be used to control older SAP versions, back to 4.6C.

Dörken: We completely support this strategy with FlexFrame. It’s extremely important for our mutual customers that SAP and Fujitsu Siemens Computers take the same course here, which we’re doing.

We also demonstrate our technology leadership by offering customers more added value through extended functionalities, such as integrated high availability through the use of market-leading standard technologies and our seamless service, which ensures quick, risk-free implementation of SAP projects.

More Than 100 Companies Already Rely on FlexFrame for mySAP

With FlexFrame, Fujitsu Siemens Computers was the first IT vendor to successfully pass the SAP Adaptive Computing Compliance Test. FlexFrame is SAP NetWeaver-compliant and guarantees maximum security for the future. At the same time it constitutes a turnkey, end-to-end solution with integrated high availability. The FlexFrame working group in the SICUS users association is an important platform for trading experiences and continuing development in-line with customer requirements.

More than 100 companies around the globe are already using this dynamic IT solution, FlexFrame, to respond more flexibly to changing business requirements and reduce their operational costs. According to a BearingPoint study, FlexFrame cuts the operating costs of SAP solutions by as much as 60 percent.

More information can be found on www.fujitsu-siemens.com/flexframe. For direct contact, please send email to globalsapsolutions@fujitsu-siemens.com.

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Shauna Osborne
Sr. VP of Client Services HyPerformix

“I Miss. I Miss. I Miss. I Make!”
Removing the Guesswork from SAP NetWeaver Infrastructure Selection and Migrations

Seve Ballestero used this famous quote to describe his four-putt on the 16th green in Augusta in 1988.

Unfortunately, many companies can use this quote to describe their current iterative approach to SAP infrastructure sizing. They use rule-of-thumb, spreadsheets, or sizing utilities to estimate the infrastructure they need. They miss — and end users complain about performance issues. Add more hardware — miss again. Add hardware again. That solves the performance issue — but now they’ve overspent and the infrastructure utilization is 10 percent — miss again.

Putting Rule-of-Thumb to Rest

Sizing SAP infrastructures depends on a variety of factors — workload volume, SAP customization, service-level requirements, risk tolerance, and budgets. HyPerformix helps you accurately determine the initial infrastructure requirements to balance performance and budgets — and maintain this balance through continuous changes to workloads and customizations. In effect, we put rule-of-thumb calculations to rest.

Optimize Performance, Cost, and Risk of SAP Deployments

HyPerformix’s Integrated Performance Suite for SAP™ uses a model-based approach that enables IT organizations to predict and prevent performance and capacity issues before they impact the business.

IPS leverages performance data from SAP test or production environments to create a performance and capacity model. The model evaluates workload and application resource requirements on a target infrastructure, and accurately predicts the expected performance and resource utilization. Multiple deployment models can be evaluated to identify the infrastructure configuration that best balances performance, cost, and risk.

The HyPerformix IPS SAP solution allows IT organizations to make better decisions about selecting and managing infrastructure throughout the SAP application life cycle, including:

  • Initial planning and budgeting

  • Vendor-proposal comparisons

  • mySAP and SAP NetWeaver migrations

  • Server consolidation

  • Just-in-time infrastructure procurement based on workload changes

  • Disaster recovery planning for SAP

The results? SAP deployments sized correctly the first time; no firefighting of unexpected performance issues; better IT asset utilization; and no four putts.

To learn more about HyPerformix infrastructure sizing, visit www.hyperformix.com.

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Susan Davis
VP Marketing
Egenera Inc.

Simplify Your SAP IT Infrastructure
Enhanced Server Consolidation, Faster Upgrades, Lower TCO

New Demands, New Server Architecture

The Egenera® BladeFrame® system with its Processing Area Network (PAN) architecture — combined with high-performance, 64-bit Intel® Xeon™ processors — simplifies IT management, dramatically reducing TCO and complexity in a data center running SAP NetWeaver.

In an SAP implementation using legacy servers, 100-plus machines may be needed to support development, testing, and production. This high server count leads to complex network configurations and cabling. Each server is linked to redundant power, network, storage, management, and keyboard-video-mouse connections. Deploying high-availability and disaster-recovery systems adds to machine count and administration. Managing this landscape is tremendously complex.

