Special Report


Special Feature: SAP and Linux


October 1, 2005

Why Successful Customers Can Confidently Move Their SAP Applications to Linux

Torsten M. Geers
Head of the SAP Global Linux/Open Source Office,


Moving to 64-Bit SAP on Linux — Thanks to AMD, the Time Is Now

HP Linux Solutions for SAP: Comprehensive, Enterprise-Ready Offerings for an Accelerating Market

Reduce Data Center Complexity with FlexFrame and Linux

SAP on Linux: Putting Intel Architecture to Work to Enable Smarter Business Decisions

Why Smart Businesses Trust Their SAP Applications to IBM Linux Platforms

Can Your Database Meet Your Enterprise Demands? MaxDB – The Professional Database from SAP

A Dynamic Duo — Combining Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server and SAP Software Results in Long-Term Cost Savings

Red Hat Offers Gruner + Jahr Higher Performance at Lower Cost

SteelEye LifeKeeper Ensures Availability of SAP Solutions

SAP Without Limits by Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI)

9 Ways to Minimize Risk When Working with SAP Solutions on Linux Servers

Bringing Greater Flexibility and Choice to SAP Solutions on Linux

If you talk to anyone in the IT community about the latest and greatest in the world of operating systems, you can't help but mention a major buzzword in enterprise platforms: Linux. While some might associate Linux with the dreams of a bunch of computer geeks, others may see it as a panacea to all manner of IT issues, including costs, reliability, scalability, and system quality. Whatever your personal view, one thing is certain: Linux has a growing community of supporters, including large corporations, public institutions, and small businesses alike.

So what is the value of Linux, and, in particular, what is the benefit of Linux to the SAP community? If you've done your research and considered all of your options, you'll find that porting your SAP applications to Linux can be a viable, beneficial option for meeting your business needs. At SAP, we are poised to support our customers as they begin or continue to incorporate Linux into their IT landscape.

Agility and Flexibility Are Key to Success

For businesses in today's aggressive economic climate, success is determined by two hard and fast goals: increasing bottom-line profits (often through cost optimization) and increasing top-line revenue — in other words, growing the business through innovative differentiation. Corporate IT is directly linked to these very same goals: optimizing overall costs while responding more flexibly to changing business requirements.

With SAP NetWeaver and the Enterprise Services Architecture, SAP has heralded a new era of IT, where business application software and the platform this software runs on (the application and integration server) become one, forming what analysts have coined the "applistructure." What do SAP customers stand to gain from this new approach? They no longer need to choose between the "buy" and "build" models — they can benefit from the best of both worlds. Ultimately IT departments are empowered to be more agile in responding to changes on the business side, driving business growth rather than being viewed as a cost to the enterprise. This is part of the equation of success.

The other part of the equation lies in the underlying IT infrastructure, including operating systems and databases. In this area, companies are looking to exploit the latest hardware and software technologies. They are looking for cost efficiencies and maximum flexibility — both in their immediate choices and with their future business decisions in mind. Here, Linux fits the bill perfectly, as an operating system offering an outstanding cost/performance ratio and unsurpassed portability combined with high performance, scalability, and reliability.

Integrating Linux in Your Enterprise

A key SAP goal is to provide customers with maximum freedom to create the best IT environment for their needs and the ability to get the most value out of their business applications, all while driving growth and profit. Openness, flexibility, and integrity of its products have always been a cornerstone of SAP's product strategy, putting customers in the position to decide what's best for their IT environment. For SAP, Linux is on an equal footing with other established platforms.

Linux is not just a buzzword — it's an operating platform that can bring considerable benefits to your business. What follows are four key reasons why enterprises can confidently make the move to running their SAP applications on Linux.

1. SAP's Long-Standing Commitment to Linux

In 1996, SAP was the first software vendor to recognize the applicability of Linux for mission-critical applications. In 1999, SAP was the first major ERP vendor to offer its customers business solutions on Linux. Today, SAP supports all major 64-bit Linux hardware platforms, including Itanium, x86_64, OpenPower, and zSeries. SAP also supports multiple Linux distributions including Red Hat, Novell SUSE, and Red Flag.

However, SAP's commitment to Linux doesn't end here. SAP recently decided to make Linux one of its two strategic development platforms for SAP NetWeaver. This means that all our applications are now developed from scratch to natively run on Linux.

2. Strong Customer Adoption of Linux

Linux has achieved mainstream acceptance in the global market and is considered by many of SAP's customers as the next generation of Unix operating systems. Over the last few years, SAP has experienced an increasing amount of interest from our customers and prospects in deploying SAP on Linux. Today, thousands of mission-critical SAP applications run on Linux across all industry segments.

The adoption rate of Linux in our installed base more or less mirrors that of the strong growth rates we see in the market. Why? Many of our customers cite the following reasons:

  • The open source nature of Linux provides them with more flexibility and independence than they have today.

  • Linux is a good choice for their consolidation efforts — since Linux runs on multiple hardware architectures, customers can run their entire IT infrastructure landscape on one operating system.

  • They highly regard the security aspect of Linux; it shares a common design philosophy with the Unix operating system and, unlike some other operating systems where security was added later, security has been an integral part of Linux from the start.

  • Linux is particularly attractive to Unix users, since new skills are not required and customers feel comfortable with the environment.

What drives our customers most, however, is the fact that Linux-based infrastructures provide the stability, availability, reliability, and security they expect from a mature operating system — all at a very compelling price/performance ratio.

3. Customers Report Huge Savings in IT Operating Costs.

SAP on Linux has helped our customers extend the SAP NetWeaver and Enterprise Services Architecture total cost of ownership (TCO) value proposition to the underlying IT infrastructure. Customers are finding that they can considerably reduce operating costs while boosting performance. In fact, some companies report performance increases of up to a factor of eight!

TCO is especially low when customers run their solutions on Linux and on MaxDB (see sidebar below).

Need a Great Database on Linux? Take a Look at MaxDB

MaxDB is a database management system (DBMS) designed for enterprise-scale implementations that is particularly easy to manage. The strength of MaxDB lies in its "zero administration" approach to database management, which ensures low administration costs and superb quality of service. Thousands of satisfied customers appreciate MaxDB for its outstanding price/performance ratio. MaxDB, of course, runs on Linux.1

4. Taking Flexibility to the Next Level

Optimizing computer resources tops most data center managers' priority lists. Here Linux and SAP team up to offer a world-class solution.

Linux was the first operating system to support SAP's Adaptive Computing architecture, an IT infrastructure design approach that allows the dynamic assignment of hardware resources to serve specific application services. Utilizing unique technology aspects found only in Unix-like operating systems — such as the shared operating system, network boot, and diskless server concept — SAP Adaptive Computing decouples the software components from servers, operating systems, and storage solutions. As such, almost any application can potentially run at any time on any server. This improves scalability and system performance, significantly increasing the efficiency and flexibility of the overall IT infrastructure.

Talk to SAP

If you are an SAP customer thinking about moving to Linux, talk to SAP. SAP is a trusted advisor to thousands of organizations around the world. Together with major partners, SAP can help you select the IT infrastructure that will best meet your needs. As one of the world's premier business solution providers, only SAP can help you look beyond technology "bits and bytes" and achieve your ultimate success.

For more information about running your SAP applications on Linux, visit or email

1 For more information on MaxDB, see the article "Can Your Database Meet Your Enterprise Demands?" of this special feature.

