If I look into virtualization projects for SAP environments (what we offer, could be seen here), I see one major driver: Generate value through cost reduction via consolidation. Of course this is one of the main aspect: Put a lot of systems on a few servers and let them run highly consolidated. But since there are sometimes some limitations (insufficient performance for huge systems, limited database support), and some things to be handled with some alertness (imagine, a highly consolidated environment crashes and you have to bring up several production systems “in parallel”…).
But there’s more:
- Handling load peaks: TEST and DEV systems could be shut down at weekend and free resources could be used for some batch jobs to be processed at the same time
- Provide new systems: Leverage template approaches to quickly provide new instances to projects for evaluation, implementation or testing purposes
- Multi-tier operation: Use tools and templates to shift specialized work from highly skilled people as an automated standard task to the operations team
- etc. etc.
Very often when we do our assessments with this use case based approach, we see much more potentials could be done in a virtualized environment, which generate value by value (speed, agility vs. cost saving). But there is often a mind shift necessary, that SAP technology is not only the “Big Boss” in the data center, but could be leveraged with the right approach to be much more flexible and agile than before.
And using this technology is the best first step to implement cloud. About this I will talk separately.