Luckily, the pioneering days of cloud computing are over, and in the meantime there are powerful solutions available that help you build your SAP data center of the future. Every SAP customer is different. Each customer depending on their existing budgets, IT skill sets and pre-existing hardware and software investments will have different requirements impacting how they wish to move to a Software-Defined Data Center.
Virtualization and standardization, and therefore the private cloud, can be taken a step further, as shown below. Depending on the customer requirements, two basic approaches can be chosen.
- A bundled, modular approach for consuming and deploying cloud-enabled infrastructure
- A turnkey, converged infrastructure
The bundled, modular approach using cloud-enabled infrastructure
Many organizations have built their own – picking components, assembling, and testing them. This provides the most flexibility and, for a lot of reasons, many people will continue to do this. You can certainly build on your existing investment. Perhaps the time is not right for a total tech refresh using a turnkey converged infrastructure, or you have defined your own building blocks. We’ll have a closer look at the bundled, modular approach using cloud-enabled infrastructure in the next post.
The turnkey, converged infrastructure
The fastest way to standup virtual infrastructure for SAP is with converged infrastructure leveraging VCE Vblock systems developed by VMware, Cisco, and EMC as part of the VCE coalition. Vblock systems include compute, network, and storage, pre-integrated with a single point of management.
Think of a Vblock as of a SAP data center that directly comes from the truck. It is shipped based on your sizing needs and, at the time of writing, can cover a range between about 100.000 – 1.500.000 SAPS. A Vblock is designed, validated and optimized for SAP and non-SAP applications and you can directly start provisioning right away after power-on in your data center.
Another advantage is that a Vblock also comes with an optional patch and update management, i. e. it is much more than a traditional reference architecture – you can also receive a lifecycle management.
The VCE Release Certification Matrix (RCM) is published semiannually to document software versions that have been fully tested and verified for Vblock systems. While customers can opt to install their own updates, choosing VCE’s Software Upgrade Service expedites installation and can reduce the risk associated with a multi-system upgrade. Quantify the efforts for reading release notes, testing, upgrades, documentation, additional infrastructure and then take a make or buy decision.
If you are interested in more information about the Vblock patch and update management, I recommend reading the post on Kendrick Coleman’s blog that you can find following this link.
Everything else around the Vblock for SAP solution can be found here.