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Alexandra Bialek
Solution Architect,
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

Moving to 64-Bit SAP on Linux — Thanks to AMD, the Time Is Now

With the recent release of SAP for 64-bit Linux, companies can leverage the choice, flexibility, and cost advantages of Linux platforms while benefiting from the full functionality of SAP's 64-bit solution. But to truly take full advantage of the performance benefits of 64-bit SAP on Linux, companies must find a comprehensive, robust platform that can support multi-threaded, multi-tasking applications. AMD is joining leading SAP platform vendors to provide industry-recognized hardware and open source operating system solutions that unite SAP components in the data center.

The Convergence of Multi-Core Processing and 64-Bit Operating Systems

With 64-bit Linux, SAP applications can exploit the benefits of running 32-bit and 64-bit applications on one system. A variety of third-party products currently available on 32-bit Linux — including scheduling, system management, and backup and restore products — are needed to run a production SAP system. Supported backup products for SAP on Linux include ARCserveIT from Computer Associates, NetWorker from Legato, Time Navigator from ATEMPO, and Data Protection from Tivoli.1 Using the AMD Opteron processor together with a network backup strategy, these 32-bit agents are fully supported on 64-bit Linux.

But it takes more than 64-bit technology to meet the size, power consumption, and performance demands of today's data center — it takes new innovations in processor design. Multi-core technology delivers a balanced solution to meet increasing computing demands within a given power envelope. A four-way, single-core server can support up to 170 percent more SAPS 2 when configured with Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors.3 These savings compound when you consider the space and power advantages of moving to fewer servers to carry out comparable workloads at competitive performance levels.

Additionally, dual-core technology puts increased processing power in the user's hands. The multi-threaded and multi-tasking nature of SAP applications means that SAP solutions are ideally suited to dual-core platforms. Multi-core processing, combined with the power of 64-bit computing, delivers high-end system power and performance to the mainstream platform.

The Architectural Advantage

Companies that are poised to succeed recognize the importance of and are planning for new x86 technologies like 64-bit computing and multi-core processing. AMD began planning for these advancements in 1999 with the development of Direct Connect Architecture, which connects multiple processors, the memory controller, and the I/O directly to the central processor unit, helping to eliminate bottlenecks inherent in front-side bus architectures (see Figure 1). Memory is connected directly to the CPU for optimized memory performance; the I/O hub is connected directly to the CPU for more balanced throughput and higher I/O performance; and CPUs are connected directly to CPUs, allowing for smooth scaling during peak workload periods.

Figure 1
AMD64 with Direct Connect Architecture

With Direct Connect Architecture, AMD evolved industry standards from a megahertz-only mindset to a focus on architectural elegance that delivers breakthrough performance.

The AMD Opteron Processor

The AMD Opteron processor with Direct Connect Architecture made history in April 2003 as the first x86 processor for servers and workstations that is both 32- and 64-bit capable. The combination of HyperTransport technology and an integrated memory controller enables AMD Opteron processor-based systems to show significant performance improvements when compared to the traditional front-side bus architecture-based systems. The AMD Opteron processor's higher data throughput, together with lower memory latency and non-uniform memory access (NUMA) support, decreases the idle time of CPUs. In an SAP customer evaluation, the time to process data was reduced by over 50 percent with an AMD Opteron processor-based system and 64-bit SAP.

The AMD Opteron processor supports standard x86 applications and ranks as a top-performing platform in a wide range of benchmarking tests.4 In SAP-certified benchmarks, the AMD Opteron processor consistently outperforms other processors by 70 percent or more (see Figure 2). The quality and performance of AMD Opteron processor-based systems has led SAP's own developers and engineers to use AMD Opteron processors for testing and development.

Figure 2
Dual Core Performance Advantage

Global commercial enterprises continue to adopt AMD Opteron processor-based systems at an accelerated pace, with new customers in industries including banking, insurance, oil and gas, and pharmaceuticals. Now more than 75 percent of the top 100 of the Forbes Global 2000 companies have adopted AMD64 technology. In Q1 2005, AMD's Opteron processor achieved 27.8 percent unit shipment share in the US four-way x86 server market and 18.4 percent unit shipment share in the worldwide four-way x86 server market (according to IDC Q1 2005 data).5

Why is demand increasing? The AMD Opteron processor is designed to run existing 32-bit applications and offers a nondisruptive path to 64-bit computing and multi-core processing. The processor provides compatibility, performance, and investment protection, and can reduce total cost of ownership. AMD Opteron processors transform the enterprise with leading 64-bit technology, multi-core leadership, and an industry-leading performance-per-watt.

The Impact on SAP Customers

With the combination of Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors and 64-bit SAP on Linux, customers can implement and run more SAP applications on fewer servers while maintaining performance, without slowing down response times. This is advantageous to SAP database performance because the system can dynamically and transparently schedule threads on available cores. Customers' operations can become more effective, with more users able to run SAP applications with less disruption and pressure on IT resources. For more information, please visit

1 - See for more information.

2 - SAP Application Performance Standard (SAPS) is a hardware-independent unit that describes the performance of a system configuration in the SAP environment.

3 - For more information on SAP's benchmarking studies, please visit

4 - For more information on AMD Opteron processor benchmarks, please visit

5 - Source: IDC's Q105 Quarterly Server Tracker.

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Udo Kerkow
Manager, HP SAP
Global Alliance

Niall McCorley
Linux Marketing Manager, HP SAP
Global Alliance

HP Linux Solutions for SAP: Comprehensive, Enterprise-Ready Offerings for an Accelerating Market

With the growing demand for Linux in the marketplace, SAP customers' requirements for low-cost, low-risk Linux solutions are on the rise. HP, with a commanding 50 percent of all SAP installations running on its systems, is committed to delivering complete, worry-free Linux solutions for SAP based on industry standards.

From the very first SAP solution based on Linux — in 1999 — to an ever-expanding choice of Linux-based offerings, such as mySAP Business Suite, HP and SAP have worked closely to develop Linux solutions that provide customers with increased flexibility, less complexity, and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).

As one of three strategic HP operating systems, Linux has been a key component of HP's portfolio for many years. HP Linux-based servers are highly manageable, fully supported, and an integral component of an adaptive enterprise solution for SAP customers. Many SAP customers have successfully deployed Linux-based solutions on the HP platform, and recent Linux customer trends show great interest in the two- to four-processor HP ProLiant BL blade servers, as well as in the HP Integrity servers.

Proven HP and SAP Linux Solutions

Regardless of the processor family on which you run Linux, HP can deliver the appropriate industry-standard platform for your needs, ranging from 32-bit HP ProLiant servers to high-end, 64-bit HP Integrity servers. HP servers consistently show high performance and top price/performance ratios — with both commercial and technical applications. Plus HP enjoys strong relationships with major Linux distributors including Novell SUSE and Red Hat, as well as with major database systems such as Oracle, Informix, and MaxDB (formerly SAP DB).

"Our decision in favor of the HP Integrity server running under Linux has paid off 100 percent. The HP SAP Competence Center team showed incredible commitment in supporting us during our move to the new hardware and software."

