Running SAP Paravirtualized on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Xen


By John C. Gorman

Customers benefit from consolidating workloads, reduced power/cooling requirements and lower TCO

A stable infrastructure supporting all-new levels of flexibility?

Years back, a close writing friend of mine famously said, “Give me the freedom of a tightly defined structure.” This month, it’s the first phrase that came to mind as I began learning about how companies running SAP applications can reap HUGE benefits from virtualization of their IT infrastructures—by running SAP Paravirtualized on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Xen.

Why? Because virtualization is among the most powerful ways you can help customers add a new level of flexibility (via Xen) to their computing environments, which is made possible by the inherent stability of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 operating system running underneath them.

Why virtualization is so important to customers—and those who serve them.

You’re always looking to help customers find serious competitive advantages, and virtualization delivers BIG. We’re talking about real-world solutions to serious challenges faced by IT staffs of every size—the kind of stuff you can use to grab your customers’ attention and recommend solutions that can start changing the way they do business, from the front office to the e-commerce back-end.

Just imagine the looks on customers’ faces (or the sounds of their voices on the phone) when you give the great news about having all THIS within their SAP-based application environments:

  • Consolidating workloads onto fewer servers—which can result in greatly reduced capital and management costs.
  • Servers occupying less space—while needing less power and cooling, further trimming operational costs while “greening up” server rooms across the land.
  • Easily moving “virtual machine” between physical servers as needed—enhancing business continuity and significantly speeding recovery times if problems arise.

In essence, your customers’ IT infrastructures can now “break free” from physical hardware. And that means more business agility, flexibility and responsiveness.

Combine virtualization with open-source standards for even greater flexibility and savings.

O.K., so virtualization itself brings on big advantages. But add in the benefits of an open-source platform, and things really start to get interesting. Xen 3.0 is the fast-emerging standard for open-source virtualized software—and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 is the first enterprise platform to feature it fully integrated and supported.

Together, virtualization using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Xen empower customers to consolidate—and allocate—workloads far more efficiently. The result: server-utilization levels up to and potentially beyond 70 percent.

The results are in—and the stability is rock-solid.

Customers may ask about validation and testing of this new virtualization solution, which is always a fair inquiry. This time, you’ll certainly be ready.

The Novell implementation of Xen was validated in February 2007 after rigorous testing in SAP’s German LinuxLab to evaluate and demonstrate the system’s stability and scalability when running SAP applications in a Xen-paravirtualized data-center environment.

It’s a mouthful, to be sure, but testing simulated realistic high-I/O load situations using the SAP R3load routine—an integral part of every SAP installation. And testing showed that both I/O load and computing performance were favorable when compared with performance achieved using the same benchmarks on native, non-virtualized platforms. (See the details—login required.)

Where to go from here.

If your customers are interested, they’re currently being invited to participate in a pilot program to deploy this technology and consolidate their IT infrastructures. And, of course, skilled specialists from Novell and/or RealTech can provide the consulting services needed to put all this to work for your customers ASAP.

The benefits are all right there, just waiting to be taken—by you and your customers.

Additional resources.

Trust me, if you’re really into the technology behind the scenes, you can really dig in deep on this one. Novell’s website includes all you’ll ever need to know about Running SAP Paravirtualized on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Xen.

Just visit:

What do YOU think?
We’re always curious:

  • Had you heard of open-source-based virtualization before reading this article?
  • Has a customer or prospect asked you about this technology?
  • Did you find this article helpful (or not)?
  • Do you have any specific questions?

Let us know. We’ll use your feedback to continually improve our communications to meet your needs—and we may even use your comment as a starting point for a future blog post.

Just leave a comment below.

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