IBM prepares mySAP virtualization tool

IBM is demonstrating software for dynamic provisioning of application servers for SAP's mySAP Business Suite in Hanover, Germany, at the Cebit trade show.

The software, "a virtualization engine that helps manage workload," runs on IBM's eServer zSeries mainframes today, but will be ported to other server platforms later, according to IBM spokesman Hans-Juergen Rehm. Companies will be able to order the software being demonstrated from April 28, but it will not be delivered until the third quarter, he said.

IBM Dynamic Infrastructure for mySAP Business Suite allows provisioning of SAP application servers to meet variations in workload demand, so that, for example, servers from a shared pool can be reallocated on the fly between tasks such as training, customer care, human resources or enterprise planning, rather than permanently dedicated to a particular function. Later developments will enable provisioning of database servers too, the company said.

The software could be used by large businesses, or by hosting service providers. It includes a number of functions of particular interest to hosting companies, including billing and data security: Once removed from the pool of active machines, servers are scrubbed to remove traces of customer data, IBM said.

The software is intended to reduce the level of management effort required to run SAP systems, and speed up their deployment, IBM said.

IBM's plans for the dynamic provisioning middleware don't stop with SAP's products: "It will become part of a broader family of virtualization engines in the near future," Rehm said.

Cebit runs through March 24 at the Messegelände in Hanover, Germany.

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