Clemens Schulta, Information Technology Manager, Rohwedder

HP Linux offerings for SAP include:

HP ProLiant servers offering for SAP and Linux — The grouping of SAP applications, HP ProLiant servers, and the Linux operating system provides an unprecedented combination of high performance and cost-effectiveness. HP offers a broad range of certified ProLiant Servers for SAP, from ProLiant Blade servers all the way to the latest HP ProLiant DL 585 Opteron-based four-way server. HP ProLiant Essentials for SAP and Linux — modular, flexible software tools that extend the functionality of HP Systems Insight Manager — are solution packages designed to simplify server management and expand the capabilities of ProLiant servers while lowering overall lifecycle costs and reducing demands on IT resources.

HP Integrity servers offering for SAP and Linux — Those needing the robust 64-bit reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features of the HP Integrity server family, and who want to deploy only Linux, can choose from a wide variety of HP Integrity servers that support SAP applications running on Linux. With the Intel Itanium 2-based HP Integrity server family, the strengths of HP, SAP, and Linux combine to deliver compelling solutions using the latest technologies. HP Integrity Essentials for SAP and Linux offer a comprehensive set of integrated tools for seamless management of HP Integrity servers. Integrity Essentials help you control IT infrastructure with unified management of your HP Integrity server environment running on Linux.

HP Systems Insight Manager for SAP and Linux — HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM) forms the foundation of HP's server management strategy. HP SIM extends existing management capabilities for ProLiant and Integrity systems with Integrated Management and support for value-added plug-ins for improved rapid deployment, vulnerability and patch management, and virtual machine management and control.

HP StorageWorks solutions for SAP on Linux — HP StorageWorks solutions for SAP on Linux offer maximum scalability, world-class performance, a fully integrated suite of centralized management tools, and exceptional data protection and disaster-tolerant features. HP has developed the following specific storage solutions for SAP to help you maximize your complete SAP system environment on Linux:

  • HP StorageWorks Disaster Tolerant Solution for mySAP Business Suite on Linux

  • HP OpenView Storage Data Protector for SAP on Linux

  • HP StorageWorks Rapid Backup & Restore for mySAP Business Suite on Linux

HP Virtualized Infrastructure Solutions for mySAP Business Suite on Linux — HP Virtual Infrastructure Solutions for mySAP Business Suite offer SAP customers the opportunity to deploy SAP systems in a highly flexible nature, with central control for the starting, stopping, and relocating of SAP systems from one server to another. It enables virtualization by separating SAP applications from the underlying IT infrastructure resources: servers, storage, networking, and other devices. Your IT can scale flexibly and respond quickly to changes in demand because resources are pooled, shared, and allocated according to utilization.

"Customers expanding their enterprise applications infrastructure are increasingly looking to HP for standardized solutions that are modular, flexible, and easy to manage, in order that the IT environment can rapidly respond to changing business requirements. With the alignment of HP's Adaptive Enterprise strategy and SAP's adaptive computing capabilities, our joint customers will be able to deploy their SAP landscapes with greater accountability, agility, and flexibility, resulting in improved return on IT."

— Ron Eller, Vice President and General Manager, HP Enterprise Solution Alliances

HP Services Support Your Linux-Based Solution

HP has over 6,500 Linux-trained services professionals in more than 160 countries, supporting solutions for our customers' Linux-based application environments. We have more than 20 years of experience in providing comprehensive service portfolios regardless of the business size or type, and we're recognized worldwide as an industry leader in provisioning multivendor hardware and software support services for open IT environments.

In addition to our strong portfolio of products, services, people, tools, methodologies, and world-class partnerships, HP makes it easy on the balance sheet to put the power of the HP portfolio to work for you through HP Financial Services.

Why HP, SAP, and Linux?

Customers are moving toward the Linux operating environment because they are looking for robust, reliable solutions at a lower TCO. HP has a long-standing commitment to developing robust solutions based on the Linux platform. As an industry market-share leader in Linux solutions, HP is well known for its support of Linux and open source computing solutions on industry-standard platforms within heterogeneous environments.

As a key technology partner with SAP, HP is also dedicated to delivering cost-effective and reliable Linux-based SAP solutions. HP continues to invest in the development, delivery, and support of Linux environments required by budget-conscious, performance-demanding businesses, governments, and public IT environments. With an overall strategy to reduce IT infrastructure costs — while employing the sophisticated SAP applications that form the core of your operations — HP delivers high IT value with low risk. Plus you can count on HP as a single point of contact for comprehensive support around the world.

For more information on how Linux solutions from HP and SAP can help improve your competitive advantage, please visit and

HP Leadership and the SAP Linux Lab

HP has an unparalleled understanding of the requirements for open source software. As a founding member of the SAP Linux Lab, HP has been participating in Linux development for several years. The SAP Linux Lab is used to:

  • Port SAP applications onto Linux

  • Test and provide certification of all technology partners' hardware platforms for SAP applications

  • Provide third-level support to customers running SAP solutions on Linux

  • Serve as an interface to the Linux community

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Gunnar Doerken
Director Global Alliances SAP, Fujitsu Siemens Computers

Reduce Data Center Complexity with FlexFrame and Linux

To survive in global competition, companies need to be able to react quickly and economically to changing market conditions, rapidly implementing new business processes on an as-needed basis. To meet these challenges, services-oriented IT infrastructures are required. Linux, which has evolved into a real and viable alternative to the established operating systems in the enterprise computing market space, plays an ever-increasing role in this area.

Reducing the complexity of data center infrastructure is a constant challenge for SAP customers. Enterprise systems are typically designed for peak loads, meaning each application has its own dedicated server, database, and storage systems, resulting in steadily growing IT landscapes hampered by increasingly complex administration.

With its dynamic data center approach, Fujitsu Siemens Computers guides companies away from system-bound IT and into services-oriented architecture, where all hardware resources are pooled and used as required. This virtualization allows any service to run on any system, or even to be stored between systems short-term. And because operations are highly automated, systems can independently react to changing conditions.

Close Collaboration with SAP

Fujitsu Siemens Computers collaborates closely with leading IT suppliers to offer customers flexible solutions for the dynamic data center. The company has worked with SAP for over a quarter century in a partnership that has led to numerous innovations for SAP infrastructure — including FlexFrame for mySAP Business Suite running on Linux, which is certified for integration with SAP NetWeaver. This infrastructure solution for adaptive computing in SAP environments was first introduced into the market on the Linux open source operating system.

More than 70 international customers rely on the flexible, cost-effective FlexFrame virtualization solution. After becoming the first customer to deploy FlexFrame over two years ago, Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., a global automotive supplier, reduced the cost of operating its SAP infrastructure by about 30 percent.

According to a BearingPoint survey of FlexFrame users, operating cost savings of up to 62 percent are possible (see Figure 1). FlexFrame also offers the flexibility to enable organizations to align SAP services around fluctuating demands — in real time.

Figure 1
Results of BearingPoint FlexFrame User Survey

Well-Versed in Linux

Even before FlexFrame was developed, Linux was already a key component of the Fujitsu Siemens Computers corporate strategy. Fujitsu Siemens Computers was the first supplier to publish a certified benchmark result for SAP R/3 running on Linux, and with the 1999 opening of the SAP Linux Lab for certifications and quality assurance in Walldorf, Germany, Fujitsu Siemens Computers and SAP laid a cornerstone for the adoption of Linux in enterprise computing.

To learn more about Fujitsu Siemens Computers' Linux offerings for SAP customers, please visit

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Ulf Hofemeier
Senior Software Engineer,
Intel GmbH

SAP on Linux: Putting Intel Architecture to Work to Enable Smarter Business Decisions

SAP customers in countless industries around the globe are turning to Linux to drive their business-critical applications. Running large-scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) solutions — like mySAP ERP and mySAP SCM — on Linux with Intel architecture enables easy integration with other mySAP Business Suite solutions. The result is an open, Web Services-based infrastructure that supports high levels of agility and performance at both the business and technical levels.

