Nutanix is the only hyperconverged company in the Leaders of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems, and recently became the first and only hyperconverged platform to be SAP certified. The official list of hardware platforms certified by SAP are listed here. Customers can run their critical SAP systems, such as ERP, BW, etc. on Nutanix Web-scale infrastructure to significantly simplify infrastructure, massively reduce deployment times and greatly improve project life-cycle and operations. Customers can have the same confidence with Nutanix as when deploying on any traditional platform, with full end to end SAP and Nutanix Support. SAP Certification is a big deal because SAP is vary particular about which platforms are allowed to be certified to run their software stack. The certification process is very thorough and very stringent criteria that have to be met. Approximately 74% of the global GDP touches a SAP system, and with over 250K customers SAP is the clear leader in enterprise software, which is an approx $US24B market per annum. SAP is also a significant investor in Nutanix. So why would you want to run SAP virtualized and on Nutanix?
The latest data from VMware shows that virtualizing critical applications is common place. With high rates of virtualization across the globe and for the most critical business systems. The following slide from VMworld 2015 shows the latest results from the VMware survey, specifically focused on critical apps.
Note: SAP itself is over 85% virtualized with VMware vSphere and runs many customer facing critical systems virtualized with VMware vSphere. The SAP Case Study Video is a great watch for anyone who is interested in virtualizing SAP systems, or any other applications. There are additional SAP case studies available here. For additional resources from VMware with regards to SAP you can visit this page.
The reason that so many customers are virtualizing their critical SAP systems is quite simple. Improved business service levels, which can’t be achieved as easily on a traditional physical infrastructure, and greater ROI and reduced TCO. When virtualizing any business critical applications it’s important that there are no compromises made to SLA’s and the environment is designed and built to meet the business critical apps requirements. Availability, Performance, Disaster Recover, Management and Project Lifecycle should all improve. Some of the main benefits of Virtualizing SAP are as follows:
- High Availability, automated fault tolerance, built in by default – over an above what is included with the application stack. This greatly reduces downtime in the case of hardware failures.
- Automated run-book driven disaster recovery – delivers predictable and consistent business continuity and recovery from disaster every time, with the ability to test DR plans without disruption to production. Audit reports after tests allow the capability to be proven as part of meeting regulatory compliance requirements.
- Rapid, Automated Provisioning – On demand deployment of completely application environments in minutes from templates, ensure consistency and scalability across SAP environments. This capability can greatly improve quality of releases to production in less time, while at the same time allowing dynamic increase in capacity for production environments to handle cyclical peak load demands.
- Zero downtime live migration for proactive hardware maintenance and non-disruptive hardware migration without a requirement to modify or upgrade the applications at all.
- Simplified driver stack for the operating system reduces complexity and risk for the applications and removes the need to manage storage multi-pathing and network teaming compared to a traditional physical infrastructure.
- Greatly improved return on infrastructure investment – Optimizing infrastructure investments means more CAPEX/OPEX to invest in applications, end user experience and business / customer value added activities.
This brings us to why Nutanix and SAP? We’ve already covered that Nutanix is the first and only hyperconverged leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems and is also the most visionary vendor of them all, SAP is a substantial investor in Nutanix, and that Nutanix is the only hyperconverged vendor delivering a SAP certified platform. But why should you choose Nutanix for SAP environments, especially production?
- Nutanix is a SAP Global COIL Member: Bringing customers joint co-innovations and demonstrations from of joint SAP and Nutanix technology from SAP Global Co-Innovation Labs (COIL) facilities. The picture below is of the Nutanix systems at SAP COIL Singapore and we are going to expand in COIL globally soon. There are automation scripts being co-developed right now between SAP COIL and Nutanix for operational tasks.
- Invisible Infrastructure, Reduced Complexity, Reduced Risk: Deploy in minutes and expand on demand, upgrade non-disruptively / transparently at lunchtime, self-healing – no more nights and weekend callouts, focus on more business value adding activities, and spend more time with your friends and family. Would you like some Spaghetti Carbonara with your upgrade?
