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Jul 22 2019

20 Years of Proven Technology Partnership for SAP on Linux

Behind this story of 20 years, which represents far more than “just two decades” in the IT world, is the teamwork, experience, passion, trust, co-innovation with customers, partnership in daily work and collaboration between Fujitsu’s  SAP teams, SAP® and SUSE® as our strategic partners.

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All-in-all, the technology collaboration with SAP dates back to 1972, when the first SAP customer ran on a Siemens Mainframe, with technology that, even then, came from Fujitsu. However, 1999 marked another important step, as SAP launched R/3 on Linux – and Linux has, as we all know, not only become the most important development platform for SAP, but also the only OS platform for running SAP HANA®, S/4HANA® and all future HANA-based applications.

Fujitsu experts have been in partnership with SAP since day one, right when SAP started with Linux. On March 1st, 1999, SAP, together with some of its technology partners, launched SAP R/3 on Linux at CeBIT, the key IT fair worldwide at the time. Fujitsu, back then in collaboration with Siemens, was one of the innovation launch partners which brought it to market, also promoting this new solution, SAP, on Linux – built around Intel-based servers in the first bundled offerings.

In the same year (1999), Fujitsu was co-founder of the SAP Linux Lab in Walldorf, which has since then become a key innovation driver based on great teamwork and a network of experts from various companies – all focussed  on driving SAP technology, applications and user benefits to the next level. This collaboration continues today, with permanent Fujitsu staff present in the SAP Linux lab.  Really a great success story and an outstanding reason to celebrate such an anniversary!

 

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On Sept. 9th, 1999, the world-wide first SAP R/3 on Linux benchmark was published by Fujitsu, on a PRIMERGY 870/40, running on 4 Intel® Pentium III Processors with R/3 V4.0B on Novell/SUSE Linux V.2.2.11, with 1.210 SAPS and 241 SD Users (find out more here). Pilot and early adaptor customers followed during this “pioneer time”, with a lot of excitement, as well as blood, sweat and tears, from the teams working for SAP on Linux.

Over the first few years, SAP on Linux was mainly used on SAP application servers, but step by step it was also implemented for DB servers, and quickly developed into a solid and price-competitive option for productive SAP installations on Intel x86 platform. SAP shifted to Linux as a key software development platform, and in the market, SAP on Linux-based solutions became more and more prominent.

New products included, for example, Fujitsu´s SAP solution FlexFrame Orchestrator Management Software, the forerunner of what we today provide as shared, multi-tenant, application-aware SAP operation for private SAP Cloud solutions a co-innovation in conjunction with SAP´s Adaptive Computing, developed based on a SUSE Linux OS.  Another example of innovations on Linux is SAP´s Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA), which can be considered as the “grandfather” of SAP HANA, accelerating BI queries and analytics for dedicated reports.

The “big bang” for SAP on Linux came ultimately with the launch of SAP HANA in 2011, which is by default only available on Linux. Fujitsu was involved even long before that under an NDA and as a supporter of the Hasso Plattner Institute, as SAP technology and innovation partner for the new in-memory technology for SAP HANA. Fujitsu also contributed to the roll-out of SAP HANA, e.g. in 2012, with the world’s first ever SAP HANA Multi-node for BW on HANA certification by Fujitsu, as well as in the B1 on HANA roll-out over the first few years, which was, and still is, available only on Linux. Nobody in 1999 expected this strategic importance, but the truth is that it is HANA and Linux that drive all SAP applications and innovations nowadays – and will continue to do so in the future.

In 2014, Fujitsu simplified its integrated system brand under the name of PRIMEFLEX, targeting a range of workloads and use cases. FlexFrame Orchestrator – having been designed as an integrated system since its conception – became PRIMEFLEX for SAP Landscapes. Furthermore, PRIMEFLEX for SAP HANA, which can be integrated with PRIMEFLEX for SAP Landscapes, uses next-generation, in-memory technology, giving organizations a new way to process high volumes of data in real-time alongside any legacy infrastructure, with nearly zero downtime.

Throughout these past two decades of technology generations – from R/3 to SAP S/4HANA – Fujitsu has always been fully committed to bringing in its experience and innovation power to support its customers with Linux-based solutions, not only for their existing SAP use cases, but also for new HANA-based applications. This is sustained on the one hand by the close collaboration with many SAP colleagues, both in and outside the SAP Linux Lab, as well as with SUSE as one of Fujitsu’s oldest technology partners in SAP projects. The latest examples are the new Intel Cascade Lake processor and Intel® CLX Optane™ Persistent Memory options launched in April 2019, which are certified, tested and world-record benchmark proven in the market.

On the other hand, technology always requires people, skills, empathy, passion and teamwork to drive such innovations, and, as in soccer, usually only the best team wins. Here too, we can count on the continuity of the Fujitsu and SAP experts, as many of them that were active and instrumental back in 1999 in the SAP on Linux launch are still working hard every day to drive our solutions, benchmarks or services to the next level of trust and excellence.

Rainer Hettinger

 

About the Author:

Rainer Hettinger

Principal Business Developer, SAP Category Management EMEIA

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