This environment is also extremely inflexible. Companies cannot quickly adjust computing resources to meet changing user demand. To dramatically reduce complexity and costs while increasing flexibility, to get to the next level of computing, requires a new architecture.

In the utility model, IT resources are assembled from flexible pools, deployed just-in-time at the right capacity to handle a business service, then returned to the pool when no longer needed.

PAN Architecture — The Key Enabler

Egenera’s PAN architecture enables utility computing by providing a pool of stateless processing nodes connected via a high-speed, low-latency fabric. These nodes contain no disk drives, network-interface cards, or host bus adapters, nothing that would give the server a specific identity or state. Instead, servers are defined as a collection of virtual resources and then applied to the processing nodes in an as-needed basis.

Since the switch controls stateless servers, its built-in intelligence can deliver a true utility-based computing platform, seamlessly providing for:

  • Failover of servers, delivering high availability to every application

  • Disaster recovery for multiple data centers

  • Automated load-balancing

  • Rapid scale-up, scale-down, configuration, and reconfiguration of servers

  • Consolidation of servers and I/O connectivity

Benefits for SAP Installations

Compared to traditionally architected servers, the Egenera BladeFrame can save approximately 50 percent in total costs over a three-year period. Substantial benefits for SAP NetWeaver implementations include:

  • Reduced installation and upgrade time, with hardware provisioning measured in minutes

  • Enhanced server consolidation

  • Simplified disaster recovery and high availability

  • Improved scalability to meet dynamic user demand

An Egenera solution also provides heightened application performance, simplified operational management, and drastically reduced infrastructure downtime.

Overall, the BladeFrame and its PAN architecture enable a dynamic IT environment that supports mission-critical SAP NetWeaver requirements while delivering superior performance. Egenera is an SAP Global Technology Partner certified for Microsoft Windows. Visit www.egenera.com/.

The Egenera BladeFrame and Adaptive Computing

The Egenera BladeFrame system, powered by 64-bit Intel Xeon processors, supports SAP NetWeaver’s high-availability requirements, network-intensive transactions (e.g., inventory availability checks, database replication), and Adaptive Computing architecture.

  • Availability: Pools high-availability resources and provides out-of-the-box, automatic hardware failover

  • Manageability: Provides a single point of control for the hardware infrastructure that runs SAP NetWeaver

  • Scalability: Creates stateless resources (CPU, memory) that are dynamically allocated to support SAP NetWeaver services just-in-time

  • Performance: High-speed fabric creates better performance than Gigabit Ethernet networks when performing application data transfers

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Dave Hazell
Director, SAP Worldwide Customer Solutions Group
Intel

Catalyst for Success: SAP NetWeaver and Intel Platforms

As you begin to plan your new IT landscape in support of your SAP NetWeaver implementation, you will be making critical architecture and infrastructure choices to ensure that your enterprise fully gains all of the business benefits available today. You’ll want a proven solution with a track record of industry-enabling validation and reliability allowing you to focus on your business itself — making you more competitive.

In order to gain the flexibility to grow, compete, and be profitable, you’ll want an agile IT framework — a simplified, reliable infrastructure along with technology innovation that provides real business advantage and reduces operating costs. Intel helps businesses worldwide reduce their risks and operate with great productivity at low cost through its server technology. In addition, Intel-based servers have a 20-year proven track record in delivering outstanding reliability and performance across the broadest choice of hardware, operating systems, and applications. Large and small businesses alike depend on Intel-based servers, including 74 percent of all new SAP installations (see the deployment graph, below).

Intel’s IT department runs one of the world’s largest SAP deployments, with more than 17,000 named SAP users in 30 locations. This environment provides a demanding, practical laboratory for ongoing Intel and SAP optimization and a proving ground that ensures that Intel server technology is a catalyst for success for your SAP NetWeaver implementation.

Reduce Operating Costs

Simplify and save: Standardized platforms, consolidation, virtualization of all work to simplify your SAP NetWeaver operating environment enables you to reduce IT overhead (both for your systems and your personnel).

