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Novell and SAP Partner Up

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2007-05-16 Print this article Print

The pair extend their relationship with a joint support solution for customers who run SAP applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

SAP AG and Novell announced May 15 that they have extended their relationship to offer a new joint support solution for customers who run SAP applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. These customers now have a single support entry point for the entire software stack: from the operating system through the application, to streamline resolution of support incidents, reduce complexity and lower the total cost of ownership.

The new offering, named "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Priority Support for SAP applications," is a Novell maintenance and support package that will be integrated through the SAP Solution Manager application management solution into the SAP global support backbone for managing the entire life cycle of SAP applications.

This is only the beginning. Novell and SAP plan to work together in the future to further optimize SLES for SAP application platforms, including SAP NetWeaver and SAP Business Suite. Further, SAP will recommend SLES as its preferred Linux platform.

By leveraging the scalability of SLES, which can scale up to 1,024 CPUs and more than 10 terabytes of physical memory, Novell and SAP can offer a Linux-based solution with the performance required by enterprise customers who run their mission-critical business operations on SAP applications.

SAP is the world's largest ERP (enterprise resource planning) company and a major force in all areas of business software. The Germany-based company is in the middle of shifting away from monolithic, closed applications to open, componentized, Web services-based applications with an underlying integration and development platform, NetWeaver.

Oracle, SAP's chief rival, has recently starting offering its own operating system to application stack by adopting RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) as its own, under the name Unbreakable Linux. With SAP's Novell alliance it can now also offer customers a complete stack.

Dell joins Microsoft and Novell in their business collaboration for providing greater interoperability between Windows and SUSE Linux. Click here to read more.

"Customers want choice, and since most of them run heterogeneous IT environments, using both open-source and commercial software, we recognize the need to make service and support as smooth as possible," said Gerhard Oswald, member of SAP's executive board of Global Service and Support, in a statement.

"SAP has a long-standing commitment to the open-source community, including working with key technical standards organizations to create interoperability with commercial software. Our agreement with Novell makes it truly possible for companies to get long-term support and maintenance when deploying SAP applications on Linux, and continues to illustrate the openness and flexibility of business process platforms enabled by SAP and focused on the business and technical standards that drive business process agility and innovation."

"Both SAP and Novell have heard from our customers that they are looking for a complete stack solution, from the operating system up to the application, with an integrated source of technical support that will help them lower cost and reduce complexity," said Ron Hovsepian, Novell's CEO. "SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is a recommended Linux distribution and internal development platform for SAP applications, and its further optimization will deliver the performance, reliability and scalability that customers demand when running their operations on SAP."

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In the future, SAP and Novell plan to explore other ways in which to further optimize SLES for an SAP applications environment. The two vendors have a long-standing relationship working together, including having SLES as a development platform for SAP applications, a scalable part of the infrastructure available via SAP Developer Network.

The companies state that the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Priority Support for SAP applications is focused on optimizing price/performance for customers' mission-critical workloads and includes volume discounts designed for application configurations. Customers who purchase in the next 90 days will receive an additional discount on the first year.

According to Hovsepian, the SLES/SAP support offering will also "be available through Novell partners including our channel partners, IHV partners and OEM partners. To promote this offering, if you purchase this new service in the next 90 days, you will receive an additional discount on your first-year subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise Priority Support for SAP Applications."

For more details, see the SAP or Novell site.

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.
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