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As I am flying back home from San Francisco, and leaving the warm and sunny weather behind me ;-( , I thought I would share my impressions and comments to the community about the SAP Virtualization Week 2008 event that I had the opportunity to attend last week.

 

Introduction

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First and foremost, I would like to thank SAP and in particular https://weblogs.sdn.sap.com/pub/u/251720051 [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] (SAP – Chief Virtualization Strategist) for planning, organizing, and managing with success this event.  It was a great pleasure to attend many sessions presented by industry leaders in the Virtualization space, and have an open dialog about the evolution of the technology.

The SAP Virtualization Week 2008 event was held April 7-10 2008 at the SAP Co-Innovation Lab in Palo Alto, California. The event started on April 7th with a dedicated Partner Day, and on April 8th ran in conjunction with the IDC Virtualization Forum in downtown San Francisco. I was able to attend the April 9-10 days, and collected the following information (please add comments to this blog if you participated to the event on April 7-8).

 

SAP Virtualization Week – April 9-10 2008 Days

The event consisted of two full days of sessions and discussions centered about the following topics:

  • Describing components of the Virtualization Ecosystem
  • Identifying how different virtualization technologies can be applied to SAP environments in order to support the evolution of the Data Center Architecture
  • Discussing virtualization best practices and optimization techniques

The event started with very informative keynotes presented by SAP executives, and IDC.

Zia Yusuf’s (SAP – Executive VP Global Ecosystem and Partner Group) presentation focused on how the SAP Ecosystem (solution/service partners, communities – SDN / BPX / Enterprise Services / Industry Value Network / Industry Standards / Co-Innovation Lab) is evolving and maturing to support SAP’s strategic goals:

  • SAP Business Process Platform vision
  • Mid-market growth
  • Technology acquisitions (i.e. Business Objects, etc.)

Zia articulated a future vision how customers should be able to deploy business process-driven virtualization, and enable their business process experts to design new processes using modeling techniques (SOA) that can run in a virtualized environment.
He also announced the formation of the Enterprise Virtualization Community (part of the SAP Ecosystem), formed by leading technology vendors including AMD, Cisco, EMC, HP, Intel, NetApp, Novell, Red Hat, Sun, and VMware (please add a comment to this blog if I forgot one vendor!).

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Vishal Sikka’s (SAP – CTO) presentation gave an overview of what Virtualization means to SAP, and which technology trends SAP research is looking into. Here are a few of the subjects Vishal discussed during his keynote:

  • SAP has four major development product lines (Business Suite, Business By Design, BusinessOne, NetWeaver)
  • Differential innovation concept equates to Stability + Innovation (i.e. innovation on a stable core with enhancements packs)
  • Different technologies have different life cycles (i.e. programming languages), and therefore utilization of these technologies requires careful planning when embedded within SAP technology/products
  • Virtualization should be considered at all levels of the infrastructure (hardware, software – O/S, database, application, programming language)
  • Adaptive Computing Infrastructure enhancements can support physical and virtual servers for process driven activities
  • Continuous enhancements for In-memory data management/analytics technology (i.e. BI Accelerator and LiveCache)
  • Model driven Development that would include a high-level notation model and then could be leveraged across many programming languages
  • Programming language integration with ABAP/Java runtime (i.e. Ruby)

He also stressed the fact that today many customers are actively discussing with SAP the concepts and implementations of Virtualization in order to:

  • Manage potential cost savings
  • Increase the efficiency of their overall IT architecture and business objectives using virtualized environments

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John Humphreys’ (IDC – Program VP – Enterprise Platform Group) presentation was focused on how the Virtualization industry needs to offer great infrastructure agility, while still reducing (or at least maintaining) costs for its customers.
John outlined the different levels of Virtualization adoption based on the most popular use cases:

  • Server consolidation
  • Live migration
  • Disaster recovery / Business Continuity
  • Desktop virtualization
  • Green computing (i.e. related to energy savings)

John also indicated that the next evolution of Virtualization in the Enterprise will require clear implementation road maps that match specific business processes challenges (i.e. business process driven virtualization based on SOA Architectures).

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Following the keynotes, more than 30 sessions were planned over 2 tracks.
The following is a summary of the different high level concepts and topics that were discussed during these sessions (for an exhaustive list of sessions, check the URL provided at the top of this blog):

  • SAP certification and support of different Virtualization solutions (check SDN Virtualization area and SAP notes for specific information)
  • Application virtualization (using SAP Adaptive Computing)
  • Software virtualization (Hypervisor technologies VMware, Xen, Microsoft)
  • Hardware virtualization (provided by many hardware vendors)
  • Specific Virtualization offerings (network, CPU, server, storage, and desktops)

An evening reception with a panel discussion (moderated by John Humphreys – IDC) took place with the following panel members:

  • Roland Wartenberg (SAP)
  • Simon Crosby (CTO – Citrix)
  • Raju Boparkidar (CTO – LeftHand Networks)
  • Bob Quinn (CTO – 3Leaf Systems)
  • Peter Sonsini (NEA)

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From left to right: John Humphreys, Raju Boparkidar, Roland Wartenberg, Peter Sonsini, Bob Quinn, Simon Crosby

The panel discussed the current and predicted state of the Virtualization market in a polite and spirited manner!

Conclusion

It is clear that the virtualization industry has been and will remain a healthy and extremely competitive market (maybe as comparable as the competition we had seen in Technology market during the late 90’s).
Over the past year and in the foreseeable future, this market will likely continue to transition from Server Consolidation product offerings to a Business Use Case oriented set of solutions, such as:

  • Disaster recovery technique / Business continuity
  • Virtual appliances offerings (i.e. security, networking, storage, etc.)
  • Life cycle management of virtual infrastructures (planning, provisioning, deployment, maintenance, monitoring, and policy based management)
  • Process oriented virtualization

Again, many thanks to SAP and Roland Wartenberg for organizing this great event!

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5 Comments

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  1. Bala Prabahar
    It was a great event. I came to San Francisco to get an idea on what is happening in Virtualization world. I am glad I attended. Roland did a superb job organizing it.

    Thank you for this blog!

    I have a question: Do you happen to know how to access the powerpoint slides presented in the event?

    Thank you once again!

    (0) 
    1. Joseph Zeinoun Post author
      Bala,
      Thanks for the nice comment!

      I believe the slides and the videos of the event will be posted at a later date on the SDN Virtualization wiki (URL located at the top of this blog).

      Joseph

      (0) 
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