Consolidation/Virtualization: By doing more things on fewer servers, you can lower acquisition costs, improve utilization, and avoid having to build, lease, or buy another data center.

Intel’s experience with implementing SAP NetWeaver exemplifies the level of potential benefit that Intel architecture affords your business. With SAP NetWeaver up and running at full speed, “We expect to reduce our landscape of 32 production instances with more than 400 servers by a factor of 4 or 5,” says Peter Loop, chief application architect at Intel.

Respond and Adapt

As you re-architect your IT systems for your SAP NetWeaver implementation, you are afforded the valuable opportunity to rebuild your business on a scalable, flexible infrastructure that can grow and change with your requirements.

With their advanced communications, computing, and multimedia capabilities, notebook and tablet PCs based on Intel Centrino™ mobile technology and cell phones and handhelds based on Intel Mobile Media Technology give you exceptional flexibility for mobile access to your SAP solutions.

Ideal for front-end and mid-tier SAP solutions, Intel Xeon™ processor-based servers can do virtually anything business demands — with leading performance for 32-bit applications along with reliable and exceptionally flexible 64-bit support.

Business Continuity

Servers based on Intel technology help keep your business up and running. Intel Itanium® 2-based servers are ideal for your most demanding, highly available IT infrastructure, delivering outstanding performance and scalability. Deployed in nine out of 10 of the largest companies in the world, Itanium 2-based servers are a proven alternative to RISC-based architectures.

Intel-Based Server and Mobile Platforms Give You Better Business Value from End to End

Intel provides common architecture from one end of the technology spectrum to the other; from your application server running SAP NetWeaver to your handheld device accessing SAP solutions, Intel architecture delivers significant benefits.

Intel-based server platforms deliver performance, capacity, and reliability to handle the largest SAP implementations, and the flexibility to deliver value for businesses of all sizes. Eight out of 10 servers shipping today are based on Intel architecture.

Together, Intel and SAP are heavily committed to delivering best-in-class, second-generation, scalable mobile solutions. Mobile capabilities are integrated into the SAP NetWeaver platform, and Intel’s engineering collaboration with SAP on the SAP NetWeaver technology offers customers a robust set of SAP solutions for mobile business optimized on Intel architecture for a wide range of mobile devices. This Intel/SAP collaboration provides customers with a competitive advantage by extending enterprise applications, increasing workforce productivity in both connected and disconnected modes, lowering total cost of ownership (TCO), and maximizing return on investment (ROI).

In addition to short-term product development and optimization, Intel is also heavily committed to long-term joint technology enablement with SAP in both the server and mobile arenas. Intel and SAP share a strong common vision for a dynamic, service-oriented future offered by SAP’s Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA). Intel’s goal is to make its infrastructure completely service-oriented, with users operating through portals. ESA and SAP NetWeaver, with its open architecture, are key components of that common vision.

It’s a Winning Combination

When you combine the level of strategic engagement and common vision that Intel and SAP share with Intel’s high-performing end-to-end architecture, and add to that extensive customer experience, it’s clear that Intel is the right choice for your SAP NetWeaver implementation.

You benefit from Intel and SAP’s long history of collaboration on a wide range of initiatives, spanning research and development, engineering, and IT, through innovative, highly compatible, server platforms and software tools that help you grow and compete with confidence. Intel’s approach of providing balanced, complementary technology components means optimal performance, availability, manageability, and efficiency in your SAP NetWeaver infrastructure.

 

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Danny Wannagat
Technical Relationship Manager, SAP Alliance
Citrix Systems, Inc.

Why Not Implement an Access Infrastructure That Can Support Your Organization’s Next Big Thing?

Let’s say your organization has just inked a series of deals to open 20 new branch offices. This strategic initiative will put an expert team of sales representatives into every major market worldwide. Now it’s your job to extend your mySAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to this new global sales force. To accomplish this task, you are thinking about leveraging your organization’s SAP NetWeaver Portal.

Will this potential plan pose any problems? It could, depending on how you usually respond to application-access challenges.

