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Author's profile photo Former Member

Will You Still Love Me When I’m 64?

When I’m Sixty-Four (McCartney/Lennon)

When I get older losing my hair many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine,
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out til quarter to three would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will youstill feed me, when I’m sixty-four?

Oh, you’ll be older too – Ah
And if you say the word, I could stay with you

I could be handy mending a fuse when your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside,
Sunday mornings, go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we could rent a cottage in the Isle of White,
If it’s not too dear
We shall skrimp and save, grandchildren at your knees,
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say,
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me an answer, fill in a form, mine forevermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?

Landscape Planning

Making landscape planning decisions requires fulfilling the short-term application demands with a strategic eye to the future infrastructure needs.  At SAP, we help customers with these decisions by providing long-term strategic guidance for new and /or emerging technologies.  Accordingly, SAP has announced its strategy for 64-bit application support.

More is better

So what’s the big deal between 32 and 64-bit operating systems?  When I was a consultant in the field, I was lucky enough that about 80% of my customers used IBM’s AIX operating system – often referred to by me and others as aches and pains.  This is because AIX is based on UNIX, but is not exactly UNIX itself.  Or, let’s just say it has “inconsistencies” with other UNIX systems.  It is a very solid operating system…once you figure out how it works.  Very often my colleagues and I would be debugging a problem only to find out that the “problem” was actually a “feature” of AIX (and usually a good feature once you understood it).

One of these fabulous features is AIX’s management of extended memory through its use of segments.  If you had an AIX system with large memory requirements, maximizing memory usage meant a combination of kernel patches, shared memory segments, fine tuning and more than one beer.  One had to read, re-read and read again SAP Notes 95260 (Many Shared Memories Possible as of AIX 4.2.1), 95454 (A lot of extended memory on AIX (32-bit)), 117267 (AIX 4.3.x: Shared memory segments larger than 256MB) and 103747 (Performance: Parameter recommendations for Rel. 4.0 & higher) just to start.  I spent many hours in those Notes, debugging memory problems that were specific to a particular process at a particular customer, trying to squeeze every last bit of performance out of the system.

Of course, there’s a missing piece of information in the above paragraph.  Not that I’m all that old, but I worked mainly in the days of 32-bit AIX.  64-bit AIX has the same tuning parameter work necessary, but the issue is much less acute.  That is, administration is easier because, with 64-bit memory, there is so much “extra” addressable memory to work with that the segments can be configured “incorrectly” (or, less than optimal) and it is hardly noticeable.  The extra addressable memory in 64-bit systems eliminates/hides configuration problems that existed in the 32-bit world, giving 64-bit systems proven advantages over 32-bit systems.  To take advantage, SAP offers 64-bit software versions where appropriate, even de-supporting 32-bit versions of some operating system versions – including that nasty 32-bit AIX.

With Microsoft Windows, memory management differs “considerably” from UNIX memory management.  Once configured, “zero administration memory management” can adapt itself dynamically.  Sounds attractive, but of course 32-bit Windows process memory was limited to 2 (or perhaps 3) GB.  To address this limitation, Intel and AMD have extended their chip architecture to take advantage of 64-bit-enabled servers. 

Now, for the strategy…

Here’s the important part for you landscape planners.  Now that 64-bit is becoming the standard for performance, scalability, etc. SAP’s long term strategy is to offer 64-bit only versions of software:

New SAP product releases as of 2007 will be available for 64-bit server operating systems only, including Windows and Linux.  Furthermore, all SAP releases that are in the maintenance period can be operated on 64-bit-enabled servers.  SAP will continue to provide 32-bit versions of components that are used on desktop PCs by end-users – such as SAP GUI or SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio.

This goes hand-in-hand with the SAP strategy on Unicode (see Mike Eacrett’s Single code page SAP systems heading towards history – Unicode Only Future!).  Also See the Customer Letter and FAQ

I’m sure some of you are saying “Great, but what’s that mean for me if I’m on a supported 32-bit version today…do I have to upgrade it in 2007?”  No.  You can continue to use your 32-bit servers for older SAP releases as long as the releases are in maintenance by SAP.  See http://service.sap.com/maintenanceextension for general information on SAP maintenance policy.  As a general rule: SAP Systems using an SAP kernel with release 6.40 or lower are not affected by the 32-Bit de-support.

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      Author's profile photo Benny Schaich-Lebek
      Benny Schaich-Lebek
      Sounds so familliar: I never had the pleasure to work long term on unix, but:
      640K anybody?
      Whats the difference between enhanced and exteneded memory?

      Regards,
      Benny

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      You're so right while talking about Memory Management for SAP on AIX so I'd like to add another favorite note:

      789477 - Large extended memory on AIX (64-bit) as of Kernel 6.20

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      In contrast what is mentioned in this blog, we got a message from sap (sapnet) that they don't support SAP content server on 32 bit.
      And we're talking about SAP CS 6.40!