In my last blog I talked about how the chameleon has a natural ability to change the structure of its skin to change colors in just seconds. It’s not doing this to blend in but to adapt to changes in its environment, attract a mate, react to a rival, or just to express emotions. Similarly businesses must adapt to market changes, attract new customers, hold off competitive threats, and express itself through innovative new products and services.
IDC defines digital transformation as the continuous process by which enterprises adapt to or drive disruptive changes in their customers and markets … by leveraging digital competencies to create new business models, products, and services. The goal is to create better business outcomes like increasing revenue, improving the customers’ experience when interacting with the business, and managing costs for better profitability. Digital transformation is really about business operations, but it does require the IT organization to become more agile in delivering services. This can be challenging with the complexity and lack of flexibility of the typical IT infrastructure.
SAP recognizes that the key to greater agility is through simplicity and open innovation. They’ve made a strategic decision to deliver SAP HANA and S/4HANA solutions only on Linux. This means that by 2025 all SAP customers must transition existing applications from Microsoft Windows Server™ and UNIX to one of two Linux distributions – SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux – either on-premise or in the cloud.
As a product marketing manager I like to talk about the technical features we offer IT organizations as a foundation for SAP systems, but in choosing a Linux distribution it’s best to also keep those business outcomes in mind. Here are three business reasons to choose SUSE as the foundation of your SAP infrastructure.
Business units expect new services to be delivered quickly, preferably in 2 weeks or less.1 Choose the platform that delivers greater agility for SAP applications and databases both on-premise and in the cloud. SUSE delivers a solution that automates deployment and lifecycle management to reduce complexity and make sure systems are in compliance with internal policies and external regulations. This includes automated tools and pre-configured solutions regardless of whether you choose to implement your SAP systems on premise, in a private or public cloud, or a hybrid environment.
We also provide a single management tool supporting your choice of hardware, hypervisors and cloud platforms. SUSE recognizes that systems administrators who are used to working with Windows Server will need time to become comfortable working with Linux. That’s why we not only provide training, but also features built into the product that provide a familiar desktop, integrate existing IDs and passwords, and include command guides for a smooth transition.
Business units, partners and customers need reliable access to applications and systems. Choose the platform that protects your data, recovers quickly from system outages or eliminates outages altogether. SUSE knows that your SAP systems are critical to your business operations which is why we deliver a full high-availability/disaster recovery solution. This not only reduces the downtime of your SAP services, but is uniquely designed to inter-operate with and enhance SAP HANA fail-over and recovery. If there’s an unexpected error from a system change, you can return to the previous working state in just a few seconds and minimize downtime while finding the source of the problem.
ERP and BPM transaction and analytics data in the SAP HANA database is protected by a firewall, and we include support for encrypting storage volumes. And if there’s ever a security patch needed for the Linux kernel you won’t have to make the painful choice between protecting your systems from external threats and losing revenue because you took the servers down to patch them. We provide a way to patch your systems with no downtime or performance hits.
Business units and partners need immediate access to the newest data for faster, more accurate decision-making. Choose the platform that is optimized for high performance of SAP software while it’s being developed. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has long been a reference development platform for SAP applications, and as we update the OS to improve performance for SAP applications we pass those changes to our customers right away.
We also partner with server vendors to take full advantage of performance enhancing features down to the chip level. By the way, SUSE is still the only vendor to fully support all hardware platforms – INTEL or AMD x86-64 and IBM POWER processor-based – that have been validated for SAP HANA. And when all 50 – that’s right, FIFTY – SAP BW and Cloud performance benchmarks were published over the last 5 years, the testing was run by hardware vendors who chose SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to get the best results.2
To learn more about what SUSE has to offer for SAP environments see the IDC Analyst White Paper “A Move to HANA Means a Move to Linux-But Not All Linux is Created Equal“.