Ask customers why they run their SAP solutions on Linux with Intel architecture and they will likely cite their need for agile, flexible, high-performance IT solutions that support their changing business processes. Customers also trust Linux and Intel architecture to provide the reliability, availability, serviceability, and scalability they demand from their data storage and retrieval solutions.

Many customers, however, are surprised to discover that Intel also provides key enabling and software engineering for the delivery of Linux solutions to industries, end customers, and software and solution providers. Intel not only contributes to the development of the Linux operating system (OS), we also cooperate in distributing application development tools, providing component integration, and assisting in real-world Linux deployments.

High Performance Analytics on the Linux OS

Intel has played a key role in offering robust Linux solutions with the development of High Performance Analytics, a collaborative effort between SAP, HP, and Intel. Working on site at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, developers from Intel's Software and Solutions Group (SSG) ported TREX code, a key component of the High Performance Analytics solution, to 64-bit Intel Xeon processor-based platforms as part of SAP NetWeaver. Executing portions of SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence software on 64-bit-enabled Intel processors reduced query times from minutes to seconds. A version for Intel Itanium 2 processors is planned.

This enhanced query performance is a key element on the roadmap to Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), SAP's blueprint for a business-driven approach to services-oriented architecture (SOA). Intel's technology innovations, coupled with our intimate knowledge of how companies implement SOAs, can help customers address the challenges of moving to an open environment.

Effective, Flexible Business Intelligence

Until now, companies wanting to execute high-performance queries had to sacrifice flexibility and productivity. SAP, HP, and Intel developed High Performance Analytics specifically for SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence installations to help companies gain instant access to inventory and profitability data, boost productivity and sales forecasts, enhance supplier relationships, and improve marketing focus and effectiveness. Customers can take advantage of High Performance Analytics preloaded on HP ProLiant servers running 64-bit Linux on Intel Extended Memory Technology (EM64T) architecture with HP StorageWorks storage area networks.

High Performance Analytics on Intel architecture is available for a fraction of the cost previously associated with high-speed storage and retrieval of mission-critical data. The advantages of affordable hardware, lower administration costs, scalability, and increased speed from indexing across several blade servers are attractive to new SAP customers and those considering upgrades to existing proprietary RISC-based solutions.

Intel and SAP provide reliable Linux enterprise server solutions that enable smart decision-making while lowering your total cost of ownership. For more information, please visit

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Franz L. Voelker
Business Development Manager,
IBM SAP Alliance

Why Smart Businesses Trust Their SAP Applications to IBM Linux Platforms

More and more companies are choosing Linux to support their SAP enterprise applications. Consider, for example, a systems architect at a German consulting and data-center services company who was searching for a solution that could address the performance issues of his client's SAP R/3 Windows installation. Eventually, the architect migrated the SAP R/3 system to the Linux platform.

Or consider another example: The IT managers of a leading Swiss media group needed a plan to lower costs and consolidate their SAP applications from diverse Unix-based proprietary systems. They selected a 64-bit Linux platform for its attractive combination of low price and performance promise.

In both cases, expectations were high. To help maximize the capabilities of their SAP applications and cost-effectively build a supporting Linux infrastructure, these IT teams turned to IBM. These experts knew that SAP applications work well on Linux, and that IBM is a leading Linux supporter. For over 30 years, SAP and IBM have maintained a close technology partnership and business alliance, and IBM is a founding member of the SAP Linux Lab, which drives the porting of SAP software to Linux platforms. Throughout this close partnership, it has always been IBM's concern to help business users run their SAP applications on Linux as robustly as they would run on Unix and other operating systems (see Figure 1).

IBM Server Processor
mySAP DB Server mySAP Application Server
xSeries Intel x86 (32-bit)
Intel IA-64
Intel EM64T (Xeon X3)
AMD 64-bit
RHEL 3 and 4,
SLES 8 and 9
RHEL 3 and 4,
SLES 8 and 9
pSeries POWER 5 64-bit
(POWER 5 64-bit)
BladeCenter Intel EM64T
AMD 64-bit
POWER 4/5 64-bit
iSeries POWER 5 64-bit N/A* RHEL 4, SLES 9
zSeries zSeries
(native and VM LPAR)
N/A** SLES 8 and 9
RHEL = Red Hat Enterprise Linux SLES = Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server * On i5/OS ** On z/OS
Figure 1
Availability of SAP for Linux on IBM Servers

To see how IBM is an integral part of successfully implementing SAP applications on Linux, let's take a closer look at three Linux offerings from IBM, accompanied by real-world examples from leading global enterprises.

How Does IBM Enable SAP Solutions on Linux?

To understand IBM's involvement in the SAP Linux Lab, consider the example of an SAP kernel release 1 that has just been implemented on an Intel platform. IBM tests the full SAP application stack on their own Intel-based xSeries servers. Then IBM ports the SAP code to the other IBM Linux platforms and performs SAP platform certification tests. Porting the SAP kernel is straightforward; a recent port to Linux for IBM's POWER generation 5 platform took only a few weeks. Thorough certification testing followed. Customers can be assured by certifications that they get proven technology for their SAP solutions.

IBM xSeries — The Standard Platform for Linux

The IBM xSeries server is the improved standard Intel and AMD server platform for 32- and 64-bit Linux. IBM's new xSeries X3 chipset has threefold accelerated memory and periphery (PCI) access. It implements smart scaling techniques that allow users to "pay as you grow" — from adding individual processors to stacking server chassis — up to 32-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems with 512GB of memory, supporting thousands of SAP users.

Better Performance and High Availability for NZZ/St. Galler Tagblatt

The Swiss media group Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ)/St. Galler Tagblatt uses SAP R/3 applications for its core business and SAP for Media industry solutions for its media-specific operations. The group will soon be converting all of its operational business processes to SAP software.

To lower costs, consolidate its SAP applications, and build a new infrastructure for moving proprietary Unix-based applications to Linux, NZZ/St. Galler Tagblatt chose Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8 and the MaxDB enterprise database, based on the open source cost benefits of this technology. The company acquired four IBM xSeries x455 servers: Two of the servers host St. Galler Tagblatt's SAP applications (one in production and the other for testing and development), and the other two house NZZ's SAP applications in the same configuration. To integrate the solution under tight deadlines, the media group worked with IBM Partner TDS Multivision, a Swiss system integration and IT services company. The integration started in mid-May 2004, and NZZ's SAP applications on Linux went into production in early July 2004.

Realizing that every second the system is unavailable costs money, the company combined IBM xSeries servers and SAP applications on Linux and MaxDB into a productive cluster using SteelEye LifeKeeper in early October 2004. This ensures that in case of a failure or controlled time-out, the SAP test and development servers will take over the production.

For NZZ/St. Galler Tagblatt's day-to-day business, the power of the new SAP system is very compelling. Erich Giesinger, infrastructure manager of St. Galler Tagblatt, explains: "Address data is now prepared three times faster than before, allowing us sufficient leeway for future growth — one of our central concerns." The new setup saves the company 500,000 Swiss francs per year.

