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If you have not heard about the SAP Co-innovation Lab (COIL) yet, sorry you have missed a lot of great stories about how SAP partners have succeeded in the lab in their journey to co-innovate with SAP. Don’t worry though, late is better than never, you still can catch up in the COIL website. Don’t forget to check out the areas for recent projects and recent events. You won’t regret the time you spend there.


We have just released another COIL success story, but this time is a bit different – we are telling the story about how one of our sponsors has enabled COIL to provision “green” SAP landscapes.


Here is goes the beginning of the paper – “No technology is an island. Great technologies need other great technologies to perform their best, and when companies with complementary products collaborate to find new ways to deliver business value, everybody wins…”, it may sound too “marketing” for our techie friends, but each word here is a testimony of why COIL exists and how COIL works. In this cases,  solutions from our sponsors and members work seamless together to make COIL data center a great project riverbed which has fostered more than 100 projects world wide in the last two years.


Like with any innovation environment , one main challenge COIL needs to address day to day is to maintain a very high level flexbility and agility – It’s very important for us to be able to provision a SAP landscape that meets particular project requirements in a very short notice and very tight delivery time. We don’t have the luxury to spend weeks or even months to prepare and roll out, and we do not have the luxury to add hardware as wished – we are constrained not only by budget but also by physical space in our data center. Our management team and our architects, including our dear friend Peter Aeschlimann, Igor Khurgin, and many others who contributed to the initial design of COIL Palo Alto data center, made a conscientious choice to engage NetApp from the very beginning of our infrastructure setup. NetApp has been a great enabler in our conquer for agility and flexibility in many ways.

OK, OK, you may say,I hear it, Netapp is great, but tell me how the word “green” get into the picture here? Well, Our boss Axel Henning Saleck has summarized it all –  “The use of NetApp thin provisioning and optimization technologies by SAP Co-Innovation Lab allows the lab to use less disk and therefore conserve power and cooling, thus contributing to SAP’s green IT initiatives.”. To be a bit more specific, with the 100+ TB storage and full set of NetApp technologies including FlexClone in our disposal in the last 2 and half years, COIL has enjoyed many significant benefits, to mention a few:


  • 80% less storage space required with thin provisioning
  • 2:1 LUN utilization ratio with NetApp deduplication
  • Reduced time required to provision SAP landscapes from days to hours
  • Support 40+ concurrent projects

To be honest, we did not spend much time to find a convincing algorithm to gauge how the 80% storage saving and 2:1 LUN ultization ration may translate into savings in energy bill and space rental bill. Please let us know if you know how to do the calculation.    However, we know we can not do what we do without NetApp as a cornestone of our infrastructure.

Without further ado, here is the link to the paper from either the COIL site or NetApp site. Enjoy the reading.

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  1. Kevin Hill
    Hi Kevin,

    Nice blog on the use of Netapp technologies in COIL.

    From the paper I gather that the backup is totally tapeless. So you rely totally on snapshots and snapmirror – Is that correct ?

    What has been the experience in using De-dupe – Has this been turned on all volumes ?

    You also seemed to have used ESX a lot, but there was a mention of ‘various flavours of UNIX’ – I presume these are flavours that you would not have deployed on VMs – Any reasons for this ?


    1. Former Member Post author
      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Yes, we rely on netapp for archiving our projects. No tapes:). We are happy with Dedupe – it doubles our LUN utilization.

      We run most of our projects on virtual machines. SAP apps are installed in VM with any supported OS and DB. In other words, we do have various flavors of unix and lunix deployed on VMs. Of course, we also have installs on physical servers, completely depends on what’s required by a project.

      Best Regards,
      P.S. sorry for the late reply – been on the road most time recently.


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