- Consistent, Predictable Performance, Reduced Risk: Because of the way the Nutanix architecture is designed it provides much more predictable and consistent high performance initially (at deployment), but also as the environment grows. No longer does one system monopolies resources and performance to the detriment of other systems. Every workload gets its fair share of resources, performance and resiliency improves as the environment grows. Nutanix also provide much more predictability when components fail, and eliminate some of the negative performance impacts of component failure as every node, controller and disk participates to balance recovery operations. This is due to every node / controller and disk participating in recovery operations, so recover is balanced, consistent, and no single point for a bottleneck exists. Data Locality ensures that as the environment grows all workloads have access to the shortest IO path to their data, without adding unnecessary network congestion. The graphs below show consistent, predictable performance, both in terms of database transactions per second, but also database transaction latency, as the environment scales. SQL server is used in this case to demonstrate the capability and the test was performed on a Dell XC630 platform powered by the Nutanix software.
- Reduced Project Deliver and Production Defect Risk: One of the greatest benefits of virtualizing is greatly improving the efficiency of application release cycles and thereby revolutionizing the ability of the IT team to deliver business outcomes (while greatly reducing project timelines and project labour costs). With Nutanix, operations that used to take weeks to a month in a traditional environment (even a virtualized one) can now be done in minutes (without incurring heavy storage consumption due to Nutanix data efficiency techniques). Multiple independent SAP Landscapes can be deployed in such a way that they consume almost no more storage than a single environment. This makes Nutanix All Flash Platforms economics and performance attractive. This can also provide much more realistic SAP Landscapes, which can allow early detection of defects and avoid defects being found later in production. It provides the ability to always get back to a known good state quickly. Again using SQL Server as a demonstration, the below video shows how quickly multiple test environments can be deployed, applications customized, and be ready for testing to a known good state, all in just a few minutes. The automation can be extended to SAP and through tools such as SAP Landscape Virtualization Manager.
- Pay as you Grow, Never Do A Forklift Upgrade Again:Investments can be aligned with projects and operation needs and avoid excess capacity, while providing just in time, infrastructure on demand with predictable scalability and cost (cloud on your terms, under your control). Start small, buy just what you need today and very simply and consistently expand as demands dictate for applications, database and infrastructure. No longer do you need a crystal ball to anticipate what will happen in 3 to 5 years. This also means you can take immediate advantage of technological advances in hardware, without having to do a forklift upgrade. Speaking of which, there is never again a forklift upgrade and long project planning cycle for system replacement in a Nutanix environment. You simply non-disruptively deploy new nodes, and non-disruptively removed old nodes when the time comes. Data movement is completely transparent and automatic.
- Improved Enterprise Data Protection, Availability and Business Continuity, Secure by Default: Keep SAP application servers and databases protected and running with frequent, VM-centric, easy-to-restore backups and affordable, simple disaster recovery with Nutanix proprietary out of the box replication/metro-availability solutions.
- Single Point of Global Management, Powerful API’s and Analytics: Global management of all Nutanix platforms from a single screen, accessible from anywhere via a standard HTML5 browser, including powerful API’s and built in analytics to pinpoint any anomalies. Both REST and PowerShell API’s are available for complete infrastructure and application automation.
- Robust Platform for Any Applications: Runs the most robust and highly available database platforms with ease. Including Oracle RAC. The following demonstration shows an extreme load test on an Oracle RAC platform with a mid range Nutanix system while all nodes of the Oracle RAC cluster are simultaneously live migrated using VMware vMotion.
Robust enterprise infrastructure for critical applications doesn’t have to be complex. You no longer have to suffer through months of upgrade and deployment planning, or worry about doing project changes in the middle of the night. Nutanix offers a robust platform that reduces risk for critical applications, provides high performance with predictable and consistent scalability, all without hard limits. A platform that self heals and is non-disruptively upgraded and expanded. Your applications deserve the benefits that invisible web-scale infrastructure from Nutanix can deliver. We are extending the same level of simplicity, resilience and worry free life to our upcoming SAP HANA appliances as well. Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks and months. You can visit the SAP page on the Nutanix site for further SAP and Nutanix specific details.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – 2015 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.
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