This article gives an overview about SAP’s first Grid enabled application, the Internet Pricing Configurator (IPC). This is the first business application to have been enabled according to the OGSA standard. The IPC calulates the price of goods in an internet shop provided by mySAP CRM. Traditionally you have to determine what your peak load will be and set up a corresponding number of IPC servers to handle this. What this solution makes possible in brief is the dynamic allocation of IPC servers in a pool to handle peak loads. This helps our customers save money as they will need fewer servers because multiple departments can share the same pool to dynamically allocate resources from on an add-needed basis. What is especially exciting is that our pilot customer is already saving money with this solution.
“Because the peaks in demand for the two departments occur at different times, some of the servers’ capacity can be shared. Now, each department has only two of its own IPC servers with eight further servers available on a flexible basis in a shared computer pool. The company therefore now needs only twelve servers for both departments instead of its former 20, which saves around 40% of the hardware costs.”
It is exciting to see advanced technology used not for its own sake, but to actually create applications that have such immediate benefits for customers. Expect to see more of this in the future.