IBM's OpenPower Server Platform

IBM POWER, IBM's high-performing processor technology, is field-proven by more than 13 years in AIX and OS/400 servers. Now, IBM and SAP have added 64-bit POWER support for Linux. Best of all, SAP applications are platform-independent, and the move to Linux on POWER is transparent for SAP end users.

Consider that the typical SAP landscape has a production system, a quality assurance system, and a release test system. With POWER generation 5, the latest POWER technology release, IBM has enhanced the logical partitioning (LPAR) technology, enabling SAP customers to run multiple system images on a single machine and treat each partition as a separate server. POWER5 dynamic LPAR enables you to add, remove, or move system resources across partitions — all without having to reboot. POWER5 is ideal if you want to move processor power from an SAP test partition to a production partition (or vice versa) in periods of peak demand.

Finding the Right Tools for Röhm, with Linux on IBM POWER

Röhm GmbH Sontheim is a leading global manufacturer of clamping technology, with products ranging from drill chucks to precision vices, delivering to more than 60 countries.

Röhm uses SAP R/3 Enterprise software for its local and global business operations. Approximately 450 SAP users are constantly online at eight locations worldwide. As Röhm's business grew, the performance of its SAP systems on Windows steadily decreased. The company asked IT-Informatik GmbH, the associated IT consulting partner and IT service provider of Röhm, to build a new higher-performing infrastructure. Achim Schütz, systems architect of IT-Informatik, explains: "IBM and SAP announced that they would provide support for a pilot of SAP under Linux on POWER, and helped us to conduct a three-day test in the [IBM] laboratory. On the third day, we were able to show excellent results to Röhm."

IT-Informatik selected an IBM p5 570 server with eight POWER5 processors and 32GB memory as the core server for Röhm. The server is subdivided into five LPARs: four partitions running SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 — for SAP production, quality assurance, development, and training — and one IBM AIX 5.3 partition for legacy services. A second IBM server, a p5 520 system with two processors and 8GB of memory, was also installed for support applications such as print spooling. This second system includes a disaster recovery LPAR, allowing Röhm to take over the production workload within a few minutes of a failure on the primary system. Finally, IBM TotalStorage DS4300 Turbo storage provides 2TB of high-performance, high-availability data storage.

Queries on the SAP system now run three times faster, with batch processing reduced from seven hours to just one hour and 45 minutes. According to Armin Schmidt, IT manager at Röhm, "The IBM pSeries solution has effectively doubled the speed of many SAP transactions. The p5 570 is only at 50 percent of its maximum capacity, so we can easily meet the demands of the business for the foreseeable future."

IBM DB2 Universal Database Optimized for SAP and Linux Brings New Level of Integration

The release of DB2 UDB, Version 8.2.2 was tailored to integrate seamlessly within SAP applications. Version 8.2.2 scales to accommodate businesses of any size, but still requires only minimal resources to maintain. Industrial strength, robustness, and data integrity are standard features of IBM's professional data management software.

DB2 UDB holds SD benchmark leadership for Linux in combination with eight- and four-way servers. In addition, DB2 has some unique features such as a built-in High Availability and Data Recovery (HADR) feature that is designed for quick failover. The integrated cluster environment (ICE), a DB2 Linux specialty, enables SAP customers to deploy multiple SAP components onto one physical database, SAP MCOD.2

DB2 UDB also is commercially very attractive. In its "Database Comparative Cost of Ownership" study, Market Magic Research analyzed the relative costs of owning the three leading databases and reported that DB2 V8 "emerged with the superior database application cost of ownership." 3 For more information on DB2 and Linux, see

Teck Cominco Cuts Costs and Refines Operational Efficiency with SAP on Linux and IBM DB2

Teck Cominco, based out of Vancouver, Canada, is a world-leading mining, smelting, and refining company. Products include semiprocessed ores (concentrates) and metals, and the company employs more than 6,700 people. Since prices for concentrates and metals are determined by the markets, Teck Cominco is an especially cost-sensitive business.

The sales and marketing division of Teck Cominco has been using SAP software since 1995, deploying SD, MM, FI, and CO components. The company's SAP solutions were running on proprietary Unix systems. But as business demands grew, the company made the strategic decision to move to the reliable Linux operating system, opting for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Mike Zeleniak, information systems manager at Teck Cominco, explains: "We took the opportunity to consider our hardware, database, and storage options, looking for the most cost-effective combination. To this end, we selected IBM xSeries servers, IBM DB2 Universal Database, IBM TotalStorage DS4300, and IBM TotalStorage LTO2 tape drives for backup and archive. With the tight integration of DB2 with SAP, such as in the DB2 Cockpit, database administration can easily be carried out within SAP."

Teck Cominco implemented a typical SAP landscape, with three IBM xSeries servers to run production, quality assurance, and test SAP environments. "After we implemented the IBM and SAP solution, users found the system more responsive. The additional power meant that they were able to exploit new features of the SAP solution that they had formerly ignored, because the reports had taken too long to execute," Zeleniak reports. "For example, a month-end report that formerly took six hours to complete now takes less than 20 minutes. Now we have moved to Linux and DB2, saving the organization tens of thousands of dollars a year." With a successful upgrade to SAP R/3 Enterprise under their belts, the Teck Cominco team also recently implemented the sales and logistics functionality of the SAP for Mining industry solution.


These customers and hundreds of other SAP and IBM clients have had positive experiences with SAP on Linux for the enterprise. The combination of open source with IBM's server and software technology leads to a wide selection of reliable SAP infrastructures that have great potential for additional TCO savings. IBM offers a complete Linux portfolio of products and services for SAP clients.

For more information about IBM's offerings for SAP clients, please visit

Linux TCO — Customers Speak Up

"The combination of SAP functionality with the robustness of IBM DB2 and the cost-effectiveness of Linux makes for an excellent solution."

— Mike Zeleniak, Information Systems Manager, Teck Cominco

"The use of Linux eliminates most of our licensing costs, further reducing the total cost of ownership for SAP solutions."

— Armin Schmidt, IT Manager, Röhm

"We wanted to run our SAP systems on Linux. IBM and their partners offered us a sophisticated Linux strategy — and we achieved huge savings. We were taking the risk, we succeeded, and we would do it again!"

— Peter Baer, Head of St. Galler Tagblatt IT

1 - The SAP kernel, which consists of the Basis layers on top of the native operating system, is what makes SAP's business applications platform-independent.

2 - MCOD stands for multiple components in one database.

3 - For more information on this January 2003 study, please visit

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Jörg Hoffmeister
Development Manager,
MaxDB and liveCache, SAP AG

Can Your Database Meet Your Enterprise Demands?
MaxDB – The Professional Database from SAP

SAP customers are looking for a state-of-the-art, SQL-based, industrial-strength database system that can be deployed with their SAP applications for an out-of-the-box business solution.

MaxDB — The Uncomplicated, Convenient Database

MaxDB is an easy-to-use enterprise database management system (DBMS) that offers low cost of ownership and outstanding performance. It includes all the features required for enterprise usage, and its low administration costs indicate that no permanent attendance is required during DBMS operation. No planned downtime means "always online," a prerequisite for adaptive computing and self-management.

"For administrating the MaxDB databases of our 90 systems, only 2 FTEs [full-time equivalents] are required, as the database system has stood out for years through its easy operation, robustness, and performance."

