SAP Details Product Plans for Managing Virtualized and Cloud Infrastructures, Outlines Strategy for Collaboration With Customers and Partners;

New Reference Architectures for Solutions from Dell and IBM Plus Continued Collaboration With Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) Means More Choices for Customers to Increase Agility and Reduce Total Cost of Ownership in Private Clouds

Addressing the demands of customers for more choice in managing cloud and virtualized infrastructures, SAP AG today announced short and mid-term product and partner-related plans around cloud computing and virtualization management. As part of its product strategy, the company detailed a new solution designed to manage SAP system landscapes in data centers using modern virtual infrastructure and clouds. With a focus on accelerating technology collaboration with some of its key technology partners, SAP announced that it is helping partners to create new reference architectures for best-of-breed virtualization hardware offerings from Dell and IBM in order to offer more choices to customers seeking to advance their SAP landscapes to virtualized private clouds. SAP’s announcement of its collaboration with Cisco, EMC, VMware and the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) was the first such instance of collaboration with technology partners. SAP has seen continued momentum from customers such as Columbia Sportswear Company for running SAP® software on virtualized private cloud architectures in their quests to deliver enhanced agility and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO). Today’s announcement was made at SAP TechEd 2010, being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from October 18-22.

Landscape Management Solution from SAP for Virtualized and Cloud Infrastructures
Virtualization and cloud technologies are unstoppable, undeniable trends in today’s data centers. Virtualization and cloud computing continue to be the top two technology priorities for CIOs, according to Gartner(1), and a recent internal study among SAP customers indicated that 70 percent surveyed are actively evaluating virtual and cloud platforms.

SAP is designing a landscape management solution to help reduce the capital investment and operational costs of SAP systems while improving business agility. The solution aims to simplify and automate the effort required to provision, deploy, monitor and manage SAP systems and landscapes focusing on virtualized and cloud infrastructures for on-premise SAP systems. The landscape management solution is planned to be able to integrate with existing system management frameworks as well as with the SAP® Solution Manager application management solution.

This new solution, being developed with on-going input and involvement from more than 40 customers and partners, is expected to provide a unified view and management of the virtualized infrastructure and the SAP landscape layer. Planned features include SAP system clone and copy framework, automated capacity management, SAP landscape visibility in all layers, and capabilities intended to help simplify the provisioning and management of SAP systems in virtual and cloud infrastructures.

The SAP offering is designed to integrate with the offerings of SAP partners working in a complementary fashion. This solution is planned to be available to customers in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Collaboration With SAP Technology Partners
As companies continue to face pressure to derive greater value and lower costs while driving a strategic IT agenda, virtualization has become a key opportunity to reduce TCO through increased operational efficiencies. New cloud reference architectures from partners are providing this kind of value with validated deployment and management methodologies, bringing SAP’s large customer base the flexibility and choice it needs to design infrastructures that support virtualizing new or existing SAP landscapes. By providing support on reference architectures from Dell and IBM in the areas of virtualization, application performance and management and security, SAP plans to make it easier for customers to deploy the solutions — including private or hosted deployment options — that are better suited for their unique needs and will help optimize TCO and improve their business agility. SAP will continue to play an advisory role in the further evolution of these partner-driven architectures as they are validated in customer projects.

“The combination of Dell’s Virtual Integrated System architecture, which helps customers move to a private cloud model in their data centers, and SAP enables customers to leverage the agility of the cloud and extend their application investments,” said Joyce Mullen, vice president of alliances at Dell. “This technology combination also allows customers to choose and manage right-sized IT resources that best fit their business needs. We look forward to working with SAP to help businesses unlock the benefits of virtualization around the globe.”

“Clients are looking to cloud computing to streamline their operations and explore new business opportunities,” said Mike Hill, vice president of cloud services, IBM. “The combination of SAP and IBM cloud technology and services can help our joint clients meet their business objectives and drive more value out of their IT investments.”

Customer Proof-Points Demonstrate Reduced TCO Through Virtualization
Companies strive to manage right-sized resources for their organizations, empowering their businesses to deliver IT as a service reliably and securely from a common portal, and provision hardware resources based upon business need. As a result, SAP has collaborated with best-of-breed hardware partners to deliver the broader technology choices, multiple deployment options, compatibility and lower TCO that its customers demand in a virtualization reference hardware platform.

Since 1938, Columbia Sportswear Company has been a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel, footwear and related accessories and equipment. To become more efficient with its overall IT costs, Columbia selected SAP software and decided to run it on VCE’s Vblock™ Integrated Infrastructure Packages.

“Columbia is a new SAP deployment customer, and we chose the Vblock solution to capitalize on proven technology aggregated under a single support agreement,” said Dan Hein, director of Global Information Shared Services, Columbia Sportswear Company. “Considering Columbia’s advanced sizing, IT landscape design and need for performance optimization across the enterprise, we needed the assurance of a reliably scalable environment. We feel SAP on Vblock will be a catalyst for speeding up time to value of our deployment and improving upon our TCO, and that’s why we’ll be running our new SAP production system on Vblock.”

“SAP continues to deliver key products and technologies that enable customers to reduce TCO and improve the business agility via moving SAP systems into virtual and cloud infrastructures,” said Kaj van de Loo, senior vice president, Technology Strategy, SAP AG. “The landscape management solution from SAP will continue to be developed in close collaboration with customers and partners to meet their specific needs.”