We always talk about downtime management as a critical aspect of SAP maintenance activities partially because it has a direct relationship to optimal utilization of resources. With the latest release of SAP Landscape Virtualization Management software release 1.0, it might be interesting to expand the discussion of downtime management to system availability management. This is due, in part, to the capabilities introduced with virtualization and new dynamic infrastructures, in which we can provision, deploy, operate, and un-provision SAP systems more dynamically and on an as-need basis. Following are some common examples where repurposing resources can help insure system availability needs when required, and then these same resources could be turned off, removed or repurposed when not required.
- Test system availability to probe production system problem.
- Test system availability for only 8 hours a day, when QA team located in different geographic location.
- Training systems allotted for 2 weeks every quarter with new project build.
- Additional application servers allocation during quarter end process or heavy business generation times.
- Sand box system for only 1 month to evaluate new technology.
- Need to plan and move SAP Instances from one physical hardware to another to accommodate data center maintenance or migrations
- Automatically move SAP instance from one physical host to another due to lack of CPU/Memory resources.
And these are just a few scenarios that come to mind. One possible way to improve resource utilization in situations like those above would be to quickly and easily relocate or re-provision systems and system resources through the use of virtualization technologies. Here is where a robust availability management platform like Landscape Virtualization Management (LVM) software could be a very resourceful and indispensible solution to manage SAP systems within virtualized and cloud infrastructures. Given the relatively inexpensive cost of storage compared to the cost of manual operations or even lost opportunity cost due to downtime or human error, it could be easy to justify having a pool of virtual hosts available and ready when the need arises to insure optimal utilization. LVM deliveres end-to-end completely automated SAP system clone, copy, and refresh features along with robust task scheduler to perform single system or multi-system operations.
As the virtualized and cloud based infrastructure adoption grows as per current trends, it is a matter of time system availability management takes important place in infrastructure support management.