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Author's profile photo Dirk Oppenkowski

Reference Architectures from Dell, SAP, and SUSE – How to Successfully Switch to Linux in SAP Data Centers

According to a study carried out by the SAP consulting company REALTECH1, there is a clear trend from UNIX to Linux in SAP data centers. In fact, more and more SAP customers are opting to switch from the large UNIX derivatives to Linux and replace their UNIX process architectures with a standardized x86 architecture. There is a very good reason for this. Linux and the x86 architecture offer the best price-performance ratio by far and are ideal for setting up mission-critical system landscapes such as SAP, which demand the highest levels of performance and availability.

The Agony of Choice 

However, SAP customers repeatedly face the question of which Linux distributions and hardware systems are suitable for them. A joint white paper published by Dell, SAP, and SUSE can help with this decision. It describes, on the basis of reference architectures for SAP applications, the optimal approach for switching to Linux in SAP data centers. 

Reference Architecture for 100-500 concurrent users
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Each Reference Architecture Comprises Four Key Components

  1. 1. SAP NetWeaver: an optimum platform for consolidating, supplying, and managing SAP applications across heterogeneous system landscapes.
  2. 2. x86-based Dell PowerEdge servers: specially certified for SAP NetWeaver, but also suitable for other SAP products such as SAP HANA.
  3. 3. Dell infrastructure components: enable high-performance storage and network environments to be set up and ensure a high level of efficiency in data centers.

  4. 4. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (SLES): Linux-based operating system, the only one of its kind to be recommended and supported by SAP and is already used by over 10,000 SAP customers.

Medium Architecture Deployment

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Number of Users Is Decisive

Each reference architecture is configured for a single SAP solution, such as SAP ECC or SAP CRM, and three different sizes, depending on the number of simultaneous SAP users: a small architecture with 10–100 concurrent users, a medium-sized architecture with 100–500 users, and a large architecture with over 1,000 users.

For each of these reference architectures, the white paper recommends suitable x86 PowerEdge servers as well as storage and networking solutions from Dell to ensure the high performance and availability of the SAP applications running on SLES for SAP Applications. In the medium-sized architecture for 100–500 simultaneous users, this means that the SAP application servers (AS) and the central service instance (ASCS) are implemented and visualized on two Dell R620 rack servers, while the database server is set up without virtualization (“bare metal”) on two Dell R720 servers. Between the two R620 servers and the two R720 servers, the high-availability technology of SLES for SAP is then used to secure the ASCS, for example.

The complete Reference Architecture Whitepaper is available for download here:

1 “The Trend from UNIX to Linux in SAP Data Centers”, REALTECH Consulting, October 2012 

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