IT departments face ongoing pressure to reduce cost and complexity while simultaneously improving business agility. Virtualization offers organizations a host of ways to increase the efficiency and simplicity of their SAP landscapes, including easy replication of systems and efficient monitoring for enhanced business continuity.
In addition to reaping the benefits of virtualization, many large enterprises are migrating their workloads to the cloud to add flexibility to their environments. In a recent SAP survey, nearly 75% of respondents said they are already using some form of cloud services, either public or private, while less than 6% said they have no current plans to use cloud services.
To make the most of the opportunities offered by virtualization and the cloud, customers are looking to SAP to provide the right mix of tools, content, and services that will help lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for managing and implementing their SAP infrastructure and solution landscape, and will dramatically improve their ability to enable innovation across on-premise and on-demand SAP landscapes.
“SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management is going to be completely transformative. The system copy automation is changing the five-day turnaround for a system refresh into an overnight process.”
— SAP Technical Manager of an FTSE 100 company
Landscape Management with Virtualization
SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management, released for general availability in June 2012, is a new on-premise, licensable add-on to SAP NetWeaver that provides customers with end-to-end visibility and centralized management of their SAP applications and systems running on traditional, virtual, or cloud infrastructures (see Figure 1).1 It is available in both a standard edition for basic administrative tasks, such as start, stop, and relocate SAP systems, and an enterprise edition for advanced tasks and automation of system copies, clones, and refreshes, capacity management, and more.
This landscape virtualization management solution radically simplifies system landscape management and lowers TCO by automating complex, day-to-day activities that are typically performed by Basis administrators. The solution also helps reduce time costs associated with coordination and testing cycles.
SAP continues to add innovation and functionality to SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management with the launch of release 2.0 in the second quarter of 2013. The 2.0 release of the enterprise edition focuses on improved usability and enhanced functionality in areas such as the system copy/refresh framework, which now allows users to trigger standalone post-copy automation (PCA) tasks from the SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management user interface and define their own custom provisioning steps to create the system clone.
The 2.0 release also includes support for additional SAP applications and databases, including SAP Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM), SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW), SAP Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP Sybase ASE), SAP HANA, and IBM DB2 on z/OS.
Cloud Access to SAP Content
To further extend opportunities for customers, SAP launched SAP Cloud Appliance Library at the end of 2012. This on-demand, web-based tool dramatically speeds the rate at which SAP applications can be provisioned and consumed by customers. SAP Cloud Appliance Library also accelerates the time-to-value for SAP systems and applications by providing access to a rich repository of SAP Business Suite content, delivered as preconfigured SAP software appliances that customers can consume within their own public cloud provider accounts at the click of a button (see Figure 2).
In the past, customers would spend weeks or even months trying to set up, configure, or customize their SAP applications before they could actually use the software. With SAP Cloud Appliance Library, however, access to SAP applications and rapid-deployment solutions, which can be obtained via the SAP Store, are provisioned into their own public cloud provider environment within minutes, with no need to expend resources on infrastructure. Customers have the flexibility to provision either empty SAP systems or SAP systems with preconfigured content (such as rapid-deployment solution packages) and start using them in as little as an hour.
While initial use cases for SAP Cloud Appliance Library are centered around test and demo, evaluation, proof of concept, and training, SAP plans to extend its use to development and quality assurance scenarios in the near future. This will enable customers to accelerate value generation by consuming SAP software faster, implementing content in less time, and experiencing a new SAP use case at a lower cost.
A Powerful Approach to Implementation and Maintenance
In addition to the latest tools available, customers can benefit from the rich portfolio of services offered by SAP Consulting to help them get the most out of their SAP investments. Using service offerings such as virtualization and cloud transformation services, cloud-based quick-start services for rapid-deployment solutions, pre-assembly and cloud logistics services, and value prototyping services, SAP customers can create a powerful approach for implementing and maintaining their solution landscapes.
By combining SAP Cloud Appliance Library with virtualization and cloud services, customers can jump-start their projects and bring the newest innovations from SAP into production in a matter of weeks instead of months, with complete flexibility of deployment choice. Using services from SAP, customers can access standard content or customer-specific content, and can provision the software appliances within their own private cloud environment, within a public could environment, or within their on-premise data center.
What’s more, once your systems are provisioned by SAP Cloud Appliance Library, you can automatically manage them with the SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management tool (see Figure 3). Additionally, you can use services, such as value prototyping, to further configure your systems and to help bring these systems into an on-premise data center.
IT departments are constantly seeking new avenues to simplify their SAP landscapes and lower costs while supporting corporate and line-of-business strategies. Virtualization and the cloud computing paradigm offer an ideal platform to achieve these objectives, and SAP offers the tools, content, and services you need to put the benefits to work in your own organization.
To learn more about SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management and SAP Cloud Appliance Library:
For information on virtualization and cloud services offerings available from SAP Consulting:
Matthias Haendly (email@example.com) is the Vice President of Product Marketing for IT Management. Joining SAP in 1992, he has worked as a developer, a development and product manager, and a marketing director for SAP Business Suite and SAP technology in Walldorf, Germany, and in Palo Alto, California. Matthias holds a degree in engineering and business from University Karlsruhe, Germany.
1 For an overview of SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management, see “Cut Costs and Improve Agility: Manage Your Virtualized SAP Landscapes with Centralized Monitoring and Advanced Automation Capabilities” by Suresh Ramakrishnan in the July-September 2012 issue of SAPinsider. [back]