SAP Shows Prototype X64-Linux-ERP Bundles
March 10, 2008 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In its ongoing effort to attack the midrange market with its ERP software, German software giant SAP was last week showing off a prototype bundle of one of its software stacks riding atop Linux on servers based on Intel‘s X64 Xeon processors. The event for the prototype sneak peek was CeBIT, the annual IT extravaganza–and the largest IT trade show in the world, by the way–which is held in Hannover, Germany.
The bundle includes SAP’s Business All-in-One ERP stack, a variant of its flagship mySAP software aimed at midrange companies that are a bit less complex than the multinational giants its sells its top-end ERP software to. SAP has partnered with Novell to get a version of its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 operating system tuned for Intel’s quad-core Xeon processors and supporting the MaxDB database management system. MaxDB is a version of the MySQL database family that was jointly created by SAP and MySQL (now owned by Sun Microsystems) several years ago expressly to provide the enterprise-class database features that were missing from the regular MySQL at the time (and in some cases, these features are still missing).
SAP says that the resulting hardware-software bundle is aimed at manufacturers, distributors, and services companies. The company added that 700 customers have deployed their SAP suites on Linux worldwide to date, and 35 percent of these have chosen MaxDB as the database for running that SAP software on Linux.
The prototype shown at CeBIT last week was using 45 nanometer “Harpertown” processors, which are just starting to ship in volume even though they were announced late last year; the servers in this case were made by Japanese server maker NEC, but the software bundle will be available to all of Intel’s Xeon server OEM partners.
Interestingly for the OS/400 and i5/OS shops, SAP and Intel are touting the integration inherent in the bundle as a strategic advantage in selling into the midrange base. “The new offering for SAP Business All-in-One is designed to combine software, database, and hardware into one package, with all components optimized to help midsize companies drive down TCO,” SAP explained in a statement. “The package includes SAP MaxDB, the affordable, simple and reliable high-performing database optimized for SAP solutions, and is based on SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell, a secure, reliable solution at low cost.”
Global replace “SAP MaxDB” with “DB2 for i5/OS” and “SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell” with “i5/OS V6R1 from IBM” and you could say the same thing. In fact, you could replace it with “DB2/400” and “OS/400” and say the same thing about any application stack from 1998 from the AS/400 Division.
The issue now is whether or not IBM will cut a deal with SAP to get this Business All-in-One stack certified with application servers running on Linux partitions on System i machines and hitting DB2 for i5/OS databases. Seems like a logical idea. But that doesn’t mean it can or will happen. This is the IT industry, after all. You can sure bet that Hewlett-Packard is gearing up to sell this bundle against System i boxes, though.