— Hans Reiffer, Head of Triaton Hosting Center

MaxDB is a rebranded and enhanced version of SAP DB. For many years, it has been used together with mySAP Business Suite and other demanding SQL applications requiring an enterprise-class DBMS tuned toward heavy-duty online transaction processing (OLTP) with thousands of users and database sizes reaching multiple terabytes. Today, MaxDB technology is used in about 10,000 SAP installations worldwide. Indeed, the majority of all DBMS installations on Unix and Linux within SAP's own IT department rely on MaxDB.

SAP Solution Support

MaxDB is available for all major operating system platforms, supports all major SAP solutions, and is bundled with SAP NetWeaver. The individual components of the MaxDB portfolio are shown in Figure 1.

MaxDB Administration
MaxDB Tools
MaxDB Interfaces
  • Installation Manager
  • Database Manager
  • Database Analyzer
  • SQL Studio
  • Web SQL
  • Loader
  • Synchronization Manager
  • WebDAV
  • JDBC
  • ODBC
  • Perl
  • Python
  • PHP
Figure 1
The MaxDB Component Portfolio

In addition to multi-user, server-based scenarios, MaxDB can also be used as a desktop or laptop DBMS. MaxDB supports several high-availability scenarios for mission-critical database instances and offers both Standby and Hot Standby configurations.

The database offers elaborate backup and restore capabilities. Also, a snapshot of a complete database state can be "frozen" and restored again, and automatic space management and balancing of the I/O workload eliminates the need for any reorganization. MaxDB will not degenerate, even after years of high-volume write operations.

Compared to other SQL DBMSs, MaxDB also offers the patented SAP liveCache technology, an object-oriented DBMS extension for C++ applications. The technology improves performance by a factor of 20 to 50 compared to SQL for navigational accesses in large tree-type or network-type data models.

Availability and Reliability

For open source or other software development projects, as well as for trial or educational purposes, MaxDB is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL). MaxDB undergoes SAP AG's complete quality assurance process before it can be downloaded from the MySQL site. For more information, please visit or the SAP Developer Network ( --> Technologies --> MaxDB & SAP liveCache).

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Naji Almahmoud
SAP Global Alliance,

A Dynamic Duo — Combining Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server and SAP Software Results in Long-Term Cost Savings

To avoid vendor lock-ins by strategically moving to an open enterprise platform, and to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their IT environments, more and more SAP users are putting trust in Novell's service offerings and deploying Novell's SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server as their operating system. The first Linux platform certified for SAP solutions, SUSE LINUX provides centralized server and network services that result in long-term cost savings.

Companies of any size and from any sector value the wide range of functions and services afforded by SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server — all with low license fees and sensible operating and maintenance costs. What's more, SAP customers can benefit from a system that can cope with even the most exacting data center demands.

Flexibility Is Key

SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server offers SAP users unrivaled flexibility when it comes to choosing hardware and software. Siemens Business Services (SBS) GmbH, a leading global IT service provider, rates the flexibility of SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server very highly: "For us, the certification by prominent hardware and software manufacturers was and continues to be decisive," says Michael Gebauer, project manager in the Application and Hosting Services department at SBS.

The Siemens group uses mySAP ERP Human Capital Management (mySAP ERP HCM) to handle its payroll requirements for 170,000 employees, but wanted to find a new strategic platform for their mySAP ERP HCM installation that would provide better monetary value than conventional reduced instruction set computer (RISC) servers while boosting performance at the same time. After various test runs with different Linux distributions, SBS selected the Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server. The reason: In conjunction with the new Intel servers, the system returned the best performance data and promised easier migration.

A Fruitful Partnership

SAP customers benefit from Novell's close collaboration with the world's leading vendor of enterprise software. SAP and Novell collaborate in the SAP Linux Lab to continually improve Linux and further develop it for commercial use. Furthermore, both companies enjoy a global network of experts that covers all areas of support — from consulting to implementation, from operation to maintenance.

This successful partnership was highlighted in 2002, when SAP named Novell an SAP Global Technology Partner, and again in 2004, when Novell awarded SAP "YES CERTIFIED" status following intensive test series in the SAP Linux Lab.1 In 2000, SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server became the first Linux platform to be certified for both mySAP Business Suite and the revolutionary Adaptive Computing infrastructure from SAP.

A Groundbreaking Solution

The Adaptive Computing infrastructure from SAP is based on the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. It decouples the software components from servers, operating systems, memory solutions, and control instances. As such, almost any application can potentially run at any time on any server. This improves scalability and system performance, significantly increasing the efficiency and flexibility of the IT infrastructure.

The potential benefits of Novell's SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server are especially high when based on the Adaptive Computing infrastructure from SAP. IT operating costs can be cut by over 30 percent compared with customary Unix systems, and by up to 60 percent compared with mainframes.

A number of users have already deployed SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server successfully as a component in the Adaptive Computing infrastructure from SAP. One such customer is Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., a leading international automotive supplier with close to 23,000 employees in over 20 countries. Increasing globalization prompted Hella to merge its production and trading companies, which were spread around the world's major automotive industry sites and operated locally. To harmonize its process and system landscape, the company had to extend the use of core SAP applications across the group.

Hella met these requirements with the Adaptive Computing infrastructure from SAP, running on a system composed of blade and rack servers from Fujitsu Siemens, storage systems from Network Appliance, and a Novell SUSE LINUX operating system. Among its successes, the project boasts high availability, increased flexibility, simplified administration, and a TCO reduced by more than 30 percent. "We are pursuing an optimal IT strategy with our new infrastructure," says Hans Sudkamp, head of finances at Hella. "It helps us to respond flexibly to the needs of the automotive industry and to offer top-quality, innovative products at reasonable prices around the globe."

Major TCO Reduction

T-Systems, one of Europe's major service providers for information and communication technology, has experienced similar success. As an application service provider, T-Systems provides different SAP solutions for more than 250 customers worldwide. Thanks to Adaptive Computing from SAP and SUSE LINUX, 50 to 60 customers can now be served by a single infrastructure. T-Systems uses the Adaptive Computing Controller tool from SAP as a component of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform.

"The Adaptive Computing infrastructure drastically reduces IT operating costs," says Alfred Leicht, focus solution manager at T-Systems. Together with SAP, T-Systems assessed the cost advantages of Adaptive Computing on SUSE LINUX and concluded that IT operating costs could be cut by approximately 30 percent compared to conventional Unix systems. Compared to mainframe environments, the difference is even greater, with potential savings of up to 60 percent.

A Partner You Can Trust

Novell has been working with partners for many years to develop strategic alliances and create a comprehensive supporting ecosystem, providing consulting, training, technical support, and third-party enhancements. Since it acquired SUSE in January of 2004, Novell has maintained a constant growth rate of more than 10 percent month on month. With more than 20 years of experience with cross-platform IT infrastructures, Novell is an ideal partner for all companies that want to integrate their data, applications, and systems and improve their business processes.

For more information on Novell SUSE LINUX, please visit or email

At a Glance – Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server in SAP Environments

Certified solutions for seamless integration — Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server became the first Linux platform to be certified for mySAP Business Suite and the Adaptive Computing infrastructure from SAP.

Comprehensive, global support — SAP and Novell enjoy a global network of experts. As one of the leading Linux distributors, Novell offers unique round-the-clock support (24x7x365).

Flexible choice of hardware — SUSE LINUX is available for a wide range of hardware architectures. To determine if your hardware is compatible, visit

High performance that reduces hardware costs — The combination of SAP enterprise solutions and Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server affords tangible cost savings and improved performance.