If you implement individual — or tactical — solutions to seemingly diverse application-access issues, you aren’t alone. After all, the requirements for providing application access to employees, customers, and partners who are using different devices from different locations across different types of networks are, on the surface, different.

For example, your organization probably has a mixture of desktop computers and wireless devices: some are old, some are new, some are powerful, and some are not. The desktop computers are running various versions of Microsoft Windows, and some may even be running Apple’s MacOS. The network connections over which people use these systems are equally varied: The devices access applications over LANs, WANs, and the Internet using high-speed, low-speed (dial-up), wired, and wireless connections.

In this situation, you may feel that relying on many different application-access solutions is the best thing to do. For example, you might think the best practice for providing access to SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW, now part of SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence, or SAP NetWeaver BI) involves using high-speed connections and powerful PCs running SAP GUI, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Acrobat. For remote mobile access to mySAP CRM, you might use SAP NetWeaver Mobile, while remote desktop users may need a virtual private network (VPN) connection. And how might you give your Mac users access to mySAP ERP if you don’t purchase Windows-based PCs for them?

The point is this: It may seem logical to provide tactical solutions to diverse application-access problems, but this practice inevitably leads to complex access infrastructures that are difficult to manage and costly to maintain. In fact, if your organization were to implement only two of the aforementioned tactical solutions — installing SAP GUI on LAN- and WAN-based PCs and using SAP NetWeaver Portal for your branch-office sales force, for example, you could spend up to 80 percent of your IT budget on infrastructure-related items, leaving a miniscule 20 percent, if that, for tackling your organization’s next big business-growth opportunity.

Now, suppose that instead of using a tactical approach to providing access, you’d used a strategic approach. That is, suppose you had taken a step back and realized that your forward-looking organization needed an application-access infrastructure that allowed it to make business-growth decisions without facing the constraints of application- and information-access challenges. If you had taken this approach, you probably would have implemented a Citrix access infrastructure.

Citrix access infrastructures offer a holistic method for solving all types of access problems. They comprise a suite of solutions that work together flawlessly, delivering a flexible, secure, cost-effective way to provide high-performance access to Web-based, client/server, and desktop applications — regardless of user location, device, and network connection.

By starting with a Citrix access infrastructure, you could have neatly avoided installing SAP GUI on all those PCs. Instead, you would have installed SAP GUI once on a central Citrix Presentation Server, which virtualizes the client/server applications. While bringing back the applications from the local device to the data center, you still have access to all your local resources like file shares and printers. Users would then have accessed a virtualized SAP GUI using the hardware they already had. Their experience with this virtualized application would have been identical to — or better than — their experience with a locally installed application.

Imagine how much of your IT budget you could have saved just in the SAP NetWeaver BI implementation alone — and the savings wouldn’t have stopped there. That would have been just the beginning.

It’s Never Too Late for Citrix

On average, a Citrix access infrastructure can save $1,000 to $1,500 per user on initial SAP implementations. However, a Citrix access infrastructure can rescue your IT budget even if you’ve already implemented your SAP infrastructure.

With Citrix application-access infrastructures, you don’t need to upgrade desktop hardware to accommodate application updates. And you perform updates and new application installations only once — on your Citrix Presentation Server. You also save substantially on network-infrastructure and support costs. With these savings, your organization’s annual return on its investment in a Citrix access infrastructure could exceed 150 percent.

Furthermore, with Citrix access infrastructure’s Secure by Design concept you don’t need a separate security solution — even if your organization’s business involves regulatory issues. With Citrix’s virtualized applications only pixels, keystrokes, and mouse movements traverse your network. Your organization’s critical data stays safely in the data center, where its availability is subject to various role-based access rules.

If you need security that goes beyond SAP’s native role-based access, you can easily add Citrix Access Gateway with Advanced Access Control. This addition to your access infrastructure provides a high-performance Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN and an extensive set of policy controls that let you specify who can perform which actions using which device from which type of network (secure or not secure).

About Those Branch Offices …

At this point, you may be wondering what access-related problems a Citrix infrastructure can solve for an SAP NetWeaver Portal implementation. Citrix access infrastructures can help you solve all access-related problems, including the problems that go hand-in-hand with providing Web-based access to your organization’s valuable information.

For example, suppose you decide to offer access to SAP NetWeaver Portal’s Web-based applications through a virtualized browser running on your Citrix Presentation Server. In this case, a Citrix solution can ensure that your sales reps won’t ignore security policies for browser settings, thereby opening your organization’s vital customer information to security breaches — or its entire SAP infrastructure to the devastating effects of Internet-borne “malware.” A Citrix solution can also solve compatibility issues that arise when users have older versions of browser software, and it can ensure that your sales reps are always using a browser that is properly patched.

Alternately, you could offer Web-based content through non-virtualized browsers without having to purchase point products that optimize performance and secure your organization’s critical information as it traverses the Internet. By adding Citrix NetScaler to your access infrastructure, you can effectively eliminate performance issues that result from accessing SAP NetWeaver Portal’s feature-rich Web applications over slow Internet connections. NetScaler solutions shoulder CPU-intensive activities, freeing Web servers to provide applications and information to more users. With its advanced protocol optimization, http compression, and caching features, a Citrix access solution that includes NetScaler can save up to 40 percent of your Web server’s processing power.

In addition, Citrix access solutions that include Citrix GoToMeeting can give your branch-office-based sales representatives access to people by providing on-the-spot virtual meeting places where they can collaborate with customers and suppliers. And if you include Citrix GoToAssist, you can provide secure, real-time connections to experts, allowing all employees to enjoy on-demand support. Adding these two integrated solutions to your Citrix access infrastructure can help make employees more productive, which helps your organization more effectively move forward with its strategic initiatives.

Conclusion

Rather than layer tactical solution upon tactical solution, forming a complex and costly maze of point solutions, why not implement a strategic Citrix access infrastructure that can work with all your organization’s initiatives: past, present, and future?

Citrix is an SAP Global Technology Partner and a member of the SAP NetWeaver Partner Initiative. Citrix’s close collaboration with SAP means that you can expect your Citrix access infrastructure to work flawlessly with any SAP implementation.

You can find more information about using Citrix solutions to provide cost-effective, swift, and secure access to SAP implementations at www.citrix.com/sap, or contact us at sapalliance@citrix.com.

Case Studies

To read about how Citrix access infrastructures have benefited organizations the world over, go to www.citrix.com and click the Our Customers link.

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Bob Williamson
Vice President of Products
SteelEye Technology

SteelEye LifeKeeper Ensures Availability of SAP Solutions

When your SAP system is down due to hardware failure, an administrator mistake, or maintenance activities, the business impact can range from thousands of lost sales dollars to significant drops in employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Implementing a high-availability cluster configuration can virtually eliminate downtime from these planned and unplanned outages.

SteelEye Technology, winner of the prestigious SAP Pinnacle Award, and SAP AG have worked together to ensure that the availability expectations of users for business-critical infrastructure components are achieved through the monitoring and switchover of SAP NetWeaver Application Server (SAP NetWeaver AS) environments.

Switchover Ensures Availability

Switchover is a standard technique for increasing the availability of critical SAP NetWeaver AS environments by clustering together a number of servers to eliminate any single points of failure — including the back-end database, SAP Central Instance with enqueue and message services, and Network File System (NFS) mounts — within the SAP landscape. Switchover solutions constantly monitor all the components of the SAP solution stack, including the servers, databases, network connections, and SAP services, and automatically take recovery actions if any problem is detected.

Recovery often includes an attempt to first bring SAP back into service on the primary server. If that’s not possible, the recovery process will then bring SAP into service on a standby server configured within the switchover cluster, ensuring that all processes start in the correct order and all storage, network, and client connections are migrated to the newly active server.

Automatic Detection and Recovery

Since 2002, SteelEye LifeKeeper for SAP has provided switchover protection for SAP NetWeaver AS installations worldwide. LifeKeeper, available for both Linux and Microsoft Windows platforms, uses lightweight agents that constantly monitor the operation of all parts of an SAP solution. Should these agents detect a problem, LifeKeeper automatically begins a recovery procedure to restore SAP to full operation.

