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Virtualization is real. A trend that is here to stay and the goal is to achieve faster, more efficient, greener and cheaper to operate and manage systems.

SAP also announced plans to cut its own carbon emissions.

“After analyzing its global environmental footprint, SAP announced its commitment to a 51-percent reduction of its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its year-2007 published baseline levels of 513,000 tons CO2 by year 2020,” the company said in a statement.

So, where all this is heading to : I think it will certainly help SAP create a more compelling case for buying its software and I like it.

Virtualization remains a very popular technology. But certain key parts of the data center, notably the infrastructure for enterprise applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), generally remain on physical servers. This situation is changing. Recent initiatives from SAP indicate that the era of virtualized ERP is dawning.

Virtualizing the ERP environment drives cost savings from server consolidation and improved development efficiencies. Increasing the ease and speed with which environments are recovered is a key enabler. Pursue virtualization for the development stack to start seeing results. It’s also conceivable that IT managers will be able to conduct more test runs in a virtualized environment before launching new applications into production.

Beyond the obvious hardware savings, customers should be able to provision servers easier and cut downtime in SAP implementations.

 

Some important things to notice:

SAP announced support for its products running in 64-bit Windows- and Linux-based production-level virtual machines based on VMware’s ESX Server.

Under the arrangement, SAP will support its virtualized software running on VMware (all resources) and 64-bit Windows, Linux and Solaris platforms. Servers from Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP and IBM are also certified for SAP running on VMware.

VMware also announced that servers from Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP and IBM have been hardware-certified for SAP solutions running on Windows and Linux with VMware ESX Server.

The deal is a nice enterprise win for VMware given that SAP is well entrenched with large enterprises. The immediate impact on ERP projects could be lower hardware costs. A big part of an ERP implementation is mapping out new hardware requirements. With a virtualized environment and support for SAP on VMware, companies should be able to save a few bucks on new servers.

In addition: both the efforts with IBM and Intel are aimed at ensuring SAP’s customers find using its software more efficient and cost-effective.

The SAP partners positioning these moves as part of a larger effort to encourage lower carbon emissions in customers’ datacenters — the thinking being that fewer servers require less cooling, cutting down on waste generation.

 

The key benefits that can result in cost savings and operational efficiencies are following:

1. Routine task automation: To automate rountine tasks, such as Monitoring common infrastructure alerts and automating response fr known conditions, it actally leads to increase in IT staff effciency.

2. Higher availability: Downtime has direct costs to the business that ome from loss of business opportunity and decreased end-uder productivity.

3.Faster response to incidents: This can occur in a number of ways, ranging from automated responses to simple alerts, to automatic creation of trouble and repair tickets for service desk functions, to problem determination, impact analysis, and roo cause analysis.

So, the overall effect is cost savings which include reduced hardware and software costs, IT staff efficiency and end user productivity and positive ROI reduced downtime and faster performance.

While server virtualization brings many advantages in terms of cost savings and operating efficiencies, it also brings new and expanded requirements. Server virtualization based on hypervisors introduces a new layer between the operating system and the actual hardware and creates new objects to manage. These objects include virtual server host systems, guest virtual machines stored in libraries or deployed on host servers, as well as the need to manage “guest’ operating systems and applications deployed in virtual machines.

Typically, server virtualization results in some level of oprerating system proliferation, or “virtual machine sprawl,” which may substantially increase the overall number of server operating system images that need to be managed by system administrators.  It would to great to have system management software for e.g VMware has a solution to this simple above challenege by providing Management and Automation Solutions.

 

Beyond these investments which already have proven in industry the customers are realizing following opportunities

1. Cost reductions and business value: The potentail upside for organizations remians huge and can continue to accrue as additional servers are migrated from distributed physical infrastructure to a virtualized consolidated infrastructure.

2. Agility benefits that are real: While agility benefits come first and foremost from solid software management system in place, layering that solid management toolset on top of a virtual infrastructure multiplies those benefits.

3. High availibility: A visrtual infrastructure is a two-pronged tool, which makes it easier both to reduce or totally eliminate unscheduled downtime.

4. Green IT benefits: Moving to virtualized infrastructure that reduces the number of physical servers has a drect impact on power and cooling requirements and associated carbon emissions.

 

Finally, even better, moving to a virtualized x86 infrastrucure may delay or eliminate the need for datacenter expansion. for some organizations, it may actually lead to data center consolidation.

Virtualization delivers compelling business value today, increasing by a factor of four the number of users supported per server, improving availability of servers, enabling application scalability, and reducing costs across the board.

The business case is clear and the options abound. In particular, the introduction of modern virtualization solutions, which can offer both intelligent configuration and software management and the ability to perform live migration, can help promote uptime and efficient resource usage, particularly when used in direct combination with the high-quality hypervisors available on the market today.

Further, the long-term benefit of reducing staff costs and increasing business agility leads to long-term benefits that will continue for years to deliver returns on the investment required to put this in place initially.

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