Low administration costs — Integrated administration tools reduce administrative costs for SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server. These tools can be extended by other solutions from the Novell portfolio.

Proven system stability — Practical experience and independent tests confirm time and again the high stability and downtime security exhibited by SAP systems on Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Servers.

High security standards — Novell SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 has attained the Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+, the highest security and operating certification for Linux.

1 For more information on Novell's YES CERTIFIED program, please visit

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Paul Salazar
EMEA Marketing Director,
Red Hat

Red Hat Offers Gruner + Jahr Higher Performance at Lower Cost

With a workforce of over 11,500 and revenue of more than €2.44 billion in fiscal year 2004, Gruner + Jahr is Europe's largest magazine publishing house.

Like most companies, Gruner + Jahr is faced with the challenge of having to achieve ever greater performance with ever fewer resources. Attracted by the low cost of Linux, they began experimenting with Linux for Web servers in 2000. Now they are operating numerous business-critical applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, including e-procurement applications, SAP application servers, and database servers.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Offers Benefits Over Unix and Windows NT

Prior to the introduction of Linux, Gruner + Jahr's IT infrastructure was built around Unix and Microsoft Windows NT. It soon became obvious that a migration to standards-based hardware and Linux would offer decisive benefits. Intel-compatible hardware from Dell and Linux offered a considerably lower price than their Unix systems, while maintaining impressive performance. Additionally, Linux offered stability and security benefits when compared to Windows NT.

One of the main reasons Gruner + Jahr chose Red Hat was the high number of ISVs that had certified their applications on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. "Certification of applications used by us, as well as professional support, are essential prerequisites for operating system platforms in our company. Red Hat Enterprise Linux also offers excellent performance. That's what made our decision in favor of Red Hat easy," said Achim Woost, Group Leader at Gruner + Jahr.

SAP Applications and Databases Port Easily

Woost further explains, "Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers a further advantage — we were able to transfer the scripting and monitoring systems from existing Unix installations. Red Hat is clearly oriented toward business use."

Gruner + Jahr first started using Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP on application servers in 2001. They chose application servers as the first area of deployment because, even though they are mission-critical, a system failure could be tolerated more easily there than in database servers. However, the stability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux impressed the IT team at Gruner + Jahr, so they felt confident in porting their mission-critical SAP database servers to Enterprise Linux. More than 10 Dell multiprocessor servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS are in use at Gruner + Jahr for SAP applications.

In order to keep their systems as efficient and reliable as possible, Gruner + Jahr makes use of Red Hat Network's (RHN) Update Module, which is included in every subscription to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. RHN makes it possible for Gruner + Jahr to maintain individual systems via a simple graphical user interface, prioritized messages, errata information, RPM dependency tests, and automatic updates.

Red Hat, Gruner + Jahr Relationship Is Exactly Right

Overall Woost sees his experience with Red Hat as extremely positive and plans to continue expansion of the existing installation. "We are very pleased that Red Hat is working hard on functions that are important for enterprise deployment. If we do have problems, we are protected by our Enterprise Linux subscription, which includes support from Red Hat," Woost explains. "All the advice we have received from Red Hat up to now has been extremely efficient and supportive, not to mention unbureaucratic. That's how we like our relationships with our technology suppliers to be."

For more information on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, please visit

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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 and SAP AG have worked together to ensure that users' availability expectations for business-critical infrastructure components running on Linux are achieved through the deployment of monitoring and switchover for SAP NetWeaver Application Server environments.

Switchover Ensures Availability

Switchover is a standard technique for increasing the availability of critical SAP NetWeaver Application Server environments by clustering together a number of servers to eliminate 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 components of the SAP solution stack, including servers, databases, network connections, and SAP services, and take automatic recovery action if a problem is detected.

Recovery often includes an attempt to first bring SAP back into service on the primary server. If that is 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 Application Server installations worldwide. LifeKeeper, available for both Red Hat and SUSE Enterprise Linux distributions, uses lightweight agents that constantly monitor the operation of all critical components of an SAP solution. Should these agents detect a problem, LifeKeeper will automatically begin a recovery procedure to restore SAP to full operation. In addition to protecting against outages due to failure, LifeKeeper can migrate services and client connections between systems to eliminate 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 be integrated into the switchover process as needed for full recovery.

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 SAP for Media industry solution on IBM xSeries 455 systems, with SteelEye LifeKeeper for SAP protecting the deployment. St. Galler is already seeing significant cost savings and productivity gains based on the economics of Linux and the reliability of LifeKeeper. Like other business-savvy SAP shops, St. Galler has learned that the new deployment paradigm includes Linux and LifeKeeper.

Protecting Your Business Assets

To ensure the availability of business-critical data and applications running on Linux, 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 pieces of SAP NetWeaver Application Server deployments, delivers the highest availability levels, and protects business assets and customer relationships. To learn more, visit

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Steve Cooper
Alliance and Channel
Sales Director,
Silicon Graphics, Inc.

SAP Without Limits by Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI)

As business demands increase, SAP users are under growing pressure to find alternative solutions to their current Unix and mainframe systems. Companies are looking for a new class of high-performance computing to deliver scalable enterprise solutions that offer a real-time view of their business, with more flexible capabilities based on industry-standard components, all at a better return on investment. SGI offers SAP users a true alternative to proprietary Unix-based systems, with scalable, enterprise-ready 64-bit Linux solutions that can expand to meet the needs of the most demanding SAP applications.

SGI Altix servers are based on the SGI NUMAflex Expand On-Demand architecture, enabling independent scalability of CPU, memory, and I/O resources, and allowing users to match their hardware to their application requirements — with minimal need for upfront investment in large bus, switching, or other infrastructure. SGI Altix servers deliver a new level of investment protection through the ability to expand or reallocate system capacity to meet changing user demands, organizational structures, and technology improvements (see Figure 1). The servers also benefit from the flexibility provided by open source operating systems (Novell SUSE or Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and Intel Itanium 2 processors.

Figure 1
Scalable SGI Altix Servers Scale Up and Out

Specific Benefits for SAP Applications

SGI Altix presents major system and I/O performance benefits for SAP applications with its ability to scale SAP NetWeaver Application Server performance independently of other system components. SAP NetWeaver Application Server places higher demands on system memory and CPU performance than on disk infrastructure; as an SAP function or module is accessed, it is compiled in real time and then stored in the SAP cache, from where it can be shared among all SAP users connected to SAP NetWeaver Application Server. Therefore, application server performance is directly related to the amount of memory and speed with which calls can be accessed and addressed by the server. As more modules or functions are used, the cache fills up until a "round robin" algorithm unloads the least-used modules or functions from the cache, making more room available for the currently executing modules. Clearly, keeping all modules and functions compiled and loaded in the cache is preferable.

With SGI's Expand On-Demand architecture, if a system is configured with insufficient memory to hold all the compiled modules, more memory can be added independently of CPUs (see Figure 2) — a clear advantage over the "On-Demand" approach adopted by many other vendors. Similarly, rather than investing in additional servers to add more SAP users to a given instance, application instance performance can be increased by adding more CPUs. This maximizes the existing investment in memory cache and disk storage; an organization using SGI Altix will never outgrow its SAP instance again.

