How Virtualization Cut Complexity & Time for SAP Apps in the Cloud

SAP principle architect Dominic Uliano took some time off to chat with Wikibon chief analyst Dave Vellante during EMC’s recent partner event, SAP Week, at its Executive Briefing Center in Hopkinton, MA. He discussed the impact of virtualization, cloud computing and other trends on traditional SAP deployments.

Uliano starts the interview by noting that SAP’s role within the EMC ecosystem is a supportive one, as is his. He credits his company’s success in the enterprise to a strong focus on innovation that is not limited to research and development alone.

Vellante asks the executive about how SAP customers are approaching virtualization and the way this technology is simplifying their environments from an infrastructure standpoint. Uliano replies that SAP users who are adopting virtualization are seeing overhead go down by 14 to 25 percent in the first year alone, which is impressive considering that operational expenses account for about 80 percent of the total costs associated with SAP applications. He lists abstraction and greater business agility as two additional benefits.

Traditionally, SAP apps took weeks to deploy due a combination of thorny hardware requirements and a notoriously complex installation process. Uliano says that this timeframe has been greatly reduced thanks to cloud architectures that enable users to provision servers in minutes, storage in seconds, and SAP apps in hours. Tools such as vCloud Director and LVM offer automation and orchestration capabilities that make things even easier.

The executive tells Vellante that SAP users’ private cloud environments qualify as ‘true’ cloud because they deliver rapid provisioning, simplified capacity management, and elasticity. His firm has a portfolio of hosted services, he says, but at present most client organizations prefer to keep their data in-house.

For the full interview, including Uliano’s take on HANA and x86 architecture, check out the video below.