Hit the Cloud Running

September 27, 2012 by Jennifer Lankheim 0

Foto: fotolia.com

To help control IT costs and boost business agility, many SAP customers turn to virtualization and cloud computing. When they do, businesses tend to invest in a hybrid approach that allows them to provision software in on-demand infrastructures that are hosted on-premise. This on-demand/on-premise hybrid approach is known as “cloud enabling.”

SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management software, released in general availability June 1, provides management capabilities for this enabling technology, helping SAP customers deploy and manage existing on-premise SAP applications in virtualized data centers and cloud infrastructures.

The new product rounds out SAP’s virtualization and cloud management program.

An expert explains SaaS, PaaS, IaaS

“When we talk about cloud at SAP, there are two distinct areas,” says Dr. Markus Winter, chief product owner. “There are new applications built specifically for the cloud; this is Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service.”

“Then we have a very large installed customer-base that has our classic on-premise software,” Winter continues. “With SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management, we help our installed customer base on the transformation journey from their existing, traditional, physically installed systems to an environment that offers a cloud-like, on-demand experience, consuming Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud technology. We help them virtualize their systems. We help them centrally manage SAP landscapes in hybrid physical, virtualized or private/public cloud environments.”

SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management targets SAP Basis administrators, IT professionals responsible for configuring the SAP environment. It provides central management of an entire SAP landscape, bridging the gap between SAP application management and infrastructure management, and automates many routine administration tasks, including system cloning, copying, and refreshing.  This is cumbersome manual work, especially post-processing. Automating such routine tasks can significantly reduce operational costs.

Automatic virtualization for on-premise software

“Customers were spending a lot of time, and wading through 100-page manuals, to create system copies,” says Winter. SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management automates most of that. “We see customers who used to spend up to ten days going through a long process chain to perform such a system copy. With LVM, we eliminate waiting times and streamline the process. So our ramp up customers only needed a couple of hours. And, in our labs, we can do this now in less than an hour.”

Read on the next page: Future releases to bring further automatication

Screenshot: LVM Dashboard

SAP has its own use-case illustrating how SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management saves time and resources with automation. “Colleagues who run the SAP IT infrastructure have been using this software for several years to facilitate routine maintenance on 1,000+ development systems,” Winter explains. “In the past, this took an entire team to perform – ten people working for two days over a weekend. After implementing LVM and using its automation capabilities, the job takes just one or two people two to four hours. That’s a dramatic improvement in maintenance downtime for Basis administrators.”

System performance checks with LVM

SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management also improves operational agility and reliability by providing visibility into the various layers that are involved in an SAP landscape. At a glance, you get a landscape-wide overview of services and resources including health checks and performance data. Customizable dashboards provide a live status overview of services and resources detailing how the SAP system is deployed in the data center.

Winter explains how this benefits SAP customers, providing improved operational continuity, efficiency, and reliability through single-console visibility, management, and control of SAP software landscapes in both physical and virtualized infrastructures.

“When we talked to customers and asked ‘How many SAP systems do you actually run?’ nobody had an exact answer; it was very difficult for most of them to find this out. When I asked them how they kept documentation, the most frequent answer was ‘an Excel spreadsheet, or a PowerPoint, or a Visio document.’ When I asked them ‘How frequently do you update this document?’ most of them said, ‘Um, when we have time. We’re not actually sure we have the latest version.’”

“SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management visualizes the SAP landscape. It takes the live information from the host agent and puts it in a graphical view so the Basis admins can actually see what they have. LVM also generates reports for each landscape, and for individual systems within any landscape that help users compare recent infrastructure data.”

Future releases to bring further automation

SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management also helps customers balance performance peaks and manage SAP system growth by enabling migration of SAP systems and automatic system scale in/out via application servers. The software also has performance monitoring capability and built-in routing checks for validating instance and server configuration details, file system and agent checks, and drill-down to logs for detailed analysis and quick troubleshooting.

Future releases will provide new and enhanced features such as additional management capabilities of SAP systems in virtual and cloud infrastructures, and open interfaces, both outbound and inbound for further integration in existing data center automation routines.

Would you like to learn more?

Simply visit: http://www.sap.com/solutions/technology/cloud/virtualization/index.epx

Or send your direct inquiries to: virtualization@sap.com.

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