SAP as a software is one of the most important mission-critical applications in the world. SAP as a company is one of the savviest companies in the industry about virtualization: during 2007, the company fully embraced hardware virtualization, supporting VMware, Xen (both Novell and Red Hat implementations) and Microsoft Hyper-V platforms. They even have a 3-days conference called Virtualization Week.
But most of all SAP is one of the key partner of VMware as the company demonstrated at the recent VMworld Europe 2009, when Paul Maritz granted SAP no less than 30 minutes of his opening keynote.
The fact that SAP is virtualizing around 500 servers with XenServer is remarkable. It really validates the Citrix hypervisor.
To be fair the press announcement specifically say that XenServer will be used to virtualize the worldwide training centers first and the project management division later, which will P2V migrate hundred of dev/test/support machines. So SAP is not yet ready to use XenServer for the production environment (or maybe they are but cannot).
Anyway, VMware representatives sometimes say that XenServer is not an enterprise-grade hypervisor. Now they’ll have to explain why one of their best and most trusted partner is going to adopts it so widely.
Is it the price to blame? Or is it that they are overlooking the competition?