Reinforcing its commitment to co-innovate with partners to help companies around the globe reap the key benefits of virtualization and cloud computing, SAP AG unveiled progress toward delivering enhanced agility while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) for customers looking to transition to next-generation data center architectures. Through the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition and its Vblock Infrastructure Packages, Cisco, EMC, and VMware have committed to extensive and ongoing innovation with SAP to unleash the benefits of pervasive virtualization and speed the journey to "private cloud computing." The initiative marks an important step toward running SAP software reliably and securely on internal and external cloud environments, and also underscores integration with the SAP NetWeaver Adaptive Computing Controller tool to help customers increase flexibility and save costs in their data centers. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE NOW, being held simultaneously in Frankfurt, Germany, and Orlando, Florida, May 17-19, 2010.

In lab-based tests with Levi Strauss & Co., the technology partners demonstrated potential TCO reductions by running SAP software on Vblock. Vblock Infrastructure Packages are integrated IT offerings that include best-in-class virtualization, compute, storage security and management technologies. These include the Unified Computing System and Multilayer Director Switches (MDS) from Cisco, EMC Symmetrix V-Max and EMC CLARiiON CX4 Storage Systems (secured by RSA), and the VMware vSphere platform.

Levi Strauss & Co. Sees Private Cloud Benefits

Seeking new ways to accelerate its business and technology objectives, Levi Strauss & Co. worked with SAP, Cisco, EMC, VMware and an integration team from Accenture to explore how the company could realize the potential benefits of running its SAP software in a private cloud environment.

"From both a business and IT perspective, the results are significant and highly compelling, clearly showing how a private cloud environment could help us better manage our SAP landscape and contain costs at the same time," said Tom Peck, SVP and CIO, Levi Strauss & Co. "We also saw how we could achieve greater agility in our business applications to rapidly meet our internal customer business needs. And all of this was achievable through better utilization of our infrastructure assets, without sacrificing performance, security or availability - a really big plus."

TCO Reductions Benefits Revealed

Independent tests commissioned by SAP, Cisco, EMC, VMware and Accenture show that running SAP software on Vblock architecture can reduce TCO in a number of key areas, including:

  • Reduction in capital expenses for hardware and software due to use of scalable servers and proprietary virtualization management tools
  • Fewer implementation costs due to reduced planning and design requirements, simple setup and reconfiguration of virtual machines and the use of pre-configured templates
  • Savings in project costs due to increased business agility achieved through reduced system management efforts and the ability to add or remove virtual machines based on demand
  • Less spent in upgrade expenditures due to quick and easy provisioning of test- and training systems on demand and fallback scenarios right out of the box
"Today's announcement marks an important step forward in our private cloud strategy," said Vishal Sikka, chief technology officer and member of the SAP Executive Board responsible for technology and innovation. "This collaborative demonstration of success is only possible when combining the strength of SAP's world-class business applications and the offerings from global technology leaders such as Cisco, EMC and VMware. Through our partnership and commitment to reducing costs of computing and increasing agility, we were able to prove that customers can quicken application development, lower TCO and improve overall system up-time for the entire SAP landscape, including production systems. As our team works even closer with customers like Levi Strauss & Co., this project will continue to evolve and thrive based on new advances in in-memory computing which SAP will make available and based on customer input into refining and ripening products that will pave the way for the secure private cloud."