In addition to protecting against outages due to system failure, LifeKeeper can manually migrate services and client connections between systems to eliminate the downtime associated with planned maintenance. With LifeKeeper, standby servers do not have to be idle; they can run their own set of applications, which will then be integrated into the switchover process, as needed, to ensure a full recovery.

Protecting Your Business Assets

To ensure the availability of business-critical data and applications, SAP customers must deploy a high-availability solution to eliminate the risks exposed by single points of failure. SteelEye Technology’s LifeKeeper for SAP solutions provides monitoring and recovery for all the different elements of SAP NetWeaver AS deployments, delivers the highest availability levels for users, and protects business assets and customer relationships.

To learn more, visit www.steeleye.com.

Case Study:
Media Company Realigns
Its IT Infrastructure

In 2004, St. Galler Tagblatt AG, the largest media company in eastern Switzerland, decided to realign its IT infrastructure using SUSE Linux to host its SAP R/3 4.6c with the SAP for Media industry solution on IBM eServer xSeries 455 systems running Novell SUSE with SteelEye LifeKeeper for Linux protecting the deployment.

St. Galler has experienced significant cost savings and productivity gains based on the economics of Linux and the reliability of SteelEye Technology’s LifeKeeper. Like other business-savvy SAP shops, St. Galler has learned that the new deployment paradigm includes Linux and SteelEye LifeKeeper.

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Christoph Reisbeck
Partner Executive SAP
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Building a Foundation for Greater Flexibility, Security, and Efficiency with SAP Solutions

Sun believes that IT infrastructure holds the key to simplifying SAP solution landscapes and taking advantage of the inherent flexibility of the SAP NetWeaver® platform to deliver greater business benefits. It is much more than just the servers and storage platforms on which SAP software runs. Indeed, sophisticated software tools such as Sun Java Enterprise System provide key building blocks that make it easier to develop, deploy, and manage your SAP environment.

In addition to Sun’s highly reliable and scalable server and storage products and Sun Java Enterprise System, Sun’s infrastructure solutions for SAP provide three key benefits:

  • Flexibility through pools of virtualized resources
    Sun’s N1 Advanced Architecture for SAP Solutions helps you transform your entire SAP infrastructure and your data center into a unified virtual system consisting of pools of resources that can be continually monitored, controlled, and managed for optimal performance. Its automated tools provide a real-time status of your SAP infrastructure, enabling you to make more informed decisions about how to best use your SAP system resources.

  • Enterprise security
    Security is only as good as the weakest link within the IT environment. Even when SAP solutions are deployed on highly secure Sun servers and the Solaris 10 OS, you still need to securely manage user access to enterprise IT assets. Sun Network Services for SAP Solutions can help enforce consistent corporate security policies. Based on the industry-leading Sun Java Identity Management suite, this comprehensive set of identity and access-management solutions and services helps you reap the benefits of collaborative business while reducing security risks.

  • Greater efficiency and reduced TCO
    High availability is a must, but it must be balanced against cost. Sun’s approach is to utilize open interfaces and offer greater choice so that infrastructure components meet your needs and budget. Some options include:

    High-performance x64 servers with record-setting price/performance and flexibility to run the Solaris OS, as well as Linux and Microsoft Windows
    A wide range of data-management options for cost-effective storage and archival
    Open-source options and free developer downloads of Sun software
    Multi-platform hardware support for the Solaris OS and Sun Java Enterprise System, OpenOffice (for SAP reports), and other Sun software
    Low-cost subscriptions for Sun Java Enterprise System
IT infrastructure includes a number of core network services as building blocks for the SAP NetWeaver platform

As an innovative leader in network computing, Sun offers a complete infrastructure for maximum flexibility and security, and an open-standards approach that enables cost-effective options for SAP customers. Contact a Sun sales representative or visit www.sun.com/sap.

Support for Sun Fire x64 Servers

As announced in May 2006, mySAP Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver are available on Solaris 10 x64, enabling SAP Solutions to run on Sun Fire x64 servers. Supported databases include Oracle 10g and Max DB 7.6.

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