Figure 2
Building Blocks of SGI Altix's Expand On-Demand Architecture

Another key benefit of SGI's Expand On-Demand architecture — especially given the I/O-intensive nature of database server requirements — is its ability to add I/O capabilities as required. By using the high-performance SGI XFS file system and Linux Logical Volume Manager, very high transaction throughput rates can be achieved, which is essential for database performance. And because SGI Altix provides almost unlimited near-linear scalability, an SAP database server running on the system will never need to be replaced.

The Throughput and Performance of Two Tiers, with the Flexibility of Three

An SAP instance can be made up of either two or three tiers. In a two-tier setup, the application and database are on the same system, whereas with the three-tier, the application is on one system and the database is on another — so a low latency interconnect between the two is essential. Whichever instance landscape an organization has, SGI's sub-microsecond interconnect fabric means that the SAP instance landscape can be changed or modified as required without compromising performance.

The simple, integrated way SGI Altix can expand on demand also provides easy manageability, application scalability, and automatic recovery of node failure. SAP services can be distributed across multiple servers or a single server infrastructure to achieve higher levels of performance. And because only one instance is running, configuration management is simple.

All elements of the SAP instance can be consolidated into a few servers or distributed over many nodes in a cluster — improving resource utilization and service levels by offering pools of resources within which a failed component can be recovered. Using SGI's SAN-based clustered file system (CXFS), a single view of the entire SAP instance and its components can be maintained. CXFS also makes it easier to install SAP application instances because the SAP scripts only need to be installed once and are then available to all nodes in the cluster.


SGI's Expand On-Demand architecture allows the solution to grow based on application needs rather than the limitations of hardware architectures. SGI brings total cost of ownership benefits to SAP applications — enabling users to grow their CPU, memory, and I/O independently of each other, thereby maximizing their return on investment.

For more information on SGI's Expand On-Demand solutions, visit or email scooper@sgi.comor

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Thomas Kohlgraf
SAP Services Specialist,
Unisys Corporation

9 Ways to Minimize Risk When Working with SAP Solutions on Linux Servers

You've read the headlines. You've done your research. Now you're ready to deploy at least one new SAP module on Linux. So the remaining question is: How can you minimize risk to your new or existing SAP operations while integrating Linux-based applications with your Windows- or Unix-based systems?

Whenever you customize your SAP applications or introduce a new operating environment such as Linux, you encounter associated risks. The performance of your SAP applications may degrade, or availability may be affected if your operating system and servers haven't been adjusted for the workload. You can mitigate these risks, however, by leveraging the knowledge of trained SAP technical experts.

Here are some suggestions, garnered from my experience working with customers all over the world, as to how you can smoothly introduce Linux-based technology into your existing SAP environment.

1. Seek Performance and Analysis Tuning for Customized SAP Environments

Every SAP installation is unique. Each SAP landscape has different workloads and user group sizes, and most environments are customized to accommodate specific business needs. With so many variables in the mix, keeping the performance levels of your SAP solutions as high as possible while integrating Linux-based solutions into your system environment can be challenging.

Tuning the hardware platform that supports your SAP solutions can make a significant difference in maintaining performance levels, especially for customized SAP environments. Nearly 95 percent of all SAP users customize their SAP solutions, which can affect the efficiency of the applications and lead to increased system workload demands. To process high transaction volumes and avoid application bottlenecks, you need to make sure the servers, network devices, and storage solutions that will support your Linux-based SAP applications have been tuned and optimized.

Unisys, an SAP Technology Platform and Services Partner, offers Performance Analysis and Tuning Services specifically for SAP users who want to minimize the risk of introducing Linux in their enterprise and maximize the efficiency of their IT infrastructures.

2. Measure Your Workload Mix

Most SAP environments contain multiple types of data, including customer information, historical sales data, partner and supplier records, and financial reports. This is especially true for analytical applications such as SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW). SAP NetWeaver, which integrates multiple SAP modules, can also add another layer of complexity when it comes to troubleshooting performance issues.

In many of our service engagements, our SAP-certified experts measure the performance levels of a customer's existing SAP environment — before the transition to Linux-based technology — using standard SAP transaction measurement tools. These noninvasive analysis tools run while a customer's production environment is live, so they can conduct business as usual during our service. The measurement tools capture data for a two-week time period to collect all critical performance information, including important statistics at peak times of the month. Then we analyze and evaluate the collected data using Unisys-developed tools and best practices.

3. Consider What Your SAP Data May Be Telling You

Our technical services experts use proprietary analytical tools for SAP that can precisely analyze the results from a customer's SAP performance data. Our proprietary tools give customers an accurate view of their SAP system's performance.

Based on our findings, we can tell customers exactly where any performance hang-ups may be occurring in their IT landscape — anywhere from a user's customized code or network devices to their SAP applications or servers. A good data analysis can reveal critical details that can help you alleviate stubborn response time issues before you deploy SAP modules on Linux.

4. Check If Your System Is Correctly Sized

The Unisys Sizing and Configuration Service ensures that our customers receive servers that will accurately and predictably support their SAP environments, including any Linux-based applications. That's because buying an oversized server is typically a waste of money.

On the flip side, an undersized server can also cause detrimental processing bottlenecks. That's why we closely evaluate and measure the performance needs of every SAP environment we work in. This allows us to size and architect complete solutions that are configured to deliver predictable levels of availability and performance. Our engineers follow documented best practices to optimize and tune our customers' servers, which typically yield performance improvements of up to three times that of untuned systems.

5. Work with a Partner Who Will Work with You

This tip sounds obvious, but don't underestimate the long-term value of working with a partner who is truly focused on helping you achieve your Linux integration goals. Before we begin to build a solution, our SAP-certified Unisys consultants sit down and review each customer's current and future requirements for their SAP solutions. This customer-centric approach helps us understand our customers' business requirements down to the user level.

Since different levels of user demand require specific sizing and configuring, we begin by defining your specific user base. Based on a customer's SAP workload, we can use our SAP sizing tools to measure and precisely calculate your processing needs.

6. Have Your New System "Hot Staged"

One of the most beneficial services Unisys offers is our Hot Staging Service. This popular service involves installing and configuring all hardware and software components for a customer's SAP environment on ES7000 servers before they are delivered.

This service will give you confidence that your Linux-based infrastructure has been specially configured for your SAP environment. The Hot Stage process subjects your systems to hundreds of tests and customized tuning steps, and is similar to having your servers tweaked by a professional racecar mechanic for maximum performance. In most cases, these Hot Staged Linux servers are ready to go into production the day they arrive at your facility.

7. Test, Test Again, Then Test One More Time

Never cut corners when it comes to your SAP operations. After all, SAP is usually one of the most important applications — if not the most important — in your data center. If the system is down or not performing, it could affect your revenue.

Be sure your new Linux-based servers are thoroughly tested for reliability with network redundancy testing, including cluster testing for disaster recovery and log shipping, which provides server redundancy (at a remote location) to protect against file corruption while maintaining excellent response time.

8. Thou Shalt Protect with Backup Software

Backing up your data is essential. That's why our technical service experts help customers choose the best backup software to yield the best performance and management capabilities for their Linux-based (and Windows- and Unix-based) applications. All backup software we install as part of our Business Continuance Services for SAP goes through a series of tests, including tests for reliability, performance, and features and capabilities. Based on our evaluation and successful customer installations, we've found that ARCserve, BrightStor, Veritas, and Legato all provide quality products that work well when appropriately matched with a customer's SAP backup requirements.

by SAP and Partners SAPinsider - 2005 (Volume 6